The Commission is launching a wide consultation on its Communication Towards a European Strategy for Nanotechnology in which it proposed an integrated and responsible approach for developing nanosciences and nanotechnologies in Europe.

Nanotechnology is a new approach to research and development for controlling the fundamental structure and behaviour of matter at the level of atoms and molecules. Applications are emerging in many different areas such as health care, information technologies, materials sciences, manufacturing, instrumentation, energy, security or space.

Nanotechnology has been high on the political agenda since the publication of the Commission’s Communication. Discussions were initiated already in the European Council under the Irish Presidency, are continuing under the Dutch Presidency and will be concluded later this year. An Action Plan will follow.

Responses can be sent to the Commission by email or via an on-line questionnaire.

The Commission aims to address any potential public health, safety, environmental and consumer risks upfront by generating the data needed for risk assessment, integrating risk assessment into every step of the life cycle of nanotechnology-based products, and adapting existing methodologies and, as necessary, developing novel ones.

Deadline for comments: 30 September 2004.

Last modified on August 30 2004.