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Developing Innovative Outreach and Dialogue on responsible nanotechnologies in EU civil society

Final Report Summary - NANODIODE (Developing Innovative Outreach and Dialogue on responsible nanotechnologies in EU civil society)

Executive Summary:
From 2013 to 2016, the NanoDiode project1 has organised an extensive programme for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnologies at different stages of the research and innovation process: from policymaking and research to the diffusion of research outcomes in society. More than 40 outreach and dialogue events throughout Europe have been organised over the course of the project, engaging citizens and stakeholders in the debate on nanotechnologies. The activities organised within each of the WPs have resulted in a wealth of data, materials and reports, including more than 80 videos, posters, newsletters, presentations and articles, and some 20 activity reports, project fact sheets and policy briefs. All these documents are available at The common denominator in all these activities was to support the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The systemic impact of technological innovation on contemporary society requires societal considerations to be more effectively integrated in research and innovation decisions - but the exact mechanisms by which to enhance the responsiveness of nanotechnology research and innovation to societal needs and values are as yet unclear. The engagement activities within the NanoDiode project were performed against the backdrop of this broader field of experimentation into innovation governance.

NanoDiode has highlighted conditions for more productive stakeholder engagement at the different levels of governance. The activities have enhanced mutual understanding between different stakeholders within the consortium, and engaged nanotechnology ‘enactors’ in the debate on nanotechnology governance. They offer examples of how the early consideration of ethical and societal dimensions can enhance the quality of research outcomes. These examples suggest a mode for research and innovation that is more responsive to societal needs and values. But the project findings also point to major challenges to enhanced responsiveness such as the voluntary nature of stakeholder engagement, the lack of effective integration mechanisms and the dominance of vested interests. Indeed, a deeper understanding of these barriers may be as valuable as knowledge of the opportunities: it points out that the capacity of research and innovation to effectively respond to societal challenges is a systemic challenge. There are complex interdependencies between decisions at the level of policy making, research and production.

The aggregate findings from the NanoDiode project offer recommendations to strengthen nanotechnology governance along three main lines:
1. Encourage the effective integration of societal considerations in research and innovation practice as well as in education (i.e. curricula);
2. Further develop tools available to strengthen the responsiveness of research and innovation to societal considerations;
3. Institutionalise nanotechnology governance mechanisms.

NanoDiode has contributed to the broader experimentation that will be needed to enable effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The challenge now is to integrate societal considerations at the heart of nanotechnologies research and innovation. Buy-in from all stakeholders will be essential for the transition towards a more responsive research and innovation system where societal considerations become part of the innovation drive rather than a problem to be addressed.

Project Context and Objectives:
The NanoDiode project established a programme for outreach and dialogue to support the responsible development of nanotechnologies in Europe. The consortium brought together a range of stakeholders including industry, civil society organisations, researchers from the natural and the social sciences and artists.

The overall objectives of NanoDiode were to:
− Develop new strategies for outreach and dialogue along nanotechnology value chains (WP 1);
− INSPIRE: Organise engagement and dialogue at the 'upstream' level of research policy (WP 2);
− CREATE: Enable processes of co-creation during research and innovation (WP 3);
− EDUCATE: Professionalise nanotechnology education and training (WP 4);
− ENGAGE: Establish a coherent programme for outreach and communication on nano-technologies (WP 5);
− Assess the impact of the project's activities, establish links between the various levels of governance, and provide policy feedback to Horizon 2020 (WP 6).

From July 2013 until June 2016, the NanoDiode project has organised a wide range of events, from public exhibitions and stakeholder dialogues to school competitions and policy workshops. The engagement activities within the NanoDiode project were performed against the backdrop of this broader field of experimentation into innovation governance, designing novel mechanisms to enhance the responsiveness of nanotechnology research and innovation to societal needs and values.
The project had been organised in seven work packages including one coordination and management workpackage.

The detailed objectives per workpackage and their context are outlined below:

Work Package 1
WP 1 had three main objectives:
1. To identify current needs for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnologies;
2. To analyse previous experiences and European projects and identify best practices;
3. To develop new strategies for outreach and dialogue along the nanotechnology value chain

The first task identified the current state of the art and the needs for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnology in Europe. It considered the attitudes, interests and value judgments of citizens in Europe towards nanotechnologies based on an analysis of social surveys, EU policy documents and expert interviews. The outcomes of Task 1.1. are available at:
The second task of WP1 analysed methods, tools and approaches of previous national and European engagement projects. This resulted in a public report suggested best practices for outreach and dialogue at all levels of governance.
It is available at:
The third task of WP1 developed new strategies for outreach and dialogue along the nanotechnology value chain, defining models and strategies for outreach and dialogue in subsequent work packages. It resulted in four specific action plans for WP 2-5, available at: The action plans specify the objectives for engagement at the respective levels of governance; strategies and mechanisms for outreach and dialogue; a description and planning for the activities in the respective WP; and initial assessment and evaluation criteria to be used in WP6.

Work Package 2
WP2 has organised a process of engagement and dialogue at the level of nanotechnology research policy. The main objectives of WP2 were to:

• Determine European citizens' views on priorities for innovation in nanotechnologies by means of an online survey and in-depth interviews;
• Organise a school kids’ and students’ competition on innovative ideas for nanotechnology products of the future;
• Hold a series of multi-stakeholder dialogues to determine how nanotechnologies can address important societal and ethical challenges and identify desired fields of innovation.

These objectives constitute elements of a broader, underlying rationale for ‘upstream’ public engagement: to enhance the responsiveness of research and policy by enabling publics and civil society organizations (CSOs) to participate in policy decisions on the direction of research. Through the survey, interviews and stakeholder dialogues, WP2 sought to gather more in-depth information on public preferences for fields of innovation as a precondition for more responsive research and innovation policies.

Work Package 3
WP3 sought to enable processes of co-creation at the ‘midstream’ level of nanotechnology research and innovation. ‘Midstream’ denotes the phase of research and development before scientific results are translated into products or services, but after authorization and funding decisions have been taken. Midstream engagement focuses on the opportunities to integrate broader social and ethical considerations in the practical, day-to-day decisions being taken during the research phase.
The central objective of WP3 was to explore opportunities for opening up the research and innovation process to societal considerations by involving societal stakeholders (non- governmental organisations, trade unions, professional end users and consumers) directly in nanotechnology research. Different forms of multi-stakeholder collaborations sought to test the flexibility of the research and innovation process and the possibilities to take viewpoints from societal stakeholders into account. WP3 had the following three tasks:
• To develop and carry out ‘3rd generation deliberative processes’, bringing together researchers, civil society organisations, industrial partners and policy makers to discuss concrete applications in areas of nanotechnology;
• To establish ‘user committees’ for specific, large scale, near-application research projects in nanotechnology, where groups of potential users (including industrial customers as well as consumers) monitor progress and provide feedback to the research projects with respect to the utility of research outcomes;
• To enable a process of ‘regulatory research’, bringing together researchers and industrial partners with risk assessors to discuss sensible ways forward for risk assessment.

Work Package 4
WP4 concentrated on nanotechnology education and training with three main objectives:
1. To develop a robust education strategy and action plan, selecting best practices on the basis of previous experience with nanotechnology education;
2. To carry out a series of education activities focusing on secondary education, following up on the best practices identified;
3. To establish a multidisciplinary ‘community of practice’ by bringing together experts and trade unionists and to create a workers-oriented capacity building module for health and safety governance of nanotechnologies at the workplace.

These aims were built on the range of nanotechnology education activities developed as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the US and other programmes. Rather than developing further educational materials from scratch, WP4 aimed to determine how to make best use of the material that already exists as part of its objective to professionalise nanotechnology education. Task 4.1 and 4.2 aimed to identify the most effective, useful elements within nanotechnology education and to roll these out within classes in Europe, focussing on secondary education level. Task 4.3 specifically focused on capacity building in relation to workplace safety. This task aimed to develop a set of generic capacity building materials to be used by trade unions.

The context of the activities in WP4.3 “Capacity building: nanotechnology at the workplace” are the existence of manufactured nanomaterials in workplaces where workers are not made aware of their use or presence (for example in nano-objects, products containing nanomaterials that are not manufactured at the given workplace but which are used in the workplace activities – an example of this is the use of nanomaterial-containing paint by painters), where no risk assessment has been undertaken on the nanomaterial, and where no evaluation has been made of the changes needed (organisational, administrative, protective) to ensure high levels of worker protection from exposure to nanomaterials.

Work Package 5
Central in the project structure, Work Package 5 - ENGAGE of NanoDiode had the dual objective of engaging the public with innovative communication activities as well as supporting other work packages in disseminating the project results.
This work package, together with WP4 – EDUCATE, addressed the ‘downstream’ level of governance, meaning the communication with the wider public through activities online and in public places. It complements WP2 – INSPIRE and WP3 – CREATE which have respectively been dealing with ‘upstream’ and ‘midstream’ engagement.

WP5 intended to ‘professionalise’ nanotechnology communication, learning from previous top-down experiences and building on the advancements of science communication. Partners sought to develop innovative activities based on curiosity to establish a dialogue with the public on the wide range of questions surrounding the topic of nanotechnologies.
The work package also had a specific view to strengthening the role of science journalists, by bringing them closer to nanoscientists in order to not only to get more information about novel products, but mainly to exchange views concerning nanotechnology governance, ethics, risks and the role of the public.
Partners in WP5 first reflected upon potentially innovative activities which they then implemented as e.g. the NanoBazaar (originally coined as the Guerrilla stores) and the NanoTube (you can find all videos here: ).

Work Package 6
WP6 aimed to provide recommendations for policy makers on future nanotechnology governance based on the findings NanoDiode. WP6 had three main objectives:
1) To evaluate and assess the activities performed throughout the NanoDiode project, and the various activities performed within them.
2) To enable cross-links and feedback loops between the project’s activities and to ensure continuity after the project ends.
3) To provide recommendations for policy makers on the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe.

Work Package 7
WP7 ensured an efficient management and coordination of the project in order to enable the consortium to progress towards the planned project’s objectives.

Project Results:
From 2013 till 2016, the NanoDiode project has organised an extensive programme for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnologies at different stages of the research and innovation process: from policymaking and research to the diffusion of research outcomes in society. More than 40 events have been organised, from public surveys and stakeholder dialogues to school competitions and policy workshops. The common denominator in all these activities was to support the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The systemic impact of technological innovation on contemporary society requires societal considerations to be more effectively integrated in research and innovation decisions - but the exact mechanisms by which to enhance the responsiveness of nanotechnology research and innovation to societal needs and values are as yet unclear. The engagement activities within the NanoDiode project were performed against the backdrop of this broader field of experimentation into innovation governance.

NanoDiode was in fact a social experiment in itself: the consortium brought together stakeholders from different ends of the spectrum (from those who promote nanotechnologies to those who seek to caution against its risks) who were unaccustomed to working together in a single project. The project used novel and largely untested methods to enable productive collaboration among stakeholders, and sought to apply insights from a growing body of knowledge on questions of innovation governance to engage a new audience of nanotechnology ‘enactors’ (those who realise or support the development of nanotechnologies such as researchers, engineers, producers and policy makers) in the debate on nanotechnology governance. Like all experiments, the outcomes were uncertain: some promising paths turned out to be dead ends, while others opened up entirely new avenues of exploration.

Work Package 1
The most important observation from the initial explorations of WP1 is that there is significant normative plurality in the motivations for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnologies. The debate on nanotechnologies involves a wide range of stakeholders, each of which perceive different needs for outreach and dialogue, depending on their position in the debate. Citizens have wildly varying ‘needs’ for outreach and dialogue: they may or may not want to learn about nanotechnologies, and they may or may not want to become involved in the debate on nanotechnology. Depending on their personal interests and concerns, they might show strong support for the development of nanotechnologies development, acquiesce in the situation, or feel the need to protest:
➢ Industry has an interest in nanotechnologies insofar as they enable innovative products, improved product properties or enhance the efficiency of production. Their ‘need for outreach and dialogue’ is to increase consumer acceptance of nanotechnologies.
➢ Researchers seek funding for their research; their need is to promote the scientific and technological opportunities that nanotechnologies present.
➢ Civil society organisations are concerned about the possible adverse impacts of nanotechnologies on society and the environment. They have a need to increase stakeholder and citizen involvement in nanotechnology policy and research to encourage the equal distribution of risks and benefits.
➢ Trade unions are concerned about the safety of workers. Their need is to raise awareness of potential risks and strengthen participation of worker representatives in decisions concerning the workplace.
➢ Governments, finally, seek to enhance the competitiveness and economic growth of their country or region. They have a need to gather public support for their nanotechnology funding programmes.

Hence, there is a wide range of competing needs and interests in the debate on nanotechnologies, rather than a determinate set of needs.
Given this normative plurality – also within the NanoDiode consortium - the collective reflection and anticipation of the possible positive and negative consequences of the introduction of nanotechnologies in society is more fruitful than maintaining entrenched positions of promotion versus resistance. Responsible research and innovation in this case means that potentially negative consequences are recognised in an early stage and innovation trajectories are modulated so as to minimise negative impacts and maximise desired outputs.
Even though nanotechnology continues to escape a definition (to some extent, ‘nano’ merely denotes a dimension of interest), there is undoubtedly a major a socio-political effort for ‘nanotechnology’ - along with all its scientific, technological, social, rhetorical, financial and political connotations. The focus on societal challenges within Horizon 2020 constitutes an invitation to reflect with citizens and stakeholder on the ways that nanotechnologies may shape European societies.

Work Package 2
Under the supervision of USTUTT, the combined efforts of WP2 partners resulted in 1,550 survey responses, 60 in-depth interviews, a range of ideas on future applications of nanotechnologies submitted by 50 school children in the competition, and 7 citizen and multi-stakeholder dialogues organised in 6 different countries. The results have been written down in a series of extensive reports, summarising public perceptions towards specific applications of nanotechnologies across Europe.

Survey and in-depth interviews
The specific objective of the survey and in-depth interviews of task 2.1 was to monitor public perceptions on nanotechnologies in Europe as a baseline for policy making. Between March 2014 and September 2014, NanoDiode conducted an online survey to map European citizens’ views on nanotechnologies. The survey was open for everyone interested to take part in the societal discussion on nanotechnologies. NanoDiode partners actively disseminated the invitation to participate within their networks. More than 1,500 respondents provided their views on the future impacts of nanotechnologies, preferred areas of innovation and means of communication. The report of the citizens’ survey and in-depth interviews summarises the most important findings:
• The large majority of respondents expected nanotechnologies to have a positive effect on our overall way of life and on European economies.
• Impacts of nanotechnologies on the environment and the safety of European society were viewed with less confidence, although positive views were the majority here too.
• The respondents almost unanimously welcomed application areas that could be directly linked to societal challenges, such as climate change or health.
• They were less enthusiastic towards products that are used close to one’s body such as food, cosmetics or textiles. The only exception to this rule is medicine.
• Public institutions, industry and civil society organisations were all considered to be important nanotechnology communicators. Considering different media, print and TV still dominate social media and the Internet.
The survey results were discussed in a total of 60 in-depth interviews, conducted in six NanoDiode partner countries to get a better view of citizens’ hopes and fears concerning nanotechnologies. As nanotechnologies are expected to affect the lives of citizens, interviews partners across Europe called for responsiveness to public opinion, recommending early public involvement to shape technological trajectories according to societal needs.

The survey results confirm the findings of earlier studies such as the Eurobarometer and the German project Nanoview. These studies consistently show that European citizens are cautiously optimistic about nanotechnologies: they have positive expectations, but they also have concerns about the risks to human and environmental health and to societal well-being in general. Citizens generally indicate that they feel poorly informed about the topic and welcome more consumer-oriented information.

While these findings contribute to our overall understanding of public perceptions towards nanotechnologies, the survey did not present many surprising or novel findings in comparison with earlier work on public perceptions. At the same time the validity of the opinions of non-expert citizens can be discussed, given very low levels of public awareness of nanotechnologies. If respondents cannot be expected to know what sorts of applications nanotechnologies may bring forth, then what is the value of their estimation of the effects they will have on society? Their responses are more likely to represent public views towards emerging technologies in general, rather than nanotechnologies in particular. This suggests that brief public surveys may not go together very well with the desire to go beyond the level of general attitudes.

Indeed, this was the purpose of the subsequent in-depth interviews held in 6 different countries. A wide range of stakeholders was consulted to elaborate on the survey results and the perception of nanotechnologies in their countries, and to discuss their views and ideas on public involvement in innovation and policy processes. The interviews provide further country-specific information: some countries are more optimistic about the effect of nanotechnologies than others, and there is some variation among information needs and preferences. Interviewees however re-emphasised uncertainty with respect to the survey outcomes and the specificity of the findings.

School kids‘ and students‘ competition
A school competition for innovative ideas was organised between May 2014 and December 2014. The competition aimed to engage students in the societal discussion on nanotechnologies and to encourage them to develop their views on how nanotechnologies might shape our future societies. Visitors of the NanoDiode website and an expert jury of stakeholders and artists voted for their favourite ideas from among the entries submitted by 50 participants from Italy, Germany, Spain and Austria. The winner of the competition was young high school student from Spain with his idea of “Automatically heated nanomaterials”, materials that absorb sunlight, store its energy and release it as heat according to the user’s needs.

The competition succeeded in raising awareness of nanotechnologies with school children and their teachers and families. The competition entries show what school children imagine when they think of nanotechnologies and how they might be applied. Participants addressed both everyday problems and broad societal needs: most ideas were explicitly linked to issues such as health, hunger, lack of drinking water or societal access. The competition raised enthusiasm for the potential applications of nanotechnologies among students and those in their surroundings and encouraged them to find out more. The voting system also introduced nanotechnologies to new audiences: the competition had significant media coverage in Germany, and there were many visitors to the NanoDiode project website looking at the students’ ideas.

The number of participants proved however modest, considering the effort towards dissemination (50 participants joined after approaching 2000 schools, polytechnics and universities), but this is a well-known problem for school competitions. Teachers are overwhelmed by extracurricular activities that compete for attention. Their primary obligation is to the curriculum, additional activities depend almost entirely on voluntary work by the teachers and their students. As a consequence, school competitions generally self-select for the best and brightest students. The school competition thus confirms findings in similar school competitions: they inspire high levels of enthusiasm from a relatively low number of participants, but they result in high visibility because stories of enthusiastic youngsters who want to save the world ‘pushes all the right buttons’. School competitions can therefore be powerful tools to raise awareness of new technologies. At the same time, they require significant time investment from the organisers because of the particularities of the school system.

Conceptually, there was some discussion within the consortium on how school children are introduced to nanotechnologies. The invitation letter asked school children to imagine how innovations in nanotechnologies could be used for a better, sustainable future. The implicit assumption is that nanotechnologies could contribute to a better, sustainable future, and the challenge is to decide how. The competition thus offered a technocentric perspective in which the world’s problems should primarily be solved with new technologies instead of social or economic reforms, for example. This particular frame also focused attention towards positive contributions at the cost of more balanced reflection on the positive and negative impacts of nanotechnologies: critical questions on alternative solutions, or whether nanotechnologies might exacerbate societal problems, got less attention.

Citizens’ and multi-stakeholder dialogues
Task 2.3 organised a series of citizens’ and multi-stakeholder dialogues in 6 different countries:
1. WP-leader USTUTT organised a pilot workshop in Stuttgart on 28 November 2014.
2. CEA organised a dialogue on nanotechnologies and innovation for solar energy and its impacts on the environment in Engins, France, on 10 October 2014, and a second dialogue on nanotechnologies for electronics, medicine, electric mobility and renewable energies in Grenoble on 12 October 2015.
3. AIRI organised a dialogue 'Explore the Nanoworld' at the Leonardo da Vinci science museum in Milan, Italy on 13 April 2015.
4. BNN organised a citizen & multi-stakeholder dialogue in Graz, Austria on 5 June 2015.
5. NN organised a Polish citizen & multi-stakeholder dialogue in Katowice, Poland on 8 June 2015.
6. IVAM organised a Dutch citizens & multi-stakeholder dialogue in Amsterdam on 14 September 2015.

The dialogues brought together citizens, stakeholders, regulators and technology developers to discuss how nanotechnologies could address important societal and ethical challenges. Since the dialogues targeted lay persons with little or no previous knowledge on nanotechnologies, the dialogue concept included introductory presentations on nanotechnologies from research, industry and civil society perspectives. Local companies and research organisations then introduced applications or products they are developing, addressing especially their possible contribution to society. In moderated dialogue stations, the dialogue participants discussed the applications as well as their desired fields and forms of innovation with the technology developers.

The dialogues were evaluated positively by the large majority of participants: citizens considered the discussions to be interesting and enjoyable. They engaged in lively discussion in all events. Professional stakeholders gained a better idea of public views and considerations of nanotechnologies. The dialogues thus provided opportunities for mutual learning between citizens, civil society representatives, researchers, producers and policy makers. All events however grappled to some extent with issues related to participation, facilitation and implementation of the dialogues. These considerations are particularly relevant to the broader question of nanotechnology governance, providing insight in the opportunities and challenges for strengthening stakeholder engagement with nanotechnologies.

The first observation is that all organisers had considerable difficulty to attract the right audience, and in particular to get citizens to join. Despite significant efforts to spread invitations through various channels – from newspaper notifications to bulletin boards and from e-mail lists to Facebook and Ebay ads - people weren’t standing in line to join the event. There are of course several reasons why this might be the case, having to do with the programme, the particular topic, the timing and location of the event. Citizens participating in stakeholder dialogues are also not necessarily representative of the population. Given the voluntary nature of participation, those with a personal interest in the topic and time to spare are more likely to join. Participation thus runs the risk of being skewed towards highly educated, mobile citizens with a personal interest in technology. This should be taken into account when interpreting the results of the dialogues. A similar point applies to the participation of civil society organisations: they are more likely to join if the particular topic fits their expertise and agenda.

The question who sits at the table is a key influencing factor for stakeholder dialogues. It demands attention to the interpretation of the results, but it also invites an underlying question that applies to stakeholder engagement more generally: what is the added value for citizens and stakeholders to participate in stakeholder dialogues like these? There is a growing demand for citizens and stakeholders to engage in governmental policies and processes, but there is a limit to the extent to which they can be expected to engage on a voluntary basis. If there is no obvious benefit in participation, it will be difficult to engage citizens and stakeholders in dialogue. The process of growing indifference to stakeholder initiatives has become known as ‘engagement fatigue’. It invites hard questions on the relevance of stakeholder engagement initiatives to the participants: why should citizens and stakeholders be involved? What is in it for them? There has to be a reward for participation in terms of personal interest or impact.

Another recurrent theme in all the events was the questions of facilitation of the dialogue. Provided that the right participants are at the discussion table, how to facilitate a meaningful conversation that enables mutual learning and produces relevant outcomes? The moderating skills of the facilitator turned out to be crucial in this respect: the discussion is brought to a higher level if the moderator can capture the essence of the debate and elicit the different types of knowledge and expertise within the group at the right times. Active moderation engages the audience, enables new insights and enhances mutual learning. The programme is another key influencing factor: it will largely determine the nature of the interaction. A series of presentations with questions at the end results in a completely different type of discussion from an interactive debate with the audience, as experience with the different national events points out. How much ‘education’ is required in order to meaningfully engage in a discussion about the direction of nanotechnology research and innovation? How to balance the unidirectional provision of information with knowledge exchange and mutual learning given limited time frames?

Questions of implementation also featured in all dialogue events: the ‘success’ of a stakeholder dialogue is not just determined by the successful organisation of the event, but also by its capacity to generate change, to lead to novel outcomes. All events have reported mutual learning among stakeholders as a result of the interactions. They have all had an effect in terms of enhancing the reflexivity of participants. But it is still an open question to what extent it directly affected their decisions. To what extent have the events succeeded in moving engagement upstream, facilitating the uptake of public views and preferences in research and policy decisions? There are some indications that the outcomes of the dialogues have been taken up: in the event organised in Stuttgart, Germany, the support and participation of the State Ministry of Consumer Protection allowed the workshop results to feed into the development of the ministry’s own local nanodialogue and nanotechnology information platform. Policy makers at the French dialogue became more aware of the expectations of citizens with respect to governmental support for the installation of solar panels locally. But the dialogues overall point to a number of challenges in engaging citizens and stakeholders directly in research and policy decisions. Start with the mandate of the organisers. The NanoDiode events were isolated events, organised by ‘outsiders’. Participation was entirely voluntary, and carried no obligation to follow up on the outcomes or recommendations from the meeting. Moreover, discussions were held on a very general level due to the short time frames and variation in knowledge levels. They lacked the specificity required to meaningfully discuss considerations related to individual decisions. Stakeholder dialogues may have a more lasting impact if they are organised as integral elements of formal policy processes, organised by central stakeholders on a longer timeframe, spanning several meetings (consider the formal social dialogues organised on national and European levels like the social dialogue in the construction industry for example).

Work Package 3
Task 3.1 – 3rd Generation Deliberative Processes
Based on earlier experience the analysis was brought forward for a third generation of deliberations on nanotechnologies that could overcome some of the limitations of earlier conventional generations:

- deliberative processes should focus on specific political, social, legislative or regulatory questions on specific applications rather than general ethical questions in relation to nanotechnology;
- they should avoid replication of previous outcomes and generate new insights and reflections instead;
- they should connect to political or social processes in a more direct way

WP3 organized a total of 9 individual events in 6 partner countries, bringing together some 175 individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to discuss nanotechnologies in a variety of application areas. The findings suggest some key success factors for the organization of deliberative processes: first of all, the process of identifying the ‘right’ stakeholders and getting them to participate is very time-consuming. The quality of the deliberations depends strongly on the expertise of participants and a balanced composition of the group. Second, attention to workshop methodology is paramount. The overall framing, objectives and programme of the event largely determine the nature and quality of the ensuing deliberations. Careful programming and professional moderation are essential to a meaningful discussion. The programme should allow ample time for discussion and reflection. Finally, careful documentation is required. This applies both to the preparation of information material and to reporting. As much of the discussion as possible should be recorded for reporting purposes. Summary statements from the workshop can be used as an aide-memoire for participants and to inform other interested parties.
The question remains however is to what extent the events have indeed enabled a new generation of deliberative processes, generating a deeper insight in the discussed matter and creating a more solid responsiveness. Some novel insights were gained, but regarding the non-uniform methodologies applied in the different countries, the highly different topics discussed, one might wonder whether these instances suffice to distinguish a new generation of deliberations: the summary statements from the workshops present insights that might arguably have been achieved by more traditional deliberations as well.
A similar point applies with respect to the impact on policy processes and policy uptake, which could not unambiguously be related to the 3GDP.

As a first conclusion it was concluded that deliberative processes should be more specific, focusing not just on a specific topic, but on specific courses of action as well, if they are to connect to policy processes more directly. The deliberations would have to be part of formal policy processes to enable more intense interactions over a longer time frame, which with an involvement on a voluntary basis is quite unrealistic.
Secondly the deliberation processes should incorporate the stakes of stakeholders more clearly in the deliberations, including conflicting interests and power differences between stakeholders. A next generation of deliberations should take those imbalances into account. Rather than striving for consensus, deliberations could serve to clarify the dissensus among stakeholders (owing to opposing views of what constitutes progress: economic development as opposed to social welfare; international competitiveness as opposed to safeguarding cultural values; deregulation versus public oversight).
And thirdly the deliberative processes should connect to actual policy processes even more directly to enhance both the visibility and the impact of the deliberations, from individual discussions with high-level policy makers to hearings in parliament and contributions to official policy documents such as white papers and regulations. This requires that the organizers become politically savvy and know how to lobby the political system, which may be incompatible with the grassroots approach of participative democracy. But it would embed the outcomes of the deliberations in real political action.

Task 3.2 – User Committees
User committees were established for specific, large scale, near-application research projects in nanotechnology. Groups of potential users (industrial customers as well as consumers) monitored the progress and provided feedback to the research projects, with the aim to integrate societal considerations in the research process. The user committees thus sought to enable stakeholders (professional end users and CSOs) to participate in the research and innovation process, modulating research directions in light of societal considerations. The activities took place in 5 countries with different topics: nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for drinking water production and wastewater treatment; nanosilver; nanomedicines; nanotechnologies for housing and mobility; and nanotechnologies in building and living. They brought together more than a hundred individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Drawing general conclusions from these NanoDiode User Committees on the method used is questionable due to large differences in the approaches used in the different countries. While the user committees organized have resulted in interesting interactions and discussions, they do not provide conclusive evidence on the utility of user committees as such. To assess the merits of user committees as a governance tool, drawing final conclusions as to whether end-users are able to influence the direction of research in ways that make them better attuned to societal values, the activities would have to be organized under more strongly controlled conditions. But for this there was too limited time and budget available, and the overall workplan for the NanoDiode project did not allow for this.
Another important finding points at the role of the organizer of the user committee. The organizers were to some extent ‘outsiders’ to the R&I process: they did not have a specific stake in the development, and no means of enforcement. The difficulties to organize the user committees testify to this outsider position.

While the events of task 3.2 do not allow definitive conclusions on the utility of user committees, they do suggest essential conditions for success. First of all, the user committees should have a clear mandate, both in terms of the expected outcomes of the interactions, and in terms of follow- up. Instead of participation on an entirely voluntary basis, there should be clear incentives for participation. Ideally, interactions should occur over a higher number of events and a much longer period of time. The outcomes of the events should suggest specific courses of action, and participants should be encouraged more strongly to follow up. Second, the events have to be carefully organized, defining the specific purpose and expected outcomes of the process in advance, selecting the right participants, finding the right topic, facilitating constructive dialogue at the meeting, following through on programme design and ensuring follow up by reporting and recontacting participants.

Task - 3.3 Regulatory research workshops
The objective was to enable a process of ‘regulatory research’, bringing together researchers and industrial partners with risk assessors to discuss sensible ways forward for risk assessment. Three workshops have been organized to discuss the requirements for effective risk assessment and the operationalization of a precautionary approach in risk management of nanomaterials.
• The first workshop discussed questions of transparency and traceability of nanomaterials in products.
• The second workshop focused on the operationalization of a precautionary approach, the need for benchmark levels in occupational hygiene and effective communication in the production chain.
• The third workshop discussed the precautionary approach more exclusively with research and industry representatives and confirmed that a better understanding of the precautionary approach is a prerequisite for its broad acceptance in risk management.

The regulatory research workshops engendered valuable interactions between different actors in the field of risk management including risk researchers, regulators, civil society organizations and producers. The discussions clarified the different positions of stakeholders, but also pointed out how difficult it is to find agreement on the appropriate risk management measures due to conflicting interests and opposing worldviews. Uncertainty with respect to the potential risks of nanomaterials coupled with a fast developing market for nano-enabled products has given rise to a heated debate on the regulation of nanotechnologies. These issues are discussed in a range of national legislative and regulatory processes at national and international levels, including European consultations on the implementation and adaptation of REACH, discussions at the OECD, and various formal and informal national and European social dialogues. As a result, stakeholders meet on various occasions and defend entrenched positions. These positions are not just about factual questions, but are enmeshed with deeply held convictions about the levels of risk we are willing to take as a society, the distribution of benefits and risks, the appropriate role of governments to regulate innovation and even the very meaning of societal progress.

Looking back at the DoW, the purpose of the regulatory research workshops of task 3.3 was to discuss sensible ways forward for risk assessment. Considering the current state of the debate on risk governance of nanotechnologies, modesty is required with respect to the possibilities of lifting the debate to another level, let alone solving some of the issues. As long as innovation in nanotechnologies occurs in a context of uncertain risks – and one might argue the two are linked by definition - contestation is to be expected. The shape of regulations on nanotechnologies is likely to be determined by political battles rather than consensus-based deliberations.
This tells us something about the organization of multi-stakeholder debates in contested contexts: Precisely because positions of stakeholders are often diametrically opposed, consensus is an unlikely outcome. The added value of such meetings lies not in proposing a single policy outcome, but in elucidating the issues of contestation more clearly – in clarifying the dissensus. The relevance for policy making is that it allows for more productive managing of tensions around the area of contestation. Open discussion of the opposing views of stakeholders also has the potential to enable mutual understanding on diverging worldviews. It can enhance the reflexivity of participants by encouraging them to look at the viewpoint of opposing stakeholders from their perspective. This won’t change the debate on the short term, but it might bring policy solutions in view that carry broader support.

A recurring theme in the workshops (and in the debate on risk governance more generally) concerned risk communication and transparency. There is considerable debate about the appropriate levels of information required to assess potential risks of nanomaterials. Given the political nature of this discussion, there is no ‘right’ level of information: what is already too much information for one stakeholder is considered too little by another. The point here is that as long as the question is framed around the right level of information, there will be no productive outcome. But if the discussion focuses on the underlying normative questions: why stakeholders feel they need certain types of information to make an informed decision, why they think that matters, and what solution would be considered satisfactory, the discussion is lifted to a level where the underlying worldviews are discussed. This creates room for mutual learning. Again, mutual learning in itself will not solve the debate - the required level of information will still be subject to political battles. But it can engender better understanding of the underlying concerns – and a somewhat more productive discussion about the sorts of things that are both feasible and would address concerns.

Work Package 4
A number of educational activities1 were reviewed in order to develop a robust strategy and action plan for nanotechnology education. A selection of activities was assessed against qualitative and quantitative criteria such as content quality, balanced representation, playfulness, instructiveness and complexity, accessibility, cost, sustainability and reproducibility. A series of interviews with education experts, teachers and students in project partner countries (Austria, Belgium, Spain, Poland and the United Kingdom) further deepened the concept of an educational strategy for nanotechnologies.
The action plan identifies four pillars of an educational strategy:
1. Accessibility & Assistance
2. Sustainability & Curriculum Implementation
3. Content Accuracy
4. Educational Strategy & Theory

The report lists the following criteria for a nanotechnology education strategy: clear structuring of education material, highly effective real-time learning (active student involvement), supportive environment (material, lab-visits, etc.), quality of the material, comprehensibility and motivational topic for students according to their current cultural, demographical and social interests. The education strategy and action plan also highlights a need for different education methods and theories, an individual support system for both teachers and students, clear objectives that are outlined at the beginning of the activity for both students and teachers to motivate and give meaning to the action, and an engaging environment, offering all amenities for successful learning (material, consumables, presentations, etc.). These indicators are necessary conditions for a robust strategy and action plan for nanotechnology education that aims to build capacity among students to critically reflect on nanotechnologies, and to enable them to form their own opinion based on the evidence that is currently available. The outcomes of the review of educational activities and interviews are presented in deliverable D4.1: Detailed education strategy and action plan.
Criteria for good educational practice as listed in deliverable 4.1:

Accessibility & Assistance:
➢ Repository
➢ Reproducibility
➢ Representation
➢ Low Costs
➢ Open Access
➢ Teachers Training

➢ Adaptable
➢ Innovative
➢ Multidisciplinary
➢ State of the Art

Curriculum implementation
➢ Teachers motivation
➢ Flexibility
➢ Schoolbooks

Content Accuracy
➢ Presentation of a Problem
➢ Application orientated
➢ Societal Challenges
➢ Cultural and Demographic characteristics (incl. Language)
➢ Balanced & Honest
➢ Validated & Understandable
➢ Political correct and Gender appropriate
➢ Creativity & Curiosity
➢ Age-appropriate

Educational Strategy & Theory
➢ Workshops, Science Days, Discussion Panels
➢ Experiments
➢ Imagination & Investigation (Competition)
➢ Interactive & Interdisciplinary
➢ Clear Objectives & MotivationAutonomyInvolvement of Students, Teachers & Parents
The full report is available at:

The developed action plan and strategy formed the basis for a series of education activities focusing on secondary education, including hands-on activities in schools and teach-the-teacher-workshops.

School workshops
A series of workshops in schools intended to familiarise school children with nanotechnologies. Starting with a questionnaire and a short presentation on nanotechnologies, students were introduced to the topic and discussed different applications of nanotechnology. During the workshops, various experiments and on-site visits were performed to provide more insight into the use of nanotechnologies in research and industries. School workshops have been performed in Austria, Germany and Poland, in cooperation with researchers from local organizations such as universities and research facilities.

Teach-the-teacher workshops
The objective of the teach-the-teacher workshops was to train teachers on how to work with selected nanotechnology education materials and to motivate them to discuss new science topics to their students. NanoDiode presented a self-standing teaching module to support teachers in integrating the topic in their upcoming classes. All participants stated that they appreciated the workshop as it allowed them to gain more insight in the topic and enabled them to include nanotechnology in their curriculum.

The workshops reached an audience of students and teachers in the partner countries and enabled a discussion on nanotechnology education.

Online evaluation tool
An online evaluation tool enabled teachers and school children to assess the impact of nanotechnology educational tools after their use in classroom. 52% of the participants stated that they were satisfied with the NanoDiode educational activity on nanotechnologies in their school, while 10% of the students were dissatisfied. 38% of the participants were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. 57% of the teachers stated that they have not yet talked about nanotechnologies with their students before, while 43% already have discussed nanotechnology-related topics in previous classes. 73% claimed that they would like to introduce nanotechnology into their daily teaching business. Furthermore, 83% of respondents think that the topic should be permanently integrated into the curriculum.

Capacity building: nanomaterials in the workplace
A Community of Practice was built in order to contribute expertise to the development of worker capacity-building tools and training resources on nanomaterials in the workplace. Communities of Practice are a tool of collective intelligence to help produce knowledge and make advances in a given area: a group effort that allows for additive elements to emerge when considering a particular issue. The NanoDiode Community of Practice was made up of 11 people from various occupational health related backgrounds: representatives of the European Trade Union Confederation and European Trade Union Institute, physicists, chemists, experts in occupational health and in chemicals management, social scientists, communications experts and NanoDiode project partners. The members held a small number of physical meetings to minimise the time needed to contribute expertise. They met mostly via telephone and video conference.
The Community of Practice prepared three separate types of tools, each tool supporting the other to provide clearer information, to help workers contribute to risk evaluation and to assess the impact of the tools and identify further information needs:
Six modular presentations break down various worker health and safety issues into distinct modules. The module-based presentations facilitate future updates as some of the issues are still evolving (particularly in which products and sectors nanomaterials are used, and scientific knowledge of human health and environmental impacts).. The thematic presentations addressed the following aspects: 1) where are nanomaterials used (which sectors and types of products); 2) what is nano (nanotechnologies, nanomaterials, the nano-scale); 3) do nanomaterials pose a potential health and safety risk; 4) how to know whether nanomaterials are used in a workplace; 5) steps to prevent worker exposure to nanomaterials; and 6) sharing of knowledge and information. Most notably for presentations 1 to 5, the basis of information presented was existing studies and reports prepared by renowned public bodies and scientists (such as the German Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin - BAUA, and Steffen Foss Hansen and Mihael Roco), by relevant EU organisations such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (such as E-facts 72: Tools for the management of nanomaterials in the workplace and prevention measures) and DG Employment (particularly Guidance on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the potential risks related to nanomaterials at work: Guidance for employers and health and safety practitioners and Working Safely with Manufactured Nanomaterials: Guidance for Workers), and international organisations such as the OECD (notably the Harmonised Tiered Approach to Measure and Assess the Potential Exposure to Airborne Emissions of Engineered Nano-Objects and their Agglomerates and Aggregates at Workplaces). The six presentations were pilot tested with occupational health and safety practitioners: worker safety representatives, trade unionists, occupational health and safety experts, and trade union trainers. Feedback on the presentations was provided and suggestions for further support tools were discussed, as they were considered useful in supplementing the presentations, and in communicating with workers more easily and clearly on nanomaterials in the workplace

Two infographics were prepared, supplementing key elements of information found in the thematic presentations, to be used more practically at workplaces in awareness-raising and worker participation in important aspects of occupational health and safety in relation to nanomaterials. The first infographic provides simplified steps for a risk assessment on nanomaterials (and, ultimately, other problematic substances), with questions posed to workers, to help provide information on work activities to help develop exposure scenarios.
The second infographic shows worker exposure “hotspots” along the lifecycle of a typical (unspecified) nanomaterial, from production and synthesis of nanomaterials to the manufacturing of products containing nanomaterials, their use and ultimate end-of-life management (whether incineration, recycling or reuse).
A third tool developed was an “applet” (an interactive application which can be used on computers and on electronic mobile devices). The applet supplements the first infographic, on a simplified risk assessment, and was developed specifically for worker safety representatives. It provides more background information on the questions asked in the infographic, as well as some downloadable documents providing even further information (on the classification of nanomaterials) and a worker exposure registry form template.

The classification of nanomaterials is taken from the D4NanoGrouping (Artsa et al. 2015. “A decision-making framework for the grouping and testing of nanomaterials”) and by the German BAUA’s Nano to Go (from the FP7 NanoValid project

For all information provided (except in the infographics and applet, as space is limited), sources are clearly identified, for scientific rigour and easier identification of the source should readers wish to delve deeper into the issues.
Existing knowledge already provided by the ETUI/ETUC formed the starting point for the Community of Practice work. Most notably, the following were used: the first ETUC Resolution on Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials (2008), the second ETUC Resolution on Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials (2010), the ETUI Policy Brief Nano governance: how should the EU implement nanomaterial traceability? (European Social Policy Issue, 2/2011) and the 2013 ETUI report Nanomaterials and workplace health & safety: What are the issuesfor workers?

Work Package 5
WP5 has designed and implemented the following outreach and communication tools:

- NanoBazaar
The NanoBazaar is a pop-up initiative (Produced and developed by Partner 13 Studio HB) located in the centre of three European cities: Wroclaw, Graz and Leuven. The aim of the activity is to offer visitors an opportunity to engage in dialogue with nanotechnology researchers on the pros and cons of nano-enabled products. The NanoBazaar displays real and imaginary products and invites visitors to give their opinion on these products. Through these discussions, both researchers and citizens acquired a more nuanced understanding of their expectations, hopes and concerns on nanotechnologies now and in the future.

- 56 NanoTube videoclips (available on YouTube and on DVD)
Filmed and produced by StudioHB, The NanoTube is a collection of short videoclips, interviewing specialists around Europe who work with nanotechnologies in different ways.
The NanoTube does not draw conclusions whether nanotechnologies are good or bad, old or new, real or imaginary – it merely displays the wealth of competing views out there: enabling European citizens to make up their own mind about nanotechnologies rather than telling them what to think.
They were published online on YouTube, shown at NanoDiode events and NanoBazaars and distributed as digipack with DVD.

- 10 NanoGallery double sided posters
Developed by NanoNet, the big-format posters of nanoscientific achievements of Polish scientists displayed a microscopic image of nanomaterial and an illustration of its application with an additional and brief scientific explanation. The NanoGallery was designed to give the observer the true impression of nanotechnology potential and its impact on modern society, engineering, medicine, healthcare and other aspects. These were used in across Poland, during the Polish NanoBazaar, scientific fairs and at every Nanonet workshop, in addition to regular, monthly exhibition in the centres of polish cities such as Wroclaw, Katowice, Chorzow, Gliwice, Krakow, Warsaw and more.
Supported by the presence of experts, the exhibition allowed for dialogue with the viewers. It was translated to English, and published online at Nanodiode website for further dissemination. A mobile version (soft posters) was send to workshops and meetings organized by other partners.
The Nanogallery turned out to be an interesting tool for laypeople. Organized during workshops or as a standalone event with experts stated as a valuable outreach and communication tool. Viewers were inspired and interested, eager to learn more and show their own ideas.
Since the Nanogallery is a successful tool for spreading the nano-awareness, it is still used to show the potential of nanotechnology, raise questions about possible outcome of certain applications and improve stakeholder involvement and interest in this topic.

- A Student as Science Journalist Competition (available on YouTube)
EUSJA organised a competition for schools in which pupils were invited to put themselves in the shoes of science journalists and reflect upon the following question: what kind of nanotechnologies do we want?
With this activity, EUSJA demonstrated that very young students from across Europe find nanotechnology very interesting and are eager to get involved. This involvement is not limited to answers on what is nanotechnology. Students dived deeper than expected and investigated the benefits and risks of nanotechnology; they interviewed scientists (raising interesting questions) and expressed their own feelings about the future of nanotechnology.

- An experimentation of NanoSlams
The NANOFutures Association piloted NanoSlams in Gijon, Spain and experimented them in Bad Dürckheim, Germany. This adaptation of Science Slams consisted in informal talks on nanotechnology to a non-expert audience. In this dynamic setting, speakers are timed and the participants are invited to vote on the best presentation.

In addition WP5 has delivered dissemination tools including:
- the NanoDiode website, visited by over 19.000 users
- branding and visual identity for the whole project
- social media outlets
- project presence in conferences and meetings

In WP5, three science journalists’ workshops were organized in Krakow, Brussels and Athens. Run by EUSJA, the science journalists workshops showed that more efforts have to be made in order to get journalists more involved in the broader discussion about nanotechnologies. Journalists are more eager to participate when they feel there is a story that can be published, when there’s news.

Work Package 6
1) Evaluating and assessing the activities performed throughout the NanoDiode project, and the various activities performed within them.
Work package 6 aimed to assess the findings and recommendations of all the engagement activities with respect to the future governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. DPF has worked with consortium partners throughout 2015 and 2016 to produce assessments of the individual work packages and of the project as a whole. The report notes how the engagement activities identify key criteria for success with respect to participation (motivation and representativity of participants), organisation (timing, duration and location of the events, topic selection and programming, moderation and framing) and implementation (mandate of the organisers and uptake in research and policy processes).
But the project findings also point to major challenges to enhanced responsiveness such as the voluntary nature of stakeholder engagement, the lack of effective integration mechanisms and the dominance of vested interests. Indeed, a deeper understanding of these barriers may be as valuable as knowledge of the opportunities: it points out that the capacity of research and innovation to effectively respond to societal challenges is a systemic challenge. There are complex interdependencies between decisions at the level of policy making, research and production.

The aggregate findings from the NanoDiode project offer recommendations to strengthen nanotechnology governance along three main lines:
1) Encourage the effective integration of societal considerations in research and innovation practice as well as in education (i.e. curricula);
2) Further develop the tools available to strengthen the responsiveness of research and innovation to societal considerations;
3) Institutionalise nanotechnology governance mechanisms.

2) Enabling cross-links and feedback loops between the project’s activities and ensuring continuity after the project ends.
Based on the extensive assessment of Task 6.1 a series of 14 project fact sheets was produced, summarising the project findings for different external audiences. The fact sheets briefly present the activities, discuss their main findings and suggest recommendations for readers who would like to organise a similar activity. They have been published online as illustrated two-page documents with a maximum of 700 words. The fact sheets are available at: both as separate files and combined in one document.

3) Providing recommendations for policy makers on the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe.
Two policy workshops on nanotechnology governance have been held in Brussels to provide feedback on the project findings to policy makers:

Governance workshop: Embedding Stakeholder Engagement in European Research Policy
The first workshop was held in Brussels in 2015. This half-day workshop brought together 25 participants including European Commission staff (DG RTD), NanoDiode project partners and invited experts to explore opportunities to engage societal stakeholders in nanotechnologies and other key enabling technologies. The workshop participants suggested a range of policy options to strengthen stakeholder engagement: establishing an expert service to help running projects organise their engagement activities; offering practical training for researchers and policy officers; raising awareness at the ‘cluster’ level by organising coordinators’ workshops; including stakeholder engagement in relevant call topic descriptions; building networks of engagement scholars and practitioners; and including stakeholder engagement as an explicit topic in performance appraisals. Despite increasing interest and efforts towards stakeholder engagement in research and innovation, workshop participants noted that the purpose, structure and added value of engagement activities are not immediately obvious to everyone. These observations led to the conclusion that a convincing business case is needed, defining the benefits for different stakeholders by way of compelling examples. These examples should clarify how stakeholder engagement can enhance the quality and value of research and innovation by involving a broader range of social actors in decision making processes. The availability of concrete, ready-to-use tools will encourage widespread uptake in research and innovation practices

Working conference: Opening up Research and Innovation to Society
The second event was held on 31 May 2016 at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. It brought together a larger group of research and innovation actors, including European and national policy makers, researchers, communication managers and civil society representatives. The objective of the meeting was to motivate participants to strengthen stakeholder engagement in their own work. The audience had a central role: their questions served as the starting point for discussion. Plenary discussions on the rationale and benefits of stakeholder engagement were combined with interactive sessions where participants could get support for the organisation of their own engagement activities. They had the opportunity to discuss the activity of their interest during a knowledge fair with consortium members, drawing on their experiences in the NanoDiode project.
Furthermore, three policy briefs have been prepared to present the recommendations from NanoDiode to different audiences. The first policy brief focuses on strengthening stakeholder engagement in European research and innovation policy. The second policy brief targets researchers, research managers and programme managers who would like to implement stakeholder engagement in their own institute or programme. It focuses on the why, what, when, where and how of stakeholder engagement in research and innovation. The third policy brief focuses on precaution, uncertainties, data gaps, communication and effective governance of nanomaterials.

Potential Impact:
NanoDiode has had a direct impact on the European debate on nanotechnologies by organising a wide range of activities that encourage dialogue among stakeholders, including a public survey and in-depth interviews on the impacts of nanotechnologies in society, 7 citizens' and multi-stakeholder dialogues, 6 third generation deliberative processes, 5 user committees, 3 regulatory research workshops, 7 school workshops and 3 teach-the-teacher workshops, 2 school competitions, a Community of Practice on capacity-building tools on nanomaterials in the workplace, 56 NanoTube videoclips, 3 NanoBazaars, 6 NanoGallery exhibitions, 2 NanoSlams, 3 journalist workshops and 2 governance workshops.
The results of these activities are widely available through 14 project fact sheets; 3 policy briefs, 15 detailed reports on the outcomes of individual tasks, 4 technical and administrative progress reports, the project website and the NanoTube.

The findings from NanoDiode will continue to have an impact on the European nanotechnology governance landscape in various ways. First of all, the project findings will feed into follow-on projects like Nano2All, RRI-TOOLS and NUCLEUS through continued interaction with these consortia. Second, these insights will be disseminated to policy makers in the European Commission and at national levels via the policy briefs, during conferences, policy workshops and advisory groups. The website will remain available for at least five years after the end of the project, so all the material will be publicly available for all those with an interest in the NanoDiode project and its outcomes.

Supporting effective nanotechnology governance in Europe
In more qualitative terms, the project as a whole suggests recommendations for the effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. If governance can be defined as the use of political authority and institutional means to control or coordinate behaviour within an organisation or society, effective nanotechnology governance can be understood as the implementation of policies, incentives or institutional arrangements to effectively coordinate the behaviour of nanotechnology stakeholders (including both ‘enactors’ – those who realise or support the development of nanotechnologies such as researchers, producers and policy makers - and those with an indirect stake such as civil society organisations and citizens). Indeed, the activities organised within NanoDiode have enabled more effective coordination of the behaviour of nanotechnology stakeholders.

By experimenting with various methods for deliberation and dialogue, NanoDiode has elucidated the conditions for effective stakeholder engagement at different levels of governance. Activities such as the stakeholder dialogues, third generation deliberations and user committees explored new ways of bringing the considerations of a broader group of stakeholders to bear on research and innovation decisions. These events raised awareness among research and innovation actors of the need to include a wider group of stakeholders (such as professional end users, civil society organisations and citizens) in decisions on the direction of nanotechnologies. They offered new insights on how to organise dialogue across stakeholder groups, facilitated mutual learning, and in some cases empowered new groups of stakeholders to participate in the debate. The findings from these tasks highlight key criteria for success with respect to the mandate and organisation of multi-stakeholder dialogues and implementation of the outcomes.

Our experience of collaboration within the consortium itself also held lessons in relation to nanotechnology governance. NanoDiode brought together partners who represented stakeholders from across the spectrum, including industrial and research associations which aimed to promote nanotechnologies, and trade unions and civil society organisations which sought to caution against their potential risks. Despite their different views and opinions, this coordination and support action required them to reach out to different audiences as a collective. Productive collaborations within the consortium thus depended on a workable perspective towards outreach and dialogue that all partners could support. This ultimately led to the development of an ‘all-partial’ perspective, where the purpose of public engagement is not to promote or oppose nanotechnologies, but to engage in dialogue on the different ways that nanotechnologies may shape our societies. This perspective encompasses both the hopes and fears, the promises and concerns, the opportunities and risks of nanotechnologies. Such a more encompassing perspective that embraces the complexity and diversity of nanotechnologies allows for a novel approach towards the engagement of stakeholders and citizens. Several activities in WP5 such as the NanoTubes and NanoBazaar demonstrate how this perspective enables a more nuanced, realistic, interesting and engaging story about the possible future roles of nanotechnologies in society than one-dimensional narratives on either the untold benefits or the uncontrollable risks of nanotechnologies. But the value of an all-partial perspective lies not just in its ability to offer a more interesting storyline. It also lies in its capacity to transcend traditional dichotomies – innovation versus precaution, care for the environment versus economic growth – and bring options in view that carry broader support across stakeholders: innovations that effectively address societal challenges from the outset, rather than as an afterthought. This perspective also enabled opposing stakeholders to cooperate despite differences – a vital precondition for the effective governance of nanotechnologies.

Barriers and framework conditions
Even though the activities in NanoDiode have enabled dialogue and facilitated mutual learning between stakeholders, they also highlight a number of important barriers and framework conditions. One of these framework conditions is related to the unpredictability of innovation. Research funding is predicated on the idea that nanotechnologies will contribute towards overarching normative aims such as cleaner production, efficient use of resources, health and wellbeing and so on. But these normative aims are so general that they hardly apply to the incremental steps of innovation: a slight increase in efficiency; a tweaked material; a surface coating that incrementally reduces wear; a somewhat smaller chip. Indeed, it often doesn’t seem to make sense to ask of these incremental innovations how exactly they contribute to the realisation of the broader normative goals. It is in fact extremely hard to assess what futures the sum of all these incremental steps will create. Yet that is exactly what nanotechnology governance is about: what level of public oversight is needed to maximise the chances of realising the overarching normative aims, creating maximum public benefit within acceptable levels of risk? When should we actively seek to direct or control – govern - research and innovation, and when should we let innovation run its course? These considerations highlight the complexities of effective nanotechnology governance: research and innovation trajectories are the result of countless interactions within complex networks of heterogeneous actors. Governing the behaviour of any one individual already proves difficult, let alone steering the direction of the entire research and innovation system, given high stakes, disruptive innovations and uncertain outcomes.
Another framework condition is the inherently political nature of decisions regarding the direction of innovation - especially the ones relating to risk management of nanomaterials. The debate is characterised by competing interests, conflicting worldviews and significant power differences, and there may often be no single policy outcome that all participants will agree with. Some fear that what looks promising now might have drastic consequences in the future: they invoke examples of asbestos, plastics, DDT, lead and other chemicals that were hailed as miracle materials but turned out to have major consequences for human and environmental health. Their concern is with regulation and control. Others argue that we can’t fully reap the benefits of innovation for society if we don’t experiment, try out new things and take some risk. They invoke examples of the innovations that seemed frightening when they were just invented but turned out to be blessings for society such as vaccination or electricity. Their concern is with new opportunities for growth and innovation. Both positions are valid, but they prescribe very different policy choices. Indeed, these deeper political convictions and worldviews turned out to be the elephant in the room on many occasions. What, then, is the ‘right’ policy option?
The jury is still out on nanotechnologies; while the hype surrounding nanotechnologies seems to have subsided, they are beginning to have measurable impact in various fields of application such as electronics, advanced manufacturing and medicine (although it is still a matter of debate whether nanotechnologies have reached the ‘slope of enlightenment’ or still reside in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ of the Gartner group’s well-known hype cycle). It will be impossible to fully predict what sorts of impacts these innovations will have on our society, or how they will contribute to realising the normative objectives outlined above - especially considering that current product innovations mostly build on ordinary, ‘1st generation’ nanomaterials. The future impacts of 2nd, 3rd or 4th nanomaterials lead us even further into the unknown.

Despite the inherent uncertainties of future applications and their impacts, our experience in the NanoDiode project suggests that one-dimensional stories about risks or benefits both tell a partial tale. Effective nanotechnology governance depends on a more robust assessment of the pros and cons, the winners and losers, the risks and benefits. Significant efforts into nanosafety research since the early 2000s point to a concern for the prevention of harm, to what one might call the principle of non-maleficence. But the absence of risk does not necessarily imply the presence of societal benefit. The effective governance of nanotechnologies also requires attention to what one might call the principle of beneficence, to the active guiding of nanotechnologies towards the realisation of normative goals expressed in research policies. To get a clearer perspective on the possible contributions of nanotechnologies, there has to be room for experimentation. The proof of the pudding is in the eating: as the outcomes of innovation are by definition uncertain, the only way to know what the benefits and drawbacks might be is by allowing research and innovation to run its course at least to some extent. But allowing room for innovation does not necessarily entail the complete absence of governmental oversight. We cannot foresee the future, but we can learn from past experience and draw on those lessons as we move forward. Concepts like safe by design, value-sensitive design, anticipatory governance and the precautionary approach seek to realise this commitment to integrating societal considerations earlier on in the innovation process.
Needless to say, these are extremely complex choices - yet it is exactly what we need to become better at if we want to enhance public trust in the role of nanotechnologies in society. Given the pressing societal challenges that modern societies are facing, we cannot afford to leave the future trajectories of nanotechnologies to chance. We have to become better in assessing the impacts of innovation in relation to the overarching normative goals on which research funding is predicated, and we have to become better in nudging research and innovation towards societal value.

Recommendations for nanotechnology governance
The aggregate findings from the NanoDiode project offer recommendations to strengthen nanotech governance along three main lines:

1. Encourage the effective integration of societal considerations in research and innovation processes as well as in education (i.e. curricula).
Experience within the NanoDiode project shows how difficult it is to translate the outcomes of multi-stakeholder collaborations into action. This experience is not limited to the NanoDiode project alone, but extends across both governmental and grassroots attempts to ‘open up’ research and innovation to societal considerations. Actions to implement Responsible Research and Innovation and integrate the Social Science and Humanities dimension also have proven hard to implement. The intention to integrate societal considerations in research and innovation conflicts with entrenched views about research and innovation. The presupposition that research and innovation have no business with broader ethical and societal considerations is still dominant within research cultures, even though the justification for that position relies on a model of research that no longer applies. Similarly, the idea that the best way to reap societal benefits from research and innovation is by funding basic research, followed by applied research and ending with production and diffusion (the ‘linear model of innovation’) is outdated, but it continues to be the dominant justification for resisting attempts at governing research and innovation.
Public confidence in research and innovation is ultimately a function of the responsive capacity of the research and innovation system. Research and innovation processes have to become more effective in addressing societal challenges and integrating societal considerations. This is reflected in European research policies. A significant portion of the Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for example is structured around societal challenges. These commitments now need to be followed through in research and innovation. The effective integration of societal considerations in research and innovation requires a culture change, where the success of research and innovation - and the career opportunities of researchers - is also determined by the societal benefit of the outcomes.
Realising this culture change is notoriously difficult. Earlier attempts point out that cultural norms do change in response to a combination of outside pressures and changing circumstances, but the direction of change is unpredictable. Efforts to forcefully control output often result in unwanted behavioural effects. Even after decades of experimentation, it is still a matter of debate how to encourage reflection on broader societal contexts in research cultures most effectively. But it will certainly need an update of curricula to integrate nanospecific education in (pre-)university level, to include ongoing education and training to increase awareness of researchers of the broader societal context of their work, targeted at both junior and senior researchers. It will also involve rethinking academic reward structures: researchers cannot be expected to engage with society if the academic system rewards the exact opposite. This extends to the assessment criteria for awarding research proposals, to the peer review of research papers, to the criteria for career advancement, and to the criteria by which researchers evaluate each other’s work. Finally, it will require compelling examples of how the integration of societal considerations demonstrably led to new opportunities for researchers (in terms of new inroads for research, new sources of funding or enhanced interest and uptake of research outcomes), to which we will return in the next recommendation below.

2. Further develop the tools available to strengthen the responsiveness of research and innovation to societal considerations.
NanoDiode has experimented with different methods to engage societal stakeholders in the debate. While these experiments have raised awareness and enabled mutual learning between participants, it often proved difficult to distil practical action from the discussion. This may be partly due to the resilience of research and innovation cultures discussed above. But it is also related to the ‘experimental’ character of the methods. The individual assessments already suggest ways to enhance the potential impact of these activities, listing key criteria for success with respect to the organisation, facilitation and implementation of each of the activities. To make the field more accessible to those with no prior experience, the portfolio should offer concrete, ready-to-use tools that people can work with for each of these types of activity, suggesting where they have been employed, by whom and with what concrete outcome, including methods developed beyond the NanoDiode project. For example, citizens panels or deliberations can be useful to assess public views in the early stages of emerging technologies with a disruptive potential, while user committees are more appropriate in highly applied research contexts where industrial users or consumers can express their interests.
This portfolio would require support from those with experience in organising the different activities which could be offered for example through an expert service on societal stakeholder engagement along the lines of the Exploitation Strategy and Innovation Consultants (ESIC) service within the European Commission’s NMBP programme. This supporting role would require researchers from the social sciences and humanities and engagement practitioners to take on a more service-oriented role. Further translation efforts are needed to make existing experiences from European projects such as NanoDiode, ENGAGE2020, Res-AGorA, SATORI and RRI-TOOLS more accessible and actionable. The traditional stance of researchers from the social sciences and humanities may not be to cater to the needs of researchers, but given the relative autonomy of the research and innovation system, a service-oriented approach will be needed to encourage the uptake of these tools in research and innovation practices. We need to define a business case for integration: a more compelling story why the integration of societal considerations in research and innovation matters, along with a clear overview of which tools and techniques are available, and examples of what they can bring for those who wish to engage with the broader societal dimensions of their work.

3. Institutionalise nanotechnology governance mechanisms
As the reflections on the societal dimensions of nanotechnologies above indicate, effective nanotechnology governance will be vital to ensure that nanotechnologies contribute to a flourishing society, encouraging research and innovation to address societal challenges and modulating the direction of innovation in light of societal impact assessment. Given the burgeoning state of nanotechnologies and many uncertainties surrounding the future application of research findings and the risks of nanoparticles, this is undoubtedly a long-term endeavour. It will require a continuous effort to assess the societal impacts of nanotechnologies as innovation proceeds. Considering that public confidence in nanotechnologies is ultimately a function of the responsive capacities of the research and innovation system, the effective governance of nanotechnologies will require that measures to incorporate different viewpoints are structurally embedded in decision making processes on nanotechnologies. One could think of a nanotechnology governance board, a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together research, industrial, policy and societal actors along the lines of what Gammel, Lösch and Nordmann (2010) have called a Scanning Probe Agency. This platform, or agency, performs three main functions:
1. Scanning: the platform provides ongoing monitoring and assessment of how the introduction of nanotechnologies in society is being ‘handled’, in terms of the regulation of research and innovation;
2. Probing: the platform engages in structured dialogue among stakeholders on selected spotlight topics, deepening mutual understanding of the different motivations for stakeholders’ positions towards specific developments in nanotechnologies;
3. Agency: the platform advises ways forward for innovation governance, engaging research and innovation actors, policy makers and broader audiences.

A continuous platform would enable mutual learning within the platform of what works and what doesn’t, gathering expertise on effective governance mechanisms. It could assess the long term societal impacts of nanotechnology innovations, support researchers who wish to engage with the societal dimensions of their work, and provide input to policy decisions.

NanoDiode has highlighted conditions for more productive stakeholder engagement at the different levels of governance. The activities have enhanced mutual understanding between different stakeholders within the consortium, and engaged nanotechnology ‘enactors’ in the debate on nanotechnology governance. They offer examples of how the early consideration of ethical and societal dimensions can enhance the quality of research outcomes. These examples offer a glimpse of a new ‘mode’ for research and innovation that is more responsive to societal needs and values. But there are major challenges along the way such as the voluntary nature of stakeholder engagement, the lack of effective integration mechanisms and the dominance of vested interests. Indeed, a deeper understanding of these barriers may be as valuable as knowledge of the opportunities: it points out that the capacity of research and innovation to effectively respond to societal challenges is a systemic challenge. There are complex interdependencies between decisions at the level of policy making, research and production. NanoDiode has contributed to the broader experimentation that will be needed to enable effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The challenge now is to integrate societal considerations at the heart of nanotechnologies research and innovation. Buy-in from all stakeholders will be essential for the transition towards a more responsive research and innovation system where societal considerations become part of the innovation drive rather than a problem to be addressed.

NanoDiode – facts and experiences by WP
WP1 has resulted in three concrete deliverables:
➢ D1.1 identifying current needs for outreach and dialogue on nanotechnologies in EU civil society
➢ D1.2 analysing previous experiences and European projects and identifying best practices listing relevant ideas, insights and materials for each of the subsequent work packages
➢ D1.3 action plans for WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5
The Action Plans present an overview of needs (from Task 1.1) and best practices (from Task 1.2) respective to the level of engagement addressed in the WP. Other elements include specific and measurable objectives for engagement, strategies and mechanisms for outreach and dialogue, best practices, planning and evaluation criteria.
All reports are available at:
Additionally, Partner 2 DPF drafted short statements on a number of underlying questions such as the (diverse) motivations for public engagement, patterns of argumentation in the governance of nanotechnologies, and the question of responsible research and innovation. These topics were fleshed out during consortium meetings such as the kick-off meeting in September 2013 and the Steering Group Meetings in December 2013 and July 2014 and during telephone conferences. They were also discussed in various email exchanges among project partners and in relation to project deliverables such as the website, survey, user committee-leaflet and project posters. This internal dialogue proved time-consuming and sometimes confusing, but may turn out to be a crucial outcome of the project as a whole.
The work was officially finished in month 9, but the outcomes of WP1 continue to feed into the work in subsequent work packages.

From the outset, WP2 was driven by the call for upstream public engagement from the early 2000s to incorporate public views and preferences more explicitly in technological decision-making. James Wilsdon & Rebecca Willis highlighted the need for upstream public engagement in See-through science:

"Downstream, the flow of innovation has absorbed numerous engagement processes. Yet few of these have any real connection to the upstream questions that motivate public concern: Why this technology? Why not another? Who needs it? Who is controlling it? Who benefits from it? Can they be trusted? What will it mean for me and my family? Will it improve the environment? What will it mean for people in the developing world? The challenge — and opportunity — for upstream public engagement is to force some of these questions back onto the negotiating table, and to do so at a point when they are still able to influence the trajectories of scientific and technological development."

Looking back at the work performed in WP2, what lessons can be learned with respect to enhancing the responsiveness of nanotechnology research and innovation policies with respect to public views and preferences? The outcomes of WP2 above all point to the complexity of this challenge. First of all, making sense of the diverging views and preferences of citizens towards nanotechnologies is a challenge in itself. Despite a very general trend of cautious optimism coupled with concerns over health and safety and quality of life, perceptions towards nanotechnologies vary across nations, age, gender and socio-economic backgrounds. They also fluctuate over time in response to new scientific discoveries, policy developments and media coverage. Second, the outcomes of public perceptions research need to be transformed into a form of advice that can be taken up into research and policy decisions. Indeed, it is often difficult to tell what sorts of changes in nanotechnology policies would be needed to align them better with public views and preferences. Public surveys can offer a background view on general public preferences, but they do not automatically offer direct guidance for the direction of research. This suggests the need to ‘translate’ and communicate findings from public perceptions research to policy and research decision making, and to help policy makers to integrate the variety of public preferences in policy decisions.

Another major challenge resulting from WP2 is the difficulty to bring the views and concerns of stakeholders to bear directly on research and innovation decisions. The school competition and stakeholder dialogues indicate that ‘lay expertise’ can lead to novel insights and creative contributions, but its role in shaping the direction of research is not self-evident. The outcomes of the stakeholder dialogues suggest a number of procedural criteria for effectiveness, including participation (motivation and representativity of participants), facilitation (timing, duration and location of the events, topic selection and programming, moderation and framing) and implementation (mandate of the organisers and uptake in research and policy processes). But, even in ideal circumstances the impact of stakeholder engagement is dependent on specific ‘windows of opportunity’: discussing a technology that is mature enough to warrant specific discussions but is still malleable; with enactors who are willing and able to integrate the views and considerations expressed in the dialogue in their decisions; in a formal process that commits participants to the outcomes of the dialogue.

WP3 has enabled fruitful discussions on the future direction of nanotechnologies. While professional stakeholders often meet to debate the future of nanotechnologies, collaborative discussions with a view to enabling mutual learning are quite rare. Also, involving non-usual stakeholders in those debates is beneficial. The interactions have been enhanced participants’ reflexive awareness, assessing their own views and positions against those of other stakeholders and enabled individual and mutual learning. However this learning does not automatically translate into changes in the direction of research trajectories. Directly influencing the research decision making process proves to be difficult: day-to-day research decisions prove to be highly specific, the short timeframe of the events doesn’t allow for reaching the required level of detail, voluntary participation of stakeholders do not allow for overburdening the participants, and a follow-up could not be encouraged.
Three essential criteria for future engagement activities at the midstream could be identified as tools for nanotechnology governance:

1. The mandate
Multi-stakeholder collaborations are likely to have a much bigger impact if they are part of formal processes and initiatives, and if the outcomes are binding, rather than single events on a voluntary basis, and if the particpants have a mandate on behalf of their organization or CSO. Ideally, initiatives to engage societal stakeholders would come from research institutes themselves (or alternatively form governmental organisations), preferably as an integral part of research projects or programmes, to encourage buy-in from the research and innovation community. Interactions should occur over a higher number of events and a much longer period of time. The outcomes of the events should suggest specific courses of action, and participants should be encouraged more strongly to follow up.

2. The programme organisation
All tasks within WP3 highlight the importance of organisational aspects. The selection of the ‘right’ participants (strategically involved, motivated, broadly societal supported) proved crucial, ensuring a balanced representation from diverse stakeholder groups. The organized programme for deliberation has to balance between providing the necessary background information and enabling interaction. This requires methodological rigour: the structure of the programme has to support the overall purpose of the event. A clear definition of the objectives and expected outcome of the event is also essential. To guide the discussion towards practical outcomes, experienced moderators are required who know how to bring out the salient issues. Proper documentation is also vital, to ensure that the outcomes are clear to participants and to outsiders. Even the most practical choices such as the venue, duration and timing of the event turned out to have a decisive influence over the success of the events.

3. The uptake
From discussion to action means modulating research and innovation trajectories in light of societal considerations. The step from constructive dialogue to practical action is a major bottleneck. The discussions can have a real impact if they are specific enough to affect the decisions of the actors. This applies to the topic at hand (what problems are we addressing? What sort of change do we want?), but also with respect to possible courses of action: who is the problem owner? What actions can address the issues identified during the meeting? This of course relates to the mandate and organisation discussed above: the programme and moderation should work towards achieving that level of specificity; and participants will take the discussion all the more seriously if there is a need to follow up on the outcomes of the meeting.
Uptake is also encouraged if the outcomes are perceived to have value for the participants. Experience in WP3 shows that technology enactors (i.e. those actors who realise or support the further development of nanotechnologies such as researchers, producers and policy makers) currently do not see active stakeholder involvement as core business. They came to the meetings, but their participation seemed to be driven by a general interest or a sense of civic duty rather than by a perception of the direct relevance of these activities to their work. And to some extent this was borne out by the events, given their specific scope and nature. The lesson to be learned here is that stakeholder involvement will only become core business if enactors see the added value of these interactions in relation to their own goals and objectives.

In line with other educative projects (e.g. nanoEIS), NanoDiode WP4 has further demonstrated the need to professionalise nanotechnology education. Science education engagement activities with students are leading to a better understanding of nanotechnology implications in daily life. Furthermore, covering emerging technologies such as nanotechnologies and related issues will enable schoolchildren to build their own opinion based on scientific knowledge considering possible advantages as well as disadvantages.

The experiences within WP4 hold lessons for future nanotechnology education activities, which can build on the findings and recommendations developed by NanoDiode:
- Educational materials have to be firmly grounded in educational theory.
- The teaching material should present nanotechnology in a balanced way. The objective of nanotechnology education should not be to single-mindedly promote nanotechnologies, it should enable students to form a well-informed opinion on nanotechnologies, including the science behind it, broader societal impacts and the assessment of foreseen benefits and risks.
- Educational materials should be directed at the long-term uptake in educational programmes. They should be presented in such a way that teachers will be encouraged to take them up in their regular teaching activities. This way, the activities become embedded in school programmes and will continue after the project ends.
- The materials should take the various constraints of the school situation into account, including time constraints, limited resources, the need to comply with national curricula and the specific interests of students and teachers.

The aim of preparing capacity-building and training tools on governance of nanomaterials at the workplace was to provide workers and their representatives with information on the existence of nanomaterials at workplaces, so as to support worker participation and training in ensuring the highest level of worker health and safety protection. The provision of awareness-raising and training tools was to ensure that an EU-wide minimum level of information could be provided to workers and their representatives, to ultimately effect change in workplace practices (informing workers and their representatives of the introduction or use of nanomaterials, a risk assessment on the nanomaterial and subsequent risk management measures put in place, evaluated and monitored).
The aim is that worker representatives and other OSH experts (medical doctors, external experts, trade union representatives, trainers, etc.) have easy access to condensed information on nanomaterials to improve work practices on nanomaterials and to more systematically identify them in products used at the workplace.
As an extension to wider societal implications, the provision of this information to workplace settings helps to raise awareness of the presence of nanomaterials in products in the wider commercial setting (i.e. shop shelves). Current EU legislation requires nano to be identified and publicly communicated for a narrow range of consumer products (notably for cosmetics) resulting in little public communication on the presence of nanomaterials in products and hence little public awareness.

WP5 hopes to have achieved successful nanotechnology communication activities. By reaching over 4.000 people in their cities and around 20.000 online users, this work package has managed to introduce new public communication strategies for nanotechnologies.
Supported by dissemination activities, the achievements of WP5 and the recommendations for public engagement may be used as guidance by organisations willing to take part in public communication. These recommendations are built around the compliance with four following principles :
- Acknowledging diversity
- Embracing complexity
- Inciting curiosity
- Enabling dialogue

The developed tools were found useful and the project demonstrated the effectiveness of such interactive activities. Meeting with experts, being able to answer the questions and discuss with viewers showed the potentially big societal interest and willingness to engage those issues in a more open dialogue with other stakeholders.
The project’s findings can be useful in future planning of dialogue and engagement activities as well as dissemination and communication strategies. If the project’s finding and recommendations are taken into account in future strategies, communication, and engagement results can be far more successful.

NanoDiode has highlighted conditions for more productive stakeholder engagement at the different levels of governance. The activities have enhanced mutual understanding between different stakeholders within the consortium, and engaged nanotechnology ‘enactors’ in the debate on nanotechnology governance. They offer examples of how the early consideration of ethical and societal dimensions can enhance the quality of research outcomes. These examples offer a glimpse of a new ‘mode’ for research and innovation that is more responsive to societal needs and values. But thus far it has remained a glimpse, because there are major challenges along the way such as the voluntary nature of stakeholder engagement, the lack of effective integration mechanisms and the dominance of vested interests. Indeed, a deeper understanding of these barriers may be as valuable as knowledge of the opportunities: it points out that the capacity of research and innovation to effectively respond to societal challenges is a systemic challenge. There are complex interdependencies between decisions at the level of policy making, research and production. NanoDiode has contributed to the broader experimentation that will be needed to enable effective governance of nanotechnologies in Europe. The challenge now is to integrate societal considerations at the heart of nanotechnologies research and innovation. Buy-in from all stakeholders will be essential for the transition towards a more responsive research and innovation system where societal considerations become part of the innovation drive rather than a problem to be addressed.

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