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May 22, 2007

U.S. – European Union Integration on Nanotechnology

Lynn L. Bergeson

At the 2007 U.S.-European Union (EU) Summit in Washington, D.C. late last month, President Bush and European Union (EU) leaders signed an economic integration agreement, the Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Between the United States of America and the European Union.

With respect to nanotechnology, the accord commits the U.S. and EU to the following:

  • Expand cooperation on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) activities relating to risk assessment, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), study templates, information technology for data submissions, as well as on alternative test methods (QSAR), test methods, and risks of manufactured nanomaterials;
  • Sponsor joint workshops or conferences to foster the exchange of information on nanotechnology in areas of mutual interest;
  • Exchange views on policy options for emerging technologies, or new technological applications, in particular in the field of nanotechnology, cloning, or biotechnologies; and
  • Explore possibilities to launch common research actions paving the way to a level playing field for nanotechnology-based products in the globalized market, namely co- and pre-normative research.