InfoNano is the Swiss Confederation's central information hub for nanotechnology. The agencies involved in the website are the Federal Office of Public Health, the Federal Offices for the Environment and Agriculture, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, the Commission for Technology and Innovation, Swissmedic and the State Secretariats for Economic Affairs and for Education, Research and Innovation. InfoNano provides information about the opportunities and risks of nanotechnology and synthetic nanomaterials. The intention is to promote a dialogue between stakeholders from public administration, business, research and society.
Synthetic nanomaterials, nano-coatings and nanostructures are making it possible to develop novel products. Special databases provide an overview of the applications for nanomaterials and of nanoproducts that are on the market.
Action plan for synthetic nanomaterials
The "Action plan for synthetic nanomaterials" was approved by the Federal Council in 2008 and is jointly funded by several federal government agencies. It highlights what has been done to ensure safe handling of nanomaterials, and what still needs to be done in Switzerland.
Dialogue between the public, industry, academia and the public authorities is a key element in developing new technologies. Nanotechnology is no exception here. Opportunities and risks have to be discussed and ways of handling new technologies sensibly and safely have to be found. National and international dialogue-based events have for several years been addressing the issue of nanotechnology and nanomaterials.
The federal government has developed a range of instruments for the safe handling of nanomaterials.
These instruments are strengthening industry's accountability and are providing guidelines for handling synthetic nanomaterials responsibly. They are regularly amended to take account of the latest knowledge, applicable legal provisions and international developments.
Knowledge and research
Research on nanomaterials shows how nanomaterials can be specifically manufactured or modified and how they differ from more coarsely grained materials. This allows usages and additionally creates the basis for early detection of potential risks.
Legislative process and enforcement
The relevant federal agencies are constantly reviewing existing laws and amend them where necessary. Switzerland is actively involved in developing international legislation and methods for assessing the risks of nanomaterials, which will then be used for the benefit of the Swiss people, industry and commerce.
Last updated on: 01.03.2016