FNN Conference on Categorization of Next Generation Nanomaterials that took place in Brussels, on 30th November- 1st December 2017 was a success.
From industry to NGOs, from research to standardization, the Conference brought together speakers and participants from several key sectors of the nanomaterials field worldwide. The Conference began by defining the different contexts in which nanomaterials categorization is important, followed by a summary of current formal and informal nanotechnology-related standardization work. All attendees participated in a set of breakout discussion sessions that identified major issues associated with creating new progress on categorization.
Attendees addressed issues like common and context-specific requirements, immediate needs and current categorization approaches in individual sectors and discussed how to identify the data and tools needed to support categorization and develop meaningful and useful categorization schemes. Discussions aimed at developing international cooperation, working through competing contexts and establishing a viable roadmap forward.
In brief, the Conference recommendations are as follows:
- Current categorization work addresses only a subset of needs and contexts, primarily because of a lack of critical driving forces, inadequate quality and quantity of relevant data, insufficient funding, and lack of a clear mandate for a lead organization.
- The development of next generation nanomaterials and the realization that during their life cycle all nanomaterials have many transformations, not yet clearly characterized and understood, are new driving forces to reactivate and intensify categorization activities.
- The lack of needed research, the need for appropriate new test methods and relevant materials, and the international nature of regulatory requirements for categorization mean that the next steps should be taken with as great involvement of all stakeholders as possible. Every effort should be made to gather input from the broad community and to perform the broadest possible open review of proposed categorization schemes, especially those aimed to meet regulatory requirements.
Attendees not only enjoyed the discussions and networking opportunities at the meeting but also the seasonal atmosphere in the beautiful city of Brussels.