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S2-IOM: Foresight study on introduction of new technologies; the case of nanotechnology

Principal Investigator

Dr. Steven Hankin
Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)
Research Avenue North
Edinburgh EH14 4AP
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)131 449 8040
Fax: +44 (0)131 449 8084


Hilary Sutcliffe & Gary Kass, Matter (UK)


The primary objective of this project is to identify the drivers of effective policy in the area of strategic development of novel technologies.

Specific objectives include the following:

1.  To strengthen the link between technical expressions of risk resulting from health and environmental assessments, which at present may only tenuously link to health and environmental policy objectives and to public perceptions.

2.  To identify methodologies and institutional practices which can facilitate assessment of both the risks and benefits of an event or activity as an input into decision-making associated with technological innovation processes.

3.  To develop improved risk-benefit metrics in order to make decision-making explicit, rather than implicit as is the case at present. As part of this, it may be relevant to examine how and if social and economic issues can be included as part of the assessment process in order to increase transparency in decision-making.

4.  To develop methods to ensure that input from all stakeholders, including the general public, is formally taken into account in the development, governance and commercialization of emerging technologies.

In order to address these objectives a foresight study is proposed to develop a governance landscape suited to identifying the drivers and the context in which they act, using nanotechnologies as a case study.

Related Publications

Read S.A.K., Kass G.S., Sutcliffe H.R. and Hankin S.M., 2015. Nanotechnology Foresight Scenarios. Risk Analysis, 8.

Read S.A.K., Kass G.S., Sutcliffe H.R. and Hankin S.M., 2015. Foresight Study on the Risk Governance of New Technologies: The Case of Nanotechnology. Risk Analysis, 19.



Foresight study on the introduction of new technologies: the case of nanotechnology, by Steve Hankin, presented at the 16th Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop 2014


Timeline: May 2013 > April 2014

LRI funding: € 149.761


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