World Economic Forum takes on nanotechnology

Nanowerk brings news that the World Economic Forum is both rewarding nanotechnology pioneers and taking a look at potential risks of nanoparticles. Excerpts:

Over the past few years, the Global Risk Network team has released an annual report. This years’ report “Global Risks 2008” (pdf download, 1.6 MB) was published two weeks ago. In it, as in previous years, nanotechnology was characterized as a global core risk…

Although nanotechnology has been included in the “Core Risks” group, it ranks well below the majority of risks both on the ‘severity’ and ‘likelihood’ scales…

Underlining the positive impacts of nanotechnologies, the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer program accepted four nanotechnology companies (out of 39) as 2008 Pioneers: Cima NanoTech Inc., Nanostellar Inc., RainDance Technologies, Unidym Inc.

Regarding the risks, we’re guessing that they’re only looking at nanomaterial EHS concerns, and not security issues arising from the nanotech-based military innovations coming later. —Christine

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