The FramingNano Governance Platform, which was developed in 2010 on the basis of a wide stakeholder dialogue and the identification of key governance principles, provides proposals and guidance at four different levels:
- Technical and organisational: prioritising actions and research needs in relation to Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) issues and Ethical Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA), and defining the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders involved;
- Communication and dialogue: proposing means of effectively disseminating trustworthy information and channelling stakeholder views into European policy actions;
- Institutional: suggesting how to manage and sustain European policy for the responsible development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies (N&N), and indicating roles and responsibilities at the level of institutions;
- International harmonisation: identifying transboundary issues to be addressed at both EU and international levels.
The FramingNano project concluded that governance and regulation of nanotechnologies must be considered a dynamic affair which needs to be continuously adapted. This implies a continuous observation of the state-of-the-art knowledge on nanotechnology-induced change. Also, the relevant stakeholders and the interested public have to be meaningfully included in the definition of commonly accepted principles, criteria and values to be used for the assessment of these changes.
The FramingNano Governance Platform therefore has a number of key objectives:
- Raising awareness: promoting an understanding of the huge impacts of nanotechnology-induced change and of the convergence of technologies at the nanoscale;
- Defining commonly accepted rules: developing a commonly-agreed assessment methodology that facilitates prioritisation and focus on the key issues of nanotechnology-induced change;
- Advising: reacting in a timely and adequate way to the data gaps and other challenges that the rapid development of N&N presents;
- Anticipating and adapting: the Governance Platform to trends and developments in nanotechnology-induced change, and towards a responsive, innovation-friendly framework;
- Strengthening informed trust: amongst all stakeholders where concerns related to nanotechnology-induced change emerge;
- Establishing means of cooperation: to fill emerging gaps related to access to nanotechnology-induced change on a global level.