28/05/2015 Comments Off on SUN PROJECT By Simone Longiarù

SUN_logoThe new large EU FP7 SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) project started on 1st October 2013
Our understanding of the environmental and health risks associated with nanotechnology is still limited and may result in stagnation of growth and innovation. There have been other technologies that revealed unexpected ecological and health effects only several years after their broader market introduction. In the worst cases this caused significant costs for society and the enterprises in the form of lock-in effects, over-balancing regulations and demolished consumer confidence.

On 1 October 2013 the SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) project started. The 3.5 year EU project, worth 14.5 million euro, is coordinated by Prof. Antonio Marcomini from the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and involves 35 partners from 13 European countries as well as an international Advisory Board including 11 experts from academia, industry and regulatory bodies.

SUN is based on the hypothesis that the current knowledge on environmental and health risks of nanomaterials, whilst limited, can nevertheless guide nanomanufacturing to avoid future liabilities, provided that an integrated approach that addresses the complete product lifecycle of production, use and disposal is applied.

The concept of SUN is to combine Risk Assessment and Lifecycle Assessment to develop a user-friendly, versatile software-based Decision Support System (DSS) for practical use by industries and regulators. The industrial partners in the SUN consortium will evaluate and “reality-check” the DSS against real industrial case studies in terms of cost/benefit and insurance risk. This validation will culminate in guidelines for safe nanoscale product and process design. As a “by-product” SUN will identify needs for future research and assign priorities for current regulation. Major international stakeholders will be involved in implementing the SUN results into practice and regulation. In this way SUN will enable more sustainable nanomanufacturing processes, it will result in more solid risk prevention and mitigation strategies, and it will be easily applicable to different materials and industrial settings

Sustainable Nanotechnologies has passed the second assessment, first in his group, so it will be funded with about 10.3 million euros
About 10.3 million euros of EU funding, 35 partners including Universities, Research Institutes and industries, a ‘board’ that involves international renowned experts, especially outside Europe. Here are some figures for the project SUN-Sustainable Nanotechnologies, which has as its leader the Ca ‘Foscari University and as coordinator Prof. Antonio Marcomini of the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics.