Scott Rickert, chief executive of Nanofilm and a Foresight Participating Member, writes in Industry Week on his work to advance both nanotech and nanosafety: “I saw the process in action this autumn when I joined a session of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Nanotechnology Work Group. This newly formed committee, which consists of stakeholders from science, industry and environmental groups, is charged with leading the discussion on a Voluntary Pilot Program to guide the regulatory treatment of nanoscale chemical substances. I joined other representatives to comment on how best to foster an open sharing of information that will expedite research and reasonable standards, build public trust and enable responsible development…
“Couldn’t we simply slow down the whole expensive process and take a wait-and-see attitude? There is at least one multinational company executive who has publicly stated this to be his approach. There are two reasons why the answer must be no. First, the global economy will continue to push the limits of nanotechnology’s possibilities; America can’t afford to fall behind. Moreover, and most importantly, nanotechnology holds the potential to unlock advances that replace current environmentally harmful practices with new greener ones.
“Organizations such as The Foresight Nanotech Institute spotlight prospects, from solving global needs for clean energy to providing abundant clean water.
“Two, ten or twenty years from now, I believe nanotechnology will be seen as environmentally friendly and the critical element in environmental solutions, and we’ll wonder what the panic was about. I’m doing everything I can every day to help make our planet greener through nanotechnology. How about you?”