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Four scenarios for Nanotechnologies in the UK, 2011-2020

Four scenarios for Nanotechnologies in the UK, 2011-2020

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Published by Chris Groves
The future social value of nanoscale science and technology (NST) has been repeatedly represented as revolutionary. However, government and industry support for the commercialisation of NST has to confront four key areas of uncertainty: concerning potential hazards associated with applications, commercial viability, public acceptance, and regulatory requirements. Academic and policy responses have to date largely emphasised the need for adaptive regulation and responsible innovation, with companies playing a key role, yet concrete strategic evaluations of the prospects of success have so far been lacking. Research described in this paper remedies this lack by examining the difficulties and opportunities which may arise around this regulatory agenda in the UK, with the aid of a “policy Delphi” exercise undertaken with a multi-stakeholder expert panel. It summarises four scenarios to aid policy-makers and technology strategists in thinking through the interactions between the four aforementioned areas of uncertainty, and identifies areas where more research is needed to support decision making around adaptive regulation, both in the UK and internationally.
The future social value of nanoscale science and technology (NST) has been repeatedly represented as revolutionary. However, government and industry support for the commercialisation of NST has to confront four key areas of uncertainty: concerning potential hazards associated with applications, commercial viability, public acceptance, and regulatory requirements. Academic and policy responses have to date largely emphasised the need for adaptive regulation and responsible innovation, with companies playing a key role, yet concrete strategic evaluations of the prospects of success have so far been lacking. Research described in this paper remedies this lack by examining the difficulties and opportunities which may arise around this regulatory agenda in the UK, with the aid of a “policy Delphi” exercise undertaken with a multi-stakeholder expert panel. It summarises four scenarios to aid policy-makers and technology strategists in thinking through the interactions between the four aforementioned areas of uncertainty, and identifies areas where more research is needed to support decision making around adaptive regulation, both in the UK and internationally.

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Published by: Chris Groves on Dec 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/30/2013

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