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Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what research his Department has funded on (a) ethical, (b) environmental and (c) social issues relating to the (i) use and (ii) safety of (A) nanotechnology and (B) nanoproducts; and if he will make a statement. (255564)

The Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills' delivery partners, the Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board, funded through the science and research, and innovation budgets respectively, support a portfolio of research and related activities on a wide range of aspects of nanotechnology. I have arranged for a document with details to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It is not possible to divide the research into the categories requested, but, where possible, an indication has been given as to whether the research is addressing environmental, social, use or safety issues. The Government placed a statement about nanotechnologies in the Libraries on 28 February 2008 (House of Lords Hansard, column WS86 refers).

The Government regard nanotechnologies as an important issue, and has established a ministerial group chaired by the Minister for Science and Innovation to support their development in a responsible way.