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January 7, 2011

ETC Group Posts Report on Global Governance of Nanoscale Technologies

Lynn L. Bergeson

On December 17, 2010, ETC Group published a report entitled The Big Downturn?  Nanogeopolitics, which updates its 2005 nanogeopolitics survey. According to ETC Group, since 2005, policymakers have begun to acknowledge that fast-tracking nanotechnology has come at a price and that some sort of regulation is necessary to address at least some of the risks posed.  ETC Group states, though, that “governments and industry, hand in hand, have come too far and invested too much to give up on nanotech’s promise of becoming the strategic platform for global control of manufacturing, food, agriculture and health — a pillar of the 21st century’s ‘green economy.’”  ETC Group provides an update on the geopolitical landscape, producing a current snapshot of global investment, markets, governance, and control, including intellectual property. ETC Group is hopeful that the risks of nanotechnology will be addressed in fora such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Istanbul in September 2011 and the United Nations (UN) Rio+20 Summit in 2012.