Ted Manning, President Tourisk Inc. 2009
This paper was the keynote address to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Conference on Potential Environmental Benefits of Nanotechnology: Fostering Safe Innovation-led Growth, Paris France, July 15-17, 2009. The rapid growth of nanotechnology has brought issues of its introduction and control to the forefront. Early research shows that many materials can be made which have entirely altered properties, and a great range of potential uses. Thousands of products now contain nano-materials; these include building materials, electronic components, cosmetics, food products and monitoring systems. Some nano-products seem to have properties not unlike those of asbestos fibres which are similar in size to nano-tubes. For most, both the range of applications and risks has yet to be determined. The Challenge is to find ways to make the best use of this suite of new technologies in support of human goals, while making certain that undue risks are controlled and undesirable outcomes prevented. The Paris Conference marked one of the first times that the scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and potential users came together to address these issues and seek sustainable solutions.