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EC-NSF Workshop on Nanotechnology: Revolutionary Opportunities and Societal Implications

January 31-February 1, 2002 - Lecce, Italy

- Information for Participants -


This workshop will provide a critical thrust for understanding societal implications of nanotechnology that will have a mutually beneficial impact on both European and American societies. The specific objectives for this purpose are:

  • Examination of the interface of nanotechnology with the environmental sciences, energy, information technology, materials and manufacturing, medicine and biotechnology. Areas with large societal implications and corresponding research opportunities will be articulated;
  • Consideration of social, ethical, political and economic issues associated with nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has the capability of producing great benefits for society through advances in health care, security, a cleaner environment, and better quality of life. Some of these changes will occur through creation of technologies that can reshape our economic, political, and social landscape. Public understanding with regard to nanotechnology is needed for nanotechnology to achieve its full potential. Mechanisms for enhancing science literacy will be explored;
  • Integration of nanotechnology into the educational enterprise and into outreach activities. Such efforts are needed to train the future nanotechnology technical workforce, and effective strategies for accomplishing this will be identified;
  • Similarities and differences in the structures of the American and European societies as they relate to research and education in nanotechnology will be identified so as to facilitate future co-operation.


The preliminary program of the workshop is enclosed. The meeting will host about 50 participants from Europe and the United States. To each specific topic are allocated 25 minutes. Each presentation will leave 1/3 of its time for questions and discussion.

At the workshop, the participants will receive a brochure with the extended abstracts, togetherher with the final programme and other information. After the meeting, the revised contributions from each participant will be included in a joint EC-NSF publication that is foreseen both in electronic form and printed.

This workshop will build on the results of the U.S. workshop on "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology" held on September 28-29, 2000, and the report with the same name published in 2001 (Kluwer Academic Publ., 2001, 370 pages; also, the report is posted on


Scientific and technical issues:

  • Which nanotechnology-based developments, materials, products, components, devices or systems already exist in your field of competence/interest?
  • Are they already marketed?
  • Which are those to be expected in the short (5 years), medium (6 to 10 years) and long (over 10 years) term?
  • What can be considered realistic visionary but realistic and what is science fiction?
  • At which point in the development will we meet the physical borders?
  • Which are the scientific and technological "bottlenecks" in your field or which ones can be expected in the short/medium and long term?
  • Do possibilities for mass production exist in your field or are these to be expected?
  • Which research infrastructures/equipment exists in your field?
  • And which resources?
  • And what would be needed (please, prioritise)?
  • Could you prioritise the subjects to put resources into (e.g. research, infrastructures, education...)?
  • What can be done jointly, in collaboration or in co-operation and what individual research and development bodies should do separately?

Market and economics

  • Is there a market for nano-structured/ nano-produced products in your field? Or are there equally effective and more economically advantageous alternatives to nanotechnology-based developments/products?
  • Which markets and fields will be demanding nano-products, components, devices and systems?
  • Which market potential exists at this time in your field? Which is to be expected in the short, medium and long-term?
  • What about standardisation?
  • Which consumer behaviour do you expect?
  • Which resources saving potentials (production, transport, energy etc.) are to be expected for industries and the society?
  • Which economic advantages do you see for large industries and/or for SMEs?
  • Do you expect negative effects or new, additional costs?
  • How to pay the high research and development costs?
  • Did you get funds from banks? Would you like to?
  • Which resources-, energy-, cost-saving potential is expected through the use of nano-products, components, devices or systems in your field?
  • Are there any other savings or additional costs to be calculated for the Europe or America (e.g. taxes, social insurance, health care...)?
  • Did other stakeholders (politicians, consumer organisations...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?

Environmental issues

  • Which ecological implications (e.g. use of resources, larger stability of products...) are already shown through nanotechnology in your field? What do you expect in the short, medium and/or long-term for your field?
  • Which chances do you see altogether for the sustainable development?
  • Which toxic/hazardous materials/systems etc. can be replaced by nano-materials, products, components, devices and systems in your field?
  • Again: What is realistic and what is science fiction?
  • Which research requirement exists in your field?
  • Did other stakeholders (environmental organisations...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?


  • Which benefits do nanotechnology developments/products/etc. are already registered?
  • Which are to be expected here in the short, medium and long term?
  • Which fields will be more rapidly affected? Which can benefit of nanotechnology at all?
  • Which health damaging substances can be replaced in the short, medium and long-term basis by nano-materials, systems, etc.?
  • To achieve the benefits aimed at, which alternatives to nanotechnology could be considered?
  • And the risks? To what extent nano-materials, systems etc. can be toxic, hazardous or dangerous in any respect? And if a risk were discovered, which steps or alternatives would be initiated (manufacturing processes, productions technological security measures, consumer protection, etc.) and in how much time?
  • Which infrastructures, equipment, education and research requirements exist? Where do you see priorities for future initiatives? And which ones?
  • Did other stakeholders (medical groups...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?


  • Expedite long-term, fundamental research aimed at discovering novel phenomena, processes and tools, including nanoscale systems that are important in biology and in the environment
  • Do you feel that there is "enough" information by the public concerning nanotechnology?
  • Is there any nano-scepticism or nano-optimism?
  • Which risks do fell that people feel connected to nanotechnology?
  • Would an awareness campaign be needed? If so, jointly by the EC and NSF?
  • Are acceptance difficulties to be expected in relation to (particular) nano-products, systems, etc. amongst the public? If so, how can one meet these? And who should intervene (e.g. Commission, States, companies...)?

Social and ethical issues

  • Will nanotechnology "change" the society? If so, how?
  • What significance will have ethical questions in the short, medium and long-term?
  • Can a higher degree of security be achieved by technological developments through nanotechnology? If so, in which way?
  • Do you expect any "separation" in the society between those who operate (or even understand nanotechnology) and those who do not?
  • Where more do you see short, medium and long-term consequences of nanotechnology for social behaviour (e.g. for work and leisure)?
  • Should an ethical debate be launched?
  • Is the dialogue between stakeholders enough developed and effective?
  • Did other stakeholders (politicians, sociologists, philosophers, churches...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?


  • Does nanotechnology require any "different" approach to work?
  • Which employment development do you expect in your field in the short, medium and long term?
  • Which types of skills will be required (e.g. new "nano-...ists" or interdisciplinary profiles or mono-disciplinary profiles to be inserted in interdisciplinary teams)?
  • Will there an expansion or a reduction of occupation?
  • What about the qualification of the workforce and the required skills?
  • Can nano-production be easily de-localised into less developed countries?
  • What do you think about the effects on other fields?
  • Do you expect any need for increased safety systems at work (e.g. durable supervision of staffs)? Do you see any risk of possible abuses? How to prevent promptly abuses?
  • Which quality of work is expected? Will working in nanotechnology require more attention? More stress?
  • Which level of leisure at work do you expect? More intellectual stimuli?
  • Would an awareness campaign be needed?
  • Did other stakeholders (politicians, trade unions...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?


  • Which career profiles are need and will have to emerge for the activity in your field?
  • What should be changed in university education (e.g. dedicated courses, diplomas, doctorate in a discipline that is other than that of the diploma, post-doctorate, summer schools...?
  • Which types of training courses/studies/possibilities for education are needed for work in the field of nanotechnology (e.g. new "nano-...ists" or interdisciplinary profiles or mono-disciplinary profiles to be inserted in interdisciplinary teams)?
  • Which other steps are to be taken in educational policy?
  • Do you feel that universities are "up to date" and able to cope with the new challenges?
  • Would an awareness campaign be needed? If so, jointly by the EC and NSF? If so, at university level or already below?
  • How strict should be at present the connection between the creation of knowledge in research) and the transmission of knowledge (in education)?
  • How adequate are infrastructures and resources? Any priority needs?
  • Did other stakeholders (university boards, teachers...) already express themselves? What do you expect in the short, medium and long term?

Political dimension

  • Do you feel that the States and public administration are "up to date" and follow timely developments, challenges and risks?
  • How can the legislator provide enough legal protection to science, economics and society in relation to nanotechnology developments?
  • Which frame conditions could the legislator put in place in health and security policy in relation to the use of nano-materials, products, components, devices and systems?
  • Which forms of co-operation and strategic alliances are meaningful (e.g. between America and Europe, or further with Asia and Australia) in the field of nanotechnology? Which are possible and how can they be implemented?
  • Will nanotechnology further dramatise the gap between technologically more developed countries and the less developed? Or will nanotechnology represent a situation where the "last arrived becomes the first of the class"?
  • What (again) about standardisation?
  • Can nanotechnology be of particular effect in fighting terrorism? Or can be used by terrorists?
  • Which control possibilities should there be regarding military abuse of nanotechnology?
  • Should the centre of competence in the field of nanotechnology get more strongly involved in the funding of nanotechnology? If so, how and to which extent?
  • Is there a need for a common legal framework in Europe and the USA?
  • Do you consider co-operation between EU and USA useful? If so, what should be faced first?


The keynote speakers and poster presenters are kindly requested to provide extended abstracts of their presentations before the workshop, to the respective EU and U.S. organizers. All participants will be asked to provide a written summary of their perspectives, addressing the specific goals and objectives of the Workshop, at the conclusion of the meeting. Their responses will be used to document the full range of views of all participants. These statements will be incorporated into the workshop report.

After the workshop, this report, along with contact information of the participants, and the abstracts and visuals of the presentations, will be will be posted on the EC and NSF web sites and distributed to the participants in electronic (CD) form.


Workshop Site

The workshop will be held in the Ex-Conservatorio di S. Anna, a prestigious building of the 16th century, situated in the heart of the historical city center of Lecce, in Duca d'Atene Square 1/A. For information see:

Presentations: Power point and slide presentation.


We have been informed that two hotels near to the workshop site are:

  • Patria Palace Hotel (5 stars), situated in the historical city center of Lecce, 67 bedrooms, 5 minutes walking distance. Prices: single room 139,44 Euro, double room 196,25 Euro, suite 309,87 Euro; website:
  • Hotel President (4 stars), situated in the trade center, high quality, 150 bedrooms, 12 minutes walking distance. Prices: single room 82,64 Euro, double room 113,63 Euro, suite 258,24 Euro; website:; telephone number +390832-456111 and fax -456632.

There are many other hotels that are situated at more than 20 minutes walking distance and/or are of different quality. Please note that this information does not engage the Commission or the hotels.


Lecce is close the Brindisi airport. There are regular flight connections between the Brindisi airport and the international/intercontinental airports of Roma and Milano.

Some suitable flights are:

January 30

AZ1623 arriving in Brindisi at 18h05; from Roma, at 16h55;

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January 30

AZ1619 arriving in Brindisi at 14h25; from Roma, at 13h10;

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January 30

AP6810 arriving in Brindisi at 13h55; from Milano, at 12h00;

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January 30

AZ1641 arriving in Brindisi at 13h10; from Milano, at 11h30.

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February 2

AZ1622 leaving Brindisi at 15h00; for Roma at 16h10;

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February 2

AZ1644 leaving Brindisi at 15h35; for Milano at 17h10.




Renzo Tomellini

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Mike Roco

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U.S. Academic organizer:

Arthur Ellis
University of Wisconsin, tel. 608-262-0421



Preliminary Program (January 31-February 1, 2002)

First Day: 1. Introductory Session;
2. Scientific and Technical Challenges
Second Day: 3. Ethical, Educational and Societal Implications;
4. Wind-up Session

First Day


Opening of the workshop by Puglia President Mr. Fitto


Intervention of Italian Research Minister Ms Moratti
- to be confirmed


Intervention of EU Research Commissioner Mr. Busquin
- to be confirmed


Intervention of USA Ambassador Mr. Sembler
- to be confirmed


Coffee break
Press conference - to be confirmed


Introductory Session
Chairmen: Mr. Andreta, European Commission, EU
Mr. Haworth, National Science Foundation, USA


USA Roadmap for Nanotechnology
Mr. Roco, Chair U.S. Interagency Nanotechnology Initiative, NSTC, White House, USA


Towards a European Roadmap for Nanotechnology and reference to developments in Japan
Mr. Cingolani, University of Lecce, Italy






Scientific and Technical Challenges
Chairman: Mr. Cingolani


Nanostructured materials and their production
Mr. Wilde, FZ Karlsruhe, D


Nanotechnology for energy production and storage
Mr. Michalske, Sandia National Laboratories, USA


Mr. Robertson, University of Cambridge, UK


Nanobiotechnology, nanobiomaterials and biomedical applications
Mr. Kiparissides, University of Thessaloniki, GR


Coffee break - Visit to the posters & informal discussion


Nanotechnology in pharmaceutics, cell genomics and proteomics
Mr. Rossier, ESPCI, F


Molecular nanorobots
Mr. Joachim, CEMES, F


How nanotechnology in informatics can change the society
Mr. Williams, Hewlett Packard, US




Conclusions of the session
Visit to the posters & informal discussion


End of first day

Second Day


Ethical, Educational and Societal Implications
Chairman: Mr. Roco


Nanobiotechnology and its societal implications
Mr. Colvin, Rice University, USA


Ethical implications of nanotechnology
Mr. Mosterín, Instituto de Filosofía, E


Research on ethical and societal implications
Mr. Suchman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Information of the citizen and education in nanotechnology at all levels
Mr. Ellis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Coffee break - Visit to the posters & informal discussion


Public understanding with regard to nanotechnology and integration of nanotechnology into the educational enterprise and into outreach activities
Ms Boubour, MIC-DTU, DK


Training and continuing education of the workforce for nanotechnology
Mr. Fonash, Penn State University and NNUN, USA


Education and training for nanotechnology: towards a new multidisciplinary skill
Mr. Bayot, UCL, B




Conclusions of the session and lunch


Wind-up Session
Chairmen: Mr. Andreta and Mr. Haworth


Short presentation of selected posters and debate


Presentation of the conclusions of the Session 2. "Scientific and Technical Challenges" (Mr. Cingolani) and debate


Presentation of the conclusions of the Session 3. "Ethical, Educational and Societal Implications" (Mr. Roco) and debate


Concluding remarks by the Chairmen


Presentation and visit of the NNL-INFM Lecce labo



From US

  1. David Adams, Chemistry, Columbia Univ. (Columbia NSEC)
  2. Margaret Blohm, General Electric
  3. Steven Currall, Jones School of Management, Rice University (Rice NSEC)
  4. Sheryl Ehrman, Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland
  5. Shekhar Garde, Chemical Engineering. RPI (RPI NSEC)
  6. Mark Hersam, Materials Science, Northwestern University (Northwestern NSEC)
  7. Karen Nordell, Chemistry, Lawrence University (UW-Madison MRSEC)
  8. Hongkun Park, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University (Harvard NSEC)
  9. Fazila Seker, General Electric
  10. David Tanenbaum, Physics, Pomona College (Cornell NSEC) -tentative
  11. Mr. Ellis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

From Europe

  1. Omer Van Der Biest, KU Leuven (B)
  2. J. Devaux, UCL (B)
  3. R. Legras, UCL (B)
  4. Nathalie Jongen,, EPFL (CH)
  5. Jürgen Altmann, University of Bochum (D)
  6. U. Hartmann, University of Saarland (D)
  7. Michael Popall, FHG (D)
  8. Michael Stüber, FZ Karlsruhe (D)
  9. A. Claverie , CNRS (F)
  10. J. Gierak, CNRS (F)
  11. J.C. Guilbert, CEA (F)
  12. Bernard Laget, E.N.I. de St. Etienne (F)
  13. René Roussille, CEA (F)
  14. Fabrizio Cavani, INSTM (I)
  15. Roberto Cingolani, NNL/INFM (I)
  16. Francesco Fracassi, University of Bari (I)
  17. Giovanni Marletta, Università di Catania (I)
  18. Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (NL)
  19. Deborah Corker, Cranfield (UK)
  20. J. Fieret, Exitec (UK)
  21. Martin Hamilton, University of Leeds (UK)
  22. J. Robertson, University of Cambridge (UK)