Research institutes and start-up enterprises that actively develop nanomaterials and other advanced materials face difficulties in considering questions related to the safety of their materials for humans and the environment. First empirical results of research in the area of Regulation and Governance have indicated that collaboration among scientists, regulators, representatives of industry and other interest groups in governance networks, that are build up and coordinated according to certain criteria, can contribute to the effective co-regulation of nanomaterials. Against this backdrop, this pilot project aims at developing a robust concept in form of a supporting structure for start-ups and research institutes. This structure shall enable learning processes on various levels. By means of two case studies and interviews three hypotheses are verified: Does the inclusion of start-ups in public-private governance networks support the safe and sustainable development of advanced materials when strong learning is observed? Is new knowledge generated and are, on this basis, rules developed when actors have developed relationships based on strong trust in each other? Do governance networks contribute to the effective regulation when actor interests and interaction is managed by a trusted, independent entity that operates at the intersection of science and policy?
Division 4 "Hazardous Substances and Biological Agents"