Emerging Nanotechnologies: Scaling and Scoping Environmental Health and Safety Implications

Thursday, September 13, 2012

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
0014W Divinity School


Jan Youtie

Jan L. Youtie, Ph.D.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Director of Program Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

Abstract: Investigators at Georgia Tech have been tracking nanotechnology research and commercialization as part of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University. In this presentation, two potentially fundamental transitions in the nanotechnology domain are explored: the scale of the shift from the laboratory to commercial applications of nanotechnology and the emerging scope and use of more complex engineered nanotechnology materials. The first shift is examined through the tracking of nearly 18,000 corporate entities across the global that have been involved with nanotechnology publishing and patenting from 1990 to the beginning of 2010. After a brief introduction of the database and key findings of the Georgia Tech group, Jan Youtie will present results of corporate activity, including global networks, mergers and acquisitions, areas of activity, and possible environmental health and safety considerations. The second shift is examined through a new project that investigates complex engineering nanomaterials (CENMs), with potentially significant environmental health and safety implications, and their growth and connections to potential products in the nanotechnology domain. Participant feedback on how to define CENMs in the context of future generations beyond conventional passive conceptualizations of nanomaterials is encouraged.