ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology: A partnership for nanotechnology stewardship and sustainability


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ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology

Rice University

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ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology
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Based at  Rice University, ICON is a technically driven organization whose activities are broadly supported by industry, non-profit foundations, and governments.  Its multi-stakeholder partnerships and governance, with members that span the globe, make it uniquely positioned to ensure global coordination and cooperation in nanotechnology risk management. ICON has grown from an affiliates program of the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, based at Rice University, which has been designated by the U.S. National Science Foundation as a nanotechnology center of excellence..

ICON’s activities surround the emerging industrial area of nanotechnology.  Nanotechnology is the study and application of materials with one dimension under 100 nm.  In this size range, materials can be created with valuable chemical and physical properties which enable a wide range of technological applications, ranging from faster computer chips to new ways of treating cancer.  In the United States, the organization of diverse research activities under the "National Nanotechnology Initiative" has led to one of the biggest government investment in physical sciences research since the space program. The field of nanotechnology has captured the imagination of scientists and non-scientists alike who see the potential to create benefits that could touch the lives of people everywhere.

Groups like ICON believe that a proactive approach to sustainability and safety will only enhance the value of the nanotechnology enterprise to both industry and the world’s citizens.   Our efforts are founded on the belief that partnership activities, between governments, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations are the key to a green nanotechnology industry.

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This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.

Rice University