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Publications Office of the European Union


Report Title: Life Cycle Assessment Should be Applied to Nano-products, Say Experts
Report ID: 274
Date: 3/20/2007
Author: Project on Emerging Technologies
Report Type: News Article
Publication: CORDIS News
URL: [fetch]
Country: European Union
Organization: Publications Office of the European Union
Summary: Life cycle assessment (LCA), the cradle-to-grave assessment of the health and environmental impacts of a product or substance, is vital for the successful and safe commercialization of nanotechnologies, according to a new report drawn up by European and American experts. The report is based on the outcomes of a recent workshop on nanotechnologies and life cycle assessment, organized jointly by the European Commission and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, an American initiative set up by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The LCA is widely used in a number of fields to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of a new product from the start of production, right through to its disposal, yet until now it has not been widely applied to nanotechnologies. The report concludes that the existing standards for carrying out LCAs are fully suitable for use on nanomaterials and nanoproducts. However, one serious problem identified in the report is a lack of data. To remedy this paucity, authors suggest researchers prioritize their studies by toxicity, nature of dispersion and volume of production. Furthermore, they call on governments, academia, and industry to set up research programs to develop LCA methodologies in the field of nanotechnologies and to establish databases of LCA case studies on nanotechnologies without compromising competitiveness in the case of the latter.



Report Title: The Future is Plastic Electronics
Report ID: 273
Date: 3/9/2007
Author: CORDIS News interview with Plastic Logic
Report Type: News Article
Publication: CORDIS News
URL: [fetch]
Country: European Union
Organization: Publications Office of the European Union
Summary: A new electronics industry appears to be on the verge of exploding on the scene in Europe, and one company is at the forefront of this pioneering development. Earlier this year, the UK technology start-up Plastic Logic announced that it had secured $ 100 million worth of venture capital to help build the world's first commercial plant for plastic electronics manufacture. The main function of the factory will be to scale up commercial production of displays that its creators claim are almost as flexible and have the same look and feel as paper. Plastic Logic, which was spun out of Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, participated in two EU funded projects, Discel and Naimo, under the Fifth and Sixth Framework Programmes respectively. In Naimo, it took a leading role in developing the nanofabrication techniques now to be used in manufacturing the smart plastic materials found in the novel flexible displays. That said, many of the giants of the electronic world are now eager to get a slice of the plastic electronics action. From Franco-US group Alcatel-Lucent to Philips of the Netherlands, and from Japan's Hitachi to Samsung of South Korea, all are working on plastic semiconductors or at least monitoring how they develop.



 
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