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IP Nanoker - Nano Societal Infobase (Page 1)

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IP Nanoker - Nano Societal Infobase
Nano-Societal Infobase
IP NANOKER is an ambitious project in terms of its strategic impact on solving societal problems.
As follows can be seen important contributions of his project to the following EU Policies:
Health: It is expected that the potential applications of nanotechnology improve the quality of life
of the European citizens but there may be some risk associated with it, as with any new
technology (EC funded projects: Nanopathology "The role of nanoparticles in biomaterial-induced
pathologies" (QLK4-CT-2001-00147); Nanoderm "Quality of skin as a barrier to ultra-fine
particles" (QLK4-CT-2002-02678); Nanosafe "Risk assessment in production and use of
nanoparticles with development of preventive measures and practice codes" (G1MA-CT-2002-
00020). In what concerns to the results of IP NANOKER these potential risks will be openly
acknowledged and investigated. The public's perception of nanostructures and its potential risks
will be properly assessed by adopting a proactive stance and fully integrated approach as an
essential part of the knowledge dissemination and communication plan put into operation by
partners CSIC and FICYT. Therefore, an effective two-way dialogue is indispensable and is
implemented by the consortium. Ethical principles will be respected in medical applications. The
Precautionary Principle will be applied in the event that realistic and serious risks are identified.
Within the Mission Statement of the Health and Consumer Protection DG it is referred to the
tasks in "Public Health (Treaty Articles 95, 152 and 300): a) To assure a high level of human
health protection in the development of all Community policies; b) To take actions to improve
public health in the European Union, to prevent human illness and diseases and to obviate
sources of danger to human health." IP NANOKER will deliver: New materials for hip and knee
implants are expected to extend implants life cycle from 10 to 30 years, to help to reduce revision
endoprothesis (second hip replacement operation) needs for older and young patients from 20%
to 10% decreasing operation figures from 500.000 to 400.000 operations per year and the
corresponding private and public hospital costs will be going up to 15% in Europe. Dental
implants will efficiently be improved by harder and longer lasting materials that guarantee more
comfortable teeth behaviour and mouth feeling, reducing dental treatment costs aprox. 10% per
year in Europe. Nanosized materials for microdevices and microsystems will widen new
biomedical application areas mainly prosthetic heart valves and drug delivery fields.
Employment: Within the Mission Statement of the DG for Employment and Social Affairs, it is
mentioned the task "to contribute to the development of a modern, innovative and sustainable
European Social Model with more and better jobs in an inclusive society based on equal
opportunities. It plays a key role in promoting positive interaction ... to make Europe the world
most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of sustainable economic
growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion." IP NANOKER will enforce
competitiveness and employment: new and value-added nanosized devices and systems based
on new knowledge-based nanosized materials will emerge increased competitiveness. New
products will lead to increased employment capacities, especially in innovative SMEs with high
specialization in future oriented sectors. Working conditions will be improved by progressive
transformation of material and energy-intensive production towards synthesis of high-added-value
(knowledge-based) materials. Knowledge dissemination through training and education
throughout Europe will have important improvement results on the development of new
skills/expertise. The medical technology products market estimated in 55 billion Euro (30% of
world market), for example, has many niche products that require specific manufacturing or
distribution skills with the result that many SMEs concentrate on a single product line or on a
specific geographical area. "Eucomed" estimates that the European medical technology industry
employs more than 385.000. There are some 9.345 medical technology legal entities in Europe
(SMEs: 80%). By adapting technological innovation to the introduction of new devices based on

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