About the NanoMeter – FAQ
Who can use the NanoMeter?
Persons involved in …
- Researching on,
- Developing and designing,
- Examining, or
Maybe he or she will drop out single questions but still get a meaningful result.
The aspects assessed by the NanoMeter include a wide range of topics.
Tests have shown that the NanoMeter helps to facilitate the exchange of information and perceptions between disciplines and organisational functions or units. Such exchange will also contribute to the assessment quality as the required ranges of expertise will rarely be covered by one single user.
Yes. The NanoMeter is not explicitly limited to a certain position within the supply chain. It can be used as soon as a prototype or just a clear idea of the application exists.
It is useful to ask suppliers or other partners for more information where needed.
19 questions grouped in the 5 categories:
- Environment, health and safety (EHS)
- Resource requirements
- User benefits
- Benefits and risks for society
- Product responsibility
For an overview the complete assessment can be downloaded as non-interactive PDF file (download version)
Each question requires a three-step answer:
1. Rate the application’s performance (often on a scale from low to high)
2. Indicate your degree of certainty
3. Write down the facts (reasons / measures taken) you based your rating on
This process enables the user to …
- Identify knowledge gaps
- Make implicit knowledge explicit
- Reflect on the certainty about opportunities / risks beyond standard procedures
- Create an inventory of available and existing information / relevant facts
- Express and exchange knowledge also between different disciplines, functions or units
The term “nanomaterials” is used as generic term that includes both nano-objects (such as particles or rods) and nanostructured materials.
Experience shows that answering the full set of 19 questions may take about 30 minutes. To shorten the editing time you are giving options to reduce the amount of questions in the beginning of the assessment process.
For all questions or comments concerning the NanoMeter and its use, please contact:
Brigitte Biermann, triple innova, Wuppertal, Germany, email@example.com, Tel. +49 202 4299520
Tips to tap the full potential of the NanoMeter:
- Be honest. The results will only prove helpful if truthfully completed.
- Provide facts for every question. The rating scale alone is rather rough. It requires supplementing information for fruitful results.
- Involve. In areas where you lack experience or knowledge, consult others to fill the gaps. The NanoMeter can
- Stimulate the internal discussion of relevant societal aspects or
- Demonstrate awareness for societal topics to an external audience (e.g. when applying for R&D funding).
- Discuss. The strength of the NanoMeter is that it may make tacit knowledge explicit. Discussing results in a multi-disciplinary team contributes to sharing knowledge and perceptions among colleagues.
- Repeat. Whenever new information and knowledge occurs it will be fruitful to reiterate the process and review the results.
The results of an assessment are condensed in a PDF document. This document
- Provides information about topics, risks and opportunities you are well aware of.
- Identifies topics, risks and opportunities that need a closer look.
- Reflects on the certainty about opportunities / risks beyond standard procedures.
- May help you to create an inventory of available and existing information / relevant facts.
- Serves as a basis for exchanging knowledge between different functions or units.
The document is only available to the user who did the assessment.
Such examples are not available, as the NanoMeter is applied to single applications. In the absence of the relevant context, examples could be misunderstood.
The colours provide a rough indication if a certain issue might rather be an opportunity or a risk area for your application.
- Red means: Be careful – this issue may endanger public acceptance and/or market success. Critically assess your application’s performance and improve where needed and possible.
- Orange means: Room for improvement – your application’s performance may not meet minimum requirements of certain user groups. Critically assess your application’s performance and improve where needed and possible.
- Light green means: On track – in this area your application may hold further potential for successful market differentiation.
- Dark green means: Substantiate and communicate – make sure that the advantages expected in this area are substantial and contribute to developing a competitive edge.
Every user is free to publish her or his results.
However, the use of the results is not intended to lead someone to believe in the existence of multiple opportunities or an absence of risks. This would not correspond to the sense and the spirit of the NanoMeter that, with its results, triggers deeper evaluations and should not be misunderstood as an opportunity- and risk-assessment tool. (Not intended is, e.g., a label “NanoMeter checked”.)
The NanoMeter results can however be used to demonstrate awareness for the aspects assessed and as a basis to present concrete strategies, activities, and results for each relevant aspect.
The NanoMeter is optimized for Internet Explorer 7 or later and Firefox 3 or later. It should also work on other browsers.
Reading the downloaded results requires the Acrobat Reader or a comparable software to view PDFs.
Yes. Check the button: Download version
The NanoMeter is currently available in English only.
In its current version the NanoMeter is expected to be useful for some years. However, as the ObservatoryNano continues also the NanoMeter will be reviewed and adjusted as needed.
The aspects assessed are drawn from comprehensive literature review and stakeholder dialogue – also drawing from earlier European projects such as Nanologue. As such, the current set of aspects presents a summary of the most relevant and most commonly discussed nanotechnology implications in the areas of health, environment, ethics, and society. Partners and test users so far have agreed that the set of aspects is of high relevance for nanotechnology-enhanced applications.
Be aware that the set of aspects presents a first step towards a wider perspective on opportunities and risks. It is not exhaustive. Further aspects that are more specific for a single application assessed should be added.
The NanoMeter has been tested for its practical suitability and revised accordingly in a trial phase in which users from industry and academia participated.
The aspects assessed are drawn from comprehensive literature review and stakeholder dialogue – also drawing from earlier European projects. Partners and test users so far have agreed that the set of aspects is of high relevance for nanotechnology-enhanced applications. In addition, also the assessment process has been subject to reviews and is considered to be in line with business users needs.
The NanoMeter is a non-binding voluntary tool; no one has to justify the results.