Nanotechnology Governance: from Risk Regulation to Informal Platforms

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© 2018, Springer Nature B.V. Current nanotechnology regulation is focussed on risks. On the other hand, technical guidelines and other soft law tools are increasingly replacing hard law. This risk reduction approach does not seem to be fully aligned with open principles like sustainable nanotechnology. Indeed, risk optimization tends to be rather a continuous process than a way to settle ultimate lists of risks. There is therefore a need for a more dynamic view: Life cycle assessment contributes to add momentum and context to the models. However, a complementary perspective is here suggested, based on information technologies: nanotechnology platforms. Platforms for nanotechnology governance are supposed to complement and enhance the nano-regulation, adding risk assessment and management. These platforms are mainly offering information, coordination, and context or situational awareness. More recently, some informal platforms appear to play a, certainly limited but still clear, co-regulatory role. Can these informal platforms play a relevant role in nanotechnology governance? In the context of the EU Better Regulation strategy, why not envision some of these informal platforms as future co-regulation tools? The main goal of this paper is to start a discussion on the requirements these informal co-regulatory platforms should fulfill before their hypothetical inclusion in a future better regulation toolbox.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Co-regulation
  • Informal platforms
  • Nanotechnology governance
  • Nanotechnology platforms
  • Risk reduction


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