Keeping innovation safe – the EU seeks solutions

Can new innovative materials be developed in a way, which can reduce risks and make them safe and environmentally friendly at the same time? The 50th edition of the NanoTrust-Dossier explores this question.

Products in the EU should be safe. At the same time, however, the promotion of innovation is needed to remain competitive. A contradiction? Not necessarily – the Safe-by-Design (SbD) concept aims to take safety issues into account during the entire development phase of new products.

At the ITA the NanoTrust project, started by André Gazsó in 2007, is conducting accompanying research on approaches to the regulation of nanotechnologies, as well as safety and risk research of nanotechnologies. The 50th issue of the NanoTrust Dossier deals with the earliest possible integration of safety and sustainability into innovation processes. This is considered significant for Gazsó and his colleagues Gloria Rose and Anna Pavlicek: "The innovation process around nanomaterials is often about economic and consumer interests: can we develop a foil that makes food more durable? Nanoparticles in sunscreen protect our skin more effectively, but what happens if these nanoparticles enter the environment or the waste stream? Safe-by-Design is an attempt to greatly reduce risks through the use of safe materials, tools and techniques".

Increased occupational safety, environmental protection, financial savings or the protection of human health – while a number of concepts are already dealing with issues relating to with the safe handling of innovative materials and products in a wide variety of business sectors, nano-specific SbD concepts have not yet established themselves and are therefore being researched intensively.


Safe-by-Design – The Early Integration of Safety Aspects in Innovation Processes (NanoTrust Dossier No. 050en – May 2019)(PDF)
ITA project: NanoTrust
ITA Project: Safe Nano Kap
ITA Project: Recipe

By: Denise Riedlinger

Innovation and safety do not have to be mutually exclusive, according to NanoTrust researchers. (Photo: