Germany chemical industry welcomes Berlin’s plan for nano sector

12 January 2011 14:44  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical industry is welcoming a government nanotechnology plan as a chance for the country to gain international leadership in that field, a trade group said on Wednesday.

The government's plan took a balanced approach to the risks and chances of nanotechnology and nanomaterials, said Gerd Romanowski, general manger for science, technology and environment at Frankfurt-based chemical industry trade group VCI.

“The government has recognised the innovation potential [of nanotechnology] and will continue strengthening research,” he added.

Under “Action Plan Nanotechnology 2015” eight German federal ministries will combine their nano initiatives and related work under the leadership of the federal ministry of research, the Bundesforschungsministerium.

Germany’s federal and state governments are supporting nano research with about €440m ($571m) a year since 2008, according to the government.

The government said while the entire field of potential applications could not yet be assessed, nanotechnology had important applications in the environmental, chemical and energy sectors.

VCI’s Romanowski added that Germany’s chemical industry was taking safety and risk concerns related to nanotechnology seriously.

However, the nanosector did not require its own set of regulations. Rather, the sector should be regulated by clarifying and adding to existing rules and regulations, such as the EU’s Reach directive for chemicals.

Also, VCI was opposed to specific labelling requirements and a nano products registry, he said.

The government’s nano plan is available, in German, on the website of the Bundesforschungsministerium.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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