In order to support the development of effective risk governance approaches for emerging technologies, experts from SAFENANO at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) and MATTER performed a foresight study on the governance of new technologies, specifically focusing on nanotechnology as a case example. The study was funded by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) as part of their Long-range Research Initiative under project LRI-S2.
Following a mapping of the governance landscape perceived for emerging technologies, four plausible foresight scenarios were developed, capturing critical uncertainties for nanotechnology governance. Key governance elements were then stress tested within these scenarios to see how well they might perform in a range of possible futures and to inform identification of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for nanotechnology governance in Europe over the next 20 years. Based on the study outcomes, a number of recommendations have been proposed regarding the development of governance associated with the responsible development of new technologies, of relevance to policy-makers, industry and wider stakeholders.
The results of the study have been published as a research article in the Risk Analysis journal.