NIRT: Evaluating Oversight Models for Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems: Learning from Past Technologies in a Societal Context

Journal of Nanotechnology Research
Award Amount
Award number
Project dates
09/06/06 to 04/30/11

Principal investigator(s)

  • Susan M. Wolf, JD (Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences)


  • Efie Kokkoli, PhD (Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science)
  • Jennifer Kuzma, PhD (Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy)
  • Jordan Paradise, JD (Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences)
  • Gurumurthy Ramachandran, PhD (School of Public Health Environmental Health Sciences)

This project aimed to identify oversight models for nanotechnology by assessing 6 historical oversight models: for drugs, devices, gene transfer, genetically engineered organisms in the food supply, chemicals in the workplace, and chemicals in the environment. The project brought together a multidisciplinary group of Investigators and senior personnel from the University of Minnesota, with strengths in nanotechnology research and development, public policy, law, health, environment, economics, and bioethics and involves outside collaborators representing a range of perspectives. The project team evaluated oversight models using a historical and comparative approach and integrated findings to glean lessons for emerging applications of nanotechnology.

Project outcomes