ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology: A partnership for nanotechnology stewardship and sustainability


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ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology

Rice University

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ICON - International Council on Nanotechnology
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ICON Fact Sheet


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About ICON

Fact Sheet (pdf)

The creation of a sustainable nanotechnology industry requires meaningful and organized relationships among diverse stakeholders. The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) is the only global organization aimed at providing such interactions for a broad set of members. Managed by Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, ICON activities promote effective nanotechnology stewardship through risk assessment, research and communication.

By pooling the resources of the nanotechnology industry, government and non-government organizations and academia, ICON can cost-effectively provide a wide range of synergistic projects that serve the interests of all stakeholders. CBEN provides a financial and administrative structure for ICON, such that ICON members are also members of CBEN.

ColvinCBEN Programs. The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) at Rice University has an ongoing association with ICON that permits interactions with companies who derive value from collaborations in the technical research areas of focus within CBEN (e.g. water purification technology, biophotonics, biomedical nanodevices, nanotoxicological methods, nanomanufacturing).   Benefits of CBEN affiliation reflect the collaborative research relationship and include varying degrees of access to intellectual property generated by the center, informational advising in developing nanotechnologies of relevance to partner companies, and provisions for student and scientist exchange.  Funds raised in the CBEN program support center activities difficult to fund on federal dollars (e.g. graduate student pizza lunches, travel, professional help with web design).   Full sponsors of CBEN can direct their investment towards specific themes and projects within the organization.

ICON Program.  Benefits of ICON membership include participation in the governance of the organization, informational advising in issues of nanotechnology regulation and risk assessment, and access to a worldwide network of nanotechnology stakeholders committed to ensuring the responsible development of the industry.   Most critically, ICON membership funds are directed only toward approved ICON activities and are the only sources of support for many of the policy activities most needed by the industry.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kristen Kulinowski.

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This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.

Rice University