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Nanotechnology Mutual Learning Action Plan For Transparent And Responsible Understanding Of Science And Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NANO2ALL (Nanotechnology Mutual Learning Action Plan For Transparent And Responsible Understanding Of Science And Technology)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
The Grand Societal challenges that lie before us will have a far better chance of being addressed if all societal actors are fully engaged in the co-construction of innovative solutions, products and services, through a dynamic, iterative, mutually responsible process. To achieve this, a higher number of effective and fruitful stakeholder interactions as well as a greater understanding of their needs and concerns is required and especially in the area of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a recent technology field that constitutes a great promise for all kinds of sectors and domains as diverse as product development, environmental conservation, medicine and information technology, to name a few. In contrast, the use of nanotechnology has also given rise to numerous concerns about potential health risks and environmental hazards, as well as raised wider social and ethical issues regarding unintended long-term consequences, social and financial risks, issues of governance and control and fundamental issues about life/human identity.
Its great potential in combination with its controversies makes nanotechnology’s alignment with societal values and concerns even more crucial, so as to steer its development towards the “right” directions, in the benefit of the society as a whole.

NANO2ALL (www.nano2all.eu) aimed to establish a European-wide platform for mutual learning and informed dialogue among all stakeholders, i.e. scientists and researchers including social sciences and humanities (SSH), industry/firms, the public including the media as well as CSOs, NGOs, policymakers and policymaker advisors, research funders and intermediary organisations, for improving transparency and societal engagement in the governance of nanotechnology research and innovation. Overall, the project aimed to co-produce recommendations addressing especially decision-makers in the EU and Members States in the area of nanotechnology research and innovation on how to increase the engagement of societal actors in nanotechnology R&I accross the value chains in order to better align the R&I ouctomes with societal needs, values and expectations.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
"NANO2ALL launched a European-wide online platform available at www.nano2all.eu that:

• explains the concepts lying behind the NANO2ALL project,
• provides dedicated resources to different types of groups that can motivate them to get involved in NANO2ALL activities, as well as in future dialogues about the development of nanotechnologies in Europe in general,
• provides access to the main outputs of the project.

The platform has received over 4.500 visitors over the project period. The project team also made several other interventions to reach out to the groups NANO2ALL targeted at (collaboration with other important initiatives, participation and organization of events, use of social media) that helped reach over 350.000 individuals.

A report ""Current RRI in Nano Landscape Report"" reviewing nanotechnology related responsible research and innovation (RRI) activities in the EU & in other selected countries from stakeholders and policy perspectives was elaborated. Training materials related to the responsible development of nanotechnology were prepared. The report and the training materials in webinar format are accessible at www.nano2all.eu/resources/other-nano2all-results/

A three-step dialogue methodology was created for the NANO2ALL participatory activities. These consisted of six national citizen-, six national multi-stakeholder- and a European multi-stakeholder dialogue. The national dialogues took place in Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Israel between 2017 and 2018. The European dialogue was organised in Brussels in 2018. While the citizen dialogues aimed to explore the societal values, needs and expectations relevant for nanotechnology research and innovation, the national multi-stakeholder dialogues used the citizen perspectives for reflection and discussed the (inter)actions that are necessary to implement to better identify and integrate societal perspectives into nanotechnology research and innovation. The societal perspectives were also used for reflection at the European dialogue that explored how the nanotechnology research and innovation ecosystem could be turned more responsive to societal needs and expectations. The findings from the stakeholder dialogues allowed to devise recommended directions for change in each country and in the EU context. Materials on the dialogue methodologies, as well as the reports on the citizen and multi-stakeholder dialogue findings are available at: http://www.nano2all.eu/resources/nano2all-dialogue-materials-and-results/

Over the project years, the team identified and elaborated 15 nanotechnology societal engagement practices into case studies. The practices come from European Member States, EU initiatives and the United States.The aim of the case study elaboration was to disseminate these initiatives, share the lessons learnt and recommendations of those involved in their implementation. The case studies are downloadable from: www.nano2all.eu/resources/nano2all-collected-practices-of-engaging-society-in-nanotechnology-development/

As a final outcome a Roadmap was developed that integrates NANO2ALL´s key findings from the above participatory and mapping activities, as well as recommended trajectories and actions for the increase of societal engagement in nanotechnology research and innovation. The recommendations build on the outcomes of the multi-stakeholder dialogues and the case studies, a literature review, the interview to 20 experts and an Experts and Stakeholders Validation Symposium that took place in 2019. The full and short versions of the Roadmap are downloadable from: www.nano2all.eu/resources/recommendations/

Two working groups (under NANOFutures and E-MRS) were formed to foster the implementation of the Roadmap´s recommendations."
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
Innovative solutions to society’s challenges need to be developed with the involvement of all stakeholders through a dynamic, iterative, mutually responsible process. To achieve this, greater understanding of required stakeholder interactions as well as their needs and concerns is necessary. Societal engagement in nanotechnology has been tackled previously. However, prior learning needs to be brought together and built on by addressing shortcomings identified, particularly putting in place sustainable means (platform, innovation agenda, roadmap, scenarios) for this to continue. NANO2ALL was conceived to respond to these needs.

In particular, NANO2ALL:

• Enhanced the interaction between societal groups in order to contribute to responsible nanotechnology research and innovation at EU and national policy and research processes level.
• Increased awareness, enhanced understanding between stakeholders on their positions, needs, expectations and concerns on nanotechnologies, and enhanced trust between them.
• Promoted responsible policy-making, better acceptability of nanotechnologies outcomes and a more inclusive European society on a long-term.
Object built by citizens in the first dialogue in Israel nanotech to express their values and needs
Citizen needs, concerns and values regarding nanotech from the first dialogue in France
NANO2ALL logo
Citizens discussing needs, concerns and values regarding nanotech in the first dialogue in Sweden