Past Events

Products, Privacy & People: Regulating on the Nanoscale

  1. Background
  2. Speaker Profiles
  3. Recommended Resources
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  5. Background

     BioCentre is pleased to invite you to attend:

    "Products, Privacy & People: Regulating on the Nanoscale"

    Monday 28th February 2011, 14:00
    House of Lords, Committee Room 3

    A drinks reception will follow the symposium during which the work of Julie Freeman, Artist-in-residence at Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre, Cranfield University, will be on display.

    PDF publicity leaflet can be found here.

    This is the second symposium of a series of four which will look at the themes of revolution, regulation and responsibilities surrounding the issue of emerging technologies.

    The manipulation of matter at the nanoscale represents a ‘rebound revolution’ reframing our understanding and engagement with science and technology. As nanotechnologies continue to evolve the promised nano structures which offer novel and new properties currently present unknown hazards.

    Nanoparticles have been found to pass through the skin, offering exciting possibilities of targeted drug delivery. Conversely, given their size nanoparticles could also interfere with the functioning of proteins on the surface of cells, or be taken up into cells and bind to intercellular proteins. How crucial is public awareness of these issues? Should there be a mandatory labelling system for nano products? This becomes all the more important as nanomaterials are adopted commercially and taken up into global supply chains.

    Nanotechnology will present new possibilities for collecting new data and intensifying debate and discussion surrounding ongoing questions of privacy. There is the potential for tiny senses to be embedded in clothes, products or even bodies which could record and collect a multitude of data, including the movement of people, products, health and financial details.

    Increasingly, it appears that the distinction between human and machine could become blurred through the convergence of biology, nanotechnology, information technology and even neuroscience. If some of the grander ideas which nanotechnology would seemingly promise are believed to be true, then fusion between people and technology could occur like never before. Yet public and civil society debate remains limited despite dramatic efforts to frame the significance of such developments ranging from Eric Drexler’s ‘grey goo’ scenario, to technology guru Bill Joy's Why the Future Doesn't Need Us, to Ray Kurzweil's imminent expectation of the sci-fi "singularity".

    As attempts are made to develop effective and proportional regulation in response there is also the inevitable tension between divergent approaches to risk management on the national, regional and global level. One thing is for certain, transdisciplinary discussion, fresh thinking and understanding is essential if we are to avoid a repeat of the GM foods debacle and the emergence of the ‘yuck’ factor.

    Through short expert presentations, panel and Q&A discussions you are invited to join us as we discuss and examine the regulatory issues at the nanoscale.

    Confirmed speakers:

    • Dr. Steffi Friedrichs, Director of Nanotechnology Industries Association.
    • Dr. Chris Groves, ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, Cardiff University.
    • Dr. Peter Hatto, Chairman of ISO/TC229, Nanotechnologies and Director of Research, IonBond Ltd.
    • Prof. Geoff Hunt, Director of Centre for Bioethics & Emerging Technologies, St Mary’s University and partner in several EU funded projects on nanotech.
    • Trevor Maynard, Deputy Head of Exposure Management, Lloyd’s of London.
    • Prof. Terry Wilkins, CEO NanoManufacturing Institute, University of Leeds and Chair of the EU Programme Expert Advisory Group on Nano Materials and Production Technologies.

    Photographs from the drinks reception

    Clicking on any of the thumbnails below will open larger file versions

    Drinks receptions in strangers dining room, palace of westminster








    Drinks reception in strangers dining room, palace of westminster








    'In particular' - art work by julie freeman









    Speaker Profiles

    Dr. Steffi Friedrichs
    Director General, Nanotechnology Industries Association

    Dr Steffi Friedrichs is the Director-General of the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA), globally the only industries-focused trade association in nanotechnology with registered companies in the UK (NIA ltd) and in Belgium (international level, NIA AISBL).

    Based on business-strategies and policies developed by Dr Friedrichs, the NIA provides a sector-independent, responsible voice for the industrial nanotechnologies supply chains. In this capacity, she has represented the nanotechnology industries through provision of expert advice and evidence to numerous national and international expert committees and regulatory organizations on topics ranging from regulatory-/safety-issues to environmental and societal benefits of nanotechnologies, educational-/skills-requirements for nanotechnologies to commercialization-/business-issues related to the advancement of nanotechnologies to general policy considerations for emerging technologies. She initiated several in-depth programmes in support of the ongoing advancement of nanotechnologies and participated in many stakeholder debates and citizen’s engagement panels.

    Dr Friedrichs joined the NIA from The Technology Partnership, where, as a Senior Nanotechnology Consultant, she was responsible for the development of nanotechnology innovations and contributed to the tendering and due diligence processes for the MNT Network (Department of Trade and Industry, UK Government). She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Micro- & Nanotechnology Community (CMNC). Dr Friedrichs started her scientific career with an undergraduate degree in 'Diplom-Chemie' at the Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany), before taking a DPhil at the University of Oxford (UK), specialising in single-walled carbon nanotubes (both synthesis and toxicology). She subsequently held a Fellowship at Oxford University and a Lectureship in Nanotechnology at Cambridge University, where she developed and coordinated a Master’s Programme in Micro- & Nanotechnology Enterprise. In 2006, Dr Friedrichs chaired the UK Committee for the Recognition of Nanoscience and –technology Educational Programmes (Institute of Nanotechnology), and is member of the Board of Editors for the journal NanoEducation.

    Dr Friedrichs a member of several expert panels/boards regarding regulatory-, safety- and innovation-aspects of nanotechnologies; she is Vice-Chair of the BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD) Nanotechnology Committee and server as one of the main representatives to the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials and the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology.

    Dr. Christopher Groves
    Research Associate, BRASS

    Christopher Groves is a Research Associate at the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS, at Cardiff University.

    His research interests draw on his background in philosophy and sociology, and include intergenerational and environmental ethics, how the widespread uses of advanced technologies make risk and uncertainty ethically and politically significant, and how regulation and other forms of governance can best address these issues. These themes are brought together in a number of recent papers and in the monograph Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics (Brill, 2007), co-authored with Professor Barbara Adam.

    Dr. Peter Hatto
    Chairman, International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee for Nanotechnologies, Director of Research, IonBond Ltd.

    Dr Peter Hatto has been chairman of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee for Nanotechnologies, ISO/TC 229, since it was established in June 2005, and was appointed chairman of the equivalent European (CEN) Technical Committee, TC 352 in August of 2008. He is also chairman of the UK BSI committee in the area, NTI/1, a position which he has held since its formation in 2004. He has participated in numerous national, European and international workshops and meeting on the subject of nanotechnologies and has presented widely on the need for and development of voluntary, consensus based standards for nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.

    Peter is also Director of Research for IonBond Ltd, a leading producer of advanced, ceramic coatings. His research activities have covered subjects ranging from erosion protection for aircraft engines to enhanced osseo-integration of dental and orthopaedic implants, including two major nanotechnology projects – one on the preparation and characterization of nanostructured multilayer coatings and the other on the development and use of nanocomposite coatings for the control of friction and wear in engineering components. His long association with this area of technology led to his appointment in the late 90’s as convenor of working groups for standardization in the field of ceramic coatings in both ISO and CEN, position which he still holds.  

    Prof. Geoffrey Hunt
    Research Professor and Director of the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies, St Mary’s University College

    Professor Geoffrey Hunt is Research Professor and Director of the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London, U.K.  His field embraces the social, ethical and conceptual dimensions of emerging technologies, and nanotechnology in particular.

    He is a partner in two European 'Framework Programme Seven' (FP7) projects in nanotechnology and in a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project on nanomaterials for food packaging applications. He has been leading the International Organization for Standardization’s project on the voluntary labelling of nanomaterials and products containing them. He co-edited the seminal book on 'Nanotechnology: Risk, Ethics & Law', London, 2008. He is a member of the Institute of Risk Management (London) and a Fellow of the Institute of Nanotechnology. His current interests are largely in complexity, uncertainty and precaution.

    Trevor Maynard
    Deputy Head of Exposure Management, Lloyd’s of London

    Trevor is deputy head of exposure management at Lloyd's of London, responsible for catastrophe modelling and emerging risks management.  The emerging risks team which he manages has produced research reports on subjects ranging from Nanotechnology to Pandemics. He represents Lloyd’s on various climate change related initiatives including: ClimateWise, UNEPFI, Geneva Association and London Climate Change Partnership.  

    Trevor is on the management board of the Lighthill Risk Network, a collaboration between Lloyd’s and others in the insurance market which seeks to join up the business world with that of academia.  He also sits on the Industry Advisory Board of the Industrial Maths Knowledge Transfer Network.  Until 2010 he sat on the Maths Strategic Advisory Team for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.  He is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has bachelor and master of science degrees in pure mathematics from the University of Warwick.

    Prof. Terry Wilkins
    CEO NanoManufacturing Institute, University of Leeds

    Professor Terry Wilkins has Bachelor and PhD degrees in (catalyst) chemistry from the University of London. He has 30 years industrial experience as a chemist, engineer and molecular biologist, leading innovative high technology R&D centres.  His research has generated £billons of sales in the healthcare and industrial nanomaterials sectors.

    His career began with Amersham Plc with senior management roles in R&D, manufacturing, and business development in nuclear medicine and nanoparticle clinical diagnostics; where he led the move from radioactive to non-radioactive products He joined the Nobel Laureate Christian Du Duve’s Institute for Cellular & Molecular Pathology in the Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, in 1985 as Directeur Scientifique.  His collaboration with Professor Pierre Masson created novel high-throughput nanoparticle immunoassay systems together with 140 clinical assays commercialised by US, German and Japanese healthcare multinationals.  

    In 1988 he joined ICI Plc as CTO of its Clinical Diagnostics business.  His collaboration with Sir Alec Jeffries, Lister Institute, UK, and Sir Alex Markham, ICI, (now Leeds U) led to Cellmark the world’s first and most successful commercial DNA fingerprinting business.  From 1993 he led ICI’s corporate Measurement & Control Engineering Centre producing substantial profit and environmental improvements for ICI’s businesses worldwide, including reduction of pollution into the river Tees by 99% in 18 months. In 2000, he created and led ICI’s world-leading global High-Throughput Centre for nanomaterials discovery and new product development, as a corner stone of the company’s global technology strategy.

    In 2005 joined Leeds University as CEO to create its Nanomanufacturing Institute (NMi) where he holds the Yorkshire Forward Professorial Chair in Nanomanufacturing Innovation. The NMi is an interdisciplinary institute operating across 4 faculties across the University and has 255 researchers. Its research addresses the scale up and manufacturing of novel nanomaterials to intermediates and nano-enabled finished goods for the healthcare, consumer, industrial (inc. energy, transport & construction), nano-electronics and ICT.  In addition, it conducts research into business management and government strategic policy making for nanomanufacturing.


    • Prince of Wales Award for Industrial Innovation & Production
      (Amerlex free analyte nanoparticle clinical assay system for diagnosis of many diseases)
    • Prince of Wales Award for Industrial Innovation & Production
      (Amerlite chemiluminescence high-throughput clinical diagnostic systems)
    • Allied Steel & Wire Award for Industrial Innovation (clinical diagnostic devices)
    • ICI Supreme Award for Innovation & Creativity in Engineering. Science & Technology
    • (Re-engineering nano-crystallite  titanium dioxide manufacturing worldwide for profit)

    EU and Government Roles & Personal Research Interests

    He is Chairman of the EU FP7 Nano-, Materials- and Production- Technologies (NMP) Programme Expert Advisory Group (RTD budget €3.54 billion). He has led many successful large scale collaborative translational research programmes in the UK, US and in the EU (inc. all 7 Framework Programmes. His research interests are: i) nanomedicine, ii) nanoparticle manufacturing, iii) spintronic devices, iv) EH&S nanotoxicology risks and v) business management, entrepreneurship and government RTD policy making for nanotechnology

    Lord Bates of Langbaurgh

    Symposium room sponsor

    Michael was born and grew up in Gateshead and after an education at Heathfield Senior High School he joined the family firm of insurance brokers and then enjoyed a twelve year career in the Insurance and wider financial services industry.

    Throughout his later teenage years and twenties Michael became involved in politics in the North East, motivated by a passion for educational and economic advancement in the region, he first stood for Parliament in Tyne Bridge aged 25 in 1987. He then went on to contest the Langbaurgh by-election in 1991 before being elected for the same seat in 1992. Over the next five years Michael served in various ministerial roles in Government, including a senior Government Whip, Her Majesty’s Paymaster General based in the Cabinet Office and as Sponsor Minister for Tyne and Wear. He is a Member of the House of Lords, serving as Lord Bates of Langbaurgh.

    After leaving Parliament in 1997 Michael studied at Oxford University and obtained an MBA in 1998. Michael went on to hold a number of key roles at Oxford Analytica – a network of senior academics with ties to Oxford University who provide assessments of global political, economic and regulatory trends for clients in the public and private sectors. As Director of Consultancy and Research for seven years he led multi-disciplinary teams in a wide range of international consultancy engagements and travelled extensively throughout Asia and North America. During this period Michael developed particular expertise in: corporate governance, scenario planning and other analytical techniques.




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    Audio recordings of this Symposium can be downloaded here