The Responsible Nano Code


Join the debate

Our aim with Nano&me is to provide balanced, easy to understand information about nanotechnology and be the hub of debate for everyone to discuss the important issues which arise from its use. Visit the site and let us know what you think….

If you would like to link to the site or discuss partnering with us to use the site as part of your own public involvement projects contact Hilary Sutcliffe on [email protected]

We apologise that some of the links on the site may not work. The UK government gave us a grant for this pilot site. We are currently fundraising to bring the site up to date and create the hub for debate that we think is so important.

Please contact [email protected] if you can help us!


Walking with Stakeholders/Emerging Technology Goverance/The Responsible Nano Code/Nano&me/Public engagement/Nano & Food

Business Relationships and the Responsible Nano Code

An important focus of our work is to promote good governance and help facilitate dialogue between business and its stakeholders in relation nanotechnologies in particular. Many of our current projects support this focus, particularly the Walking with Stakeholders and Emerging Technology Governance projects.

This approach began in 2006, before the creation of MATTER, when Hilary Sutcliffe developed an initiative to explore the responsibilities of business in relation to nanotechnologies. A multi-stakeholder development group was convened, to create a Code of Conduct for the responsible use of nanotechnologies in companies, The Responsible Nano Code. See here for the Code and more detail on its development

We are currently exploring how we may take forward the Responsible Nano Code or whether this may be usefully superceded by a Code on Emerging Technologies.

The technical, social and commercial challenges presented by nanotechnology

In November 2006, the Royal Society, Insight Investment and the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) came together to explore the societal and economic impact of the technical, social and commercial uncertainties related to nanotechnologies.

The three organisations began this process by convening a business-focused workshop that stimulated companies to engage more fully with the broad spectrum of questions which affect the development of nanotechnologies; the workshop brought together seventeen European companies with a commercial interest in nanotechnology – from food and chemicals manufacturers to retailers of healthcare and fashion.

The background of the workshop was laid out in the briefing paper: An Uncertain Business: The technical, social and commercial challenges presented by nanotechnology. (co-convened and co-authored by Hilary)

One of the main outcomes of the workshop was a unanimous agreement on the requirements for a voluntary Code of Conduct for businesses engaged in nanotechnology.

It was felt that such a Code should be principles based rather than standards based and would be developed through a process of engagement between a representative group of businesses from various stages of different supply chains and a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, government and consumer groups.

Follow this link to download the full Workshop Report.

The three organisations were joined by the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network – an initiative sponsored by the UK government’s Department of Trade and Industry. These four organisations are referred to as the Founding Partners.

Download the Report from the Responsible Nano Code and the examples of good practice here.