MVI approach visible in NanoNextNL theme
Responsible innovation is increasingly being integrated in new initiatives and programs. For example, the RIVM has developed the concept Safe-by-Design in the context of the NanoNextNL consortium and its Risk Analysis and Technolpogy Assessment (RATA) theme.
Nanotechnology offers possibilities to increase the quality of life. At the same time the past has shown us that ‘unknowns’ about potential human, environmental and societal risks are raised. Attempts to address these ‘unknowns’ are generally carried out in the privacy of discussions about risks.
However, proceeding in this way will lead to questions being raised about safety issues that come along with innovations at too late a stage of innovation, and hinder the full exploitation of potential benefits. Authorities and industry want to know which information is pivotal to assess whether a nanomaterial or nanotech application is safe.
To ascertain whether a nanomaterial or nanotech application is safe smart approaches are required to reduce these uncertainties to acceptable levels as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the interaction between innovators and those dealing with these issues should be improved in order to allow safety and societal discussions keep better pace with innovation processes. An interdisciplinary approach is required, with research that pushes boundaries, and maps out existing risk analyses of effects in the arena of health, safety and the environment.