ICF International of Fairfax, Va., released an analysis of the U.S. Federal Government’s efforts to research the human health and environmental consequences of nanotechnology.
The report, titled “Characterizing the Environmental, Health, and Safety Implications of Nanotechnology: Where Should the Federal Government Go From Here?” describes a need to chart a more aggressive course when it comes to answering such questions.
In the report, ICF says it takes an integrated view of the challenge and provides 14 specific policy recommendations built around three components.
The first entails identifying the “right” research that can inform priority risk management decisions. The second addresses research management and offers recommendations for the completion of timely and policy-relevant research. The third component focuses on how research results can be used to support sound risk management decisions. Principles of continuous improvement are then overlaid on the framework to allow ongoing feedback to enhance the national research effort.
“At first, the challenge appears to be only a scientific one, focused on traditional risk assessment topics like hazard, exposure, dose-response, and environmental impacts,” says Peter Linquiti, study co-author and ICF consultant, in a prepared statement. “But it’s also a management issue. Without a sound strategic research plan and the right underlying business processes, it will be difficult to ensure that federal research reliably yields answers to questions being asked by a wide variety of stakeholders.”
ICF International partners with government and commercial clients to deliver consulting services and technology solutions in the energy, environment, transportation, social programs, defense, and homeland security markets. The 1,800-person firm serves government, major corporations, and multilateral institutions.