NIOSH and SUNY Poly CNSE Launch Nano Health & Safety Consortium
May 20, 2015
Contact: Stephanie Stevens (202) 245-0641
Unique Public-Private Collaboration will Address Research for Occupational Safety and Health in Nanotechnology Industry
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) today announced the launch of the Nano Health & Safety Consortium. This initiative brings together government, academia, and industry leaders to advance research and guidance for occupational safety and health in nanotechnology-related industries.
The Nano Safety & Health Consortium represents an expansion of the existing partnership and memorandum of understanding (MOU) between NIOSH and SUNY Poly CNSE to advance responsible development of nanotechnology. The MOU will serve as a platform for the new consortium that will be anchored at the SUNY Poly CNSE Nanotech Megaplex in Albany, New York and extend across the full 10-campus SUNY Poly network throughout New York.
“Ensuring the safety of workers in the burgeoning nanotechnology industry is a top priority for NIOSH,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “By joining with SUNY Poly in this effort, we’re building on an already successful partnership that allows us to align research efforts, expertise, and resources through the existing infrastructure of the world class SUNY Poly network to enhance our understanding of and manage potential health and safety risks to nanotechnology workers.”
The consortium has identified that occupational and environmental health and safety is an essential and enabling component of forward progress in nanotechnology research and development through manufacturing. In addition to advancing worker health and safety research, the consortium will provide training and education for students, faculty, researchers, and private sector members of the network, while taking advantage of the diverse research, manufacturing, and public-private partnership opportunities that exist across New York.
“SUNY Poly CNSE is a global resource for nanotechnology R&D,” said SUNY Poly CNSE Assistant Vice President for NanoHealth Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Nanobioscience Sara Brenner, M.D., M.P.H. “The collaborative work to be done by SUNY Poly, NIOSH, and the consortium will facilitate and accelerate commercialization, help strengthen and protect our workforce, and clear the path for innovation and enable the continued advancement of the field of nanotechnology.”
NIOSH Associate Director for Nanotechnology, Chuck Geraci, Ph.D., CIH and Dr. Brenner made today’s announcement at the White House Forum on Small Business Challenges to Commercializing Nanotechnology hosted by the Office of Science & Technology Policy and the National Economics Council. The meeting highlighted the NIOSH-SUNY Poly partnership as an example of the type of public-private collaboration that will shape the next phase of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).
“As founding members of the consortium, NIOSH and SUNY Poly have created a unique opportunity for government, academia, and industry to join forces to drive research that is critical for supporting the responsible development of nanotechnology in the United States and the competitive global market,” said Dr. Geraci. “The partnership will address environmental, health, and safety issues in a broad array of material applications across the life cycle—from R&D to disposal.”
The Nano Health & Safety Consortium will ultimately create broad opportunities for research that supports safe commercialization of nanomaterial products; supports the growth of nanomanufacturing; creates a model for stewardship as nanomaterials flow into advanced manufacturing; and supports the development of the factory of tomorrow. NIOSH and SUNY Poly are in the process of engaging private partners and federal agencies participating in the NNI to join and contribute to the mission of the consortium.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. To learn more about NIOSH’s nanotechnology initiatives visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech/. Find more information about NIOSH at www.cdc.gov/niosh.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $20 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. For information visit www.sunycnse.comExternal and www.sunypoly.eduExternal.