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NSF 15-022

Dear Colleague Letter: Safe Implementation of Innovative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SIINN)

Dear Colleagues:

The European Research Area (ERA-NET) is a coordination activity funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Program. The main objective of an ERA-NET is to provide a framework to network and mutually open national or regional research programs, leading to concrete cooperations, such as the development and implementation of joint transnational calls. The ERA-NET for Safe Implementation of Innovative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ERA-NET SIINN) is putting out a call to encourage joint U.S.-European collaborations focusing on the environmental and health effects of manufactured nanomaterial (MNMs) in 4 topic areas:

  • Topic 1. Exposure assessment
  • Topic 2. Fundamental aspects underlying toxicity mechanisms
  • Topic 3. Effects of MNM on human health
  • Topic 4. Environmental impacts of MNMs

The SIINN partners are: Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (Austria), Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (Romania), Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal), Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium), Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain), National Science Foundation (U.S.), and Regional Council Nord-Pas de Calais (France). The NSF contribution is part of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

The Call Office of ERA-SIINN has issued a proposal call on October 1, 2014, which is published on the common website of the ERA-NET SIINN ( The deadline for submission of proposals will be January 16, 2015. Interested U.S. parties can partner with participating countries’ researchers to submit to this call. Please follow the guidelines for eligibility and compliance of the SIINN Call carefully. After submission, the proposals will be evaluated for compliance and then reviewed by an Evaluation Panel. Proposals that are subsequently recommended for funding, and which involve U.S. collaborators, can then be submitted to the NSF, Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology (Nano EHS) Program, PD 14-1179. These proposals will be received and evaluated individually in the Nano EHS Program after their submission at NSF.

The commercial application of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) products is increasing rapidly, but the safety of MNMs still represents a barrier to their wide innovative use. Available data on the toxicological behavior of MNMs is often scant, unreliable or contradictory. Therefore, the development of a consolidated framework to address nano-related risks and the management of these risks for humans and the environment, by investigating the toxicological behavior of MNMs, is needed. This international funding initiative is intended to enable better coordination of research efforts across nations, enabling researchers to pool know-how, data and resources.

Please refer to the SIINN Call Office for any clarifications. For information about NSF proposal guidelines, please contact the program director for (NSF/ENG) Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology (NanoEHS), Nora Savage, at


Pramod Khargonekar
Assistant Director
Directorate for Engineering