OECD Workshop on “Challenges in the Innovation Environment of Nanomedicine”


Agenda and Presentations


Challenges in the Innovation Environment of Nanomedicine

Business Environments for Nanotechnology


Held in Seoul, Korea on 23 February 2010


Since 2007, the OECD Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) has been engaged in work examining the business environment for nanotechnology. The aim is to identify and explore opportunities and challenges for nanotechnology commercialisation and to propose policy recommendations to address any specific challenges. The key question is whether nanotechnology brings with it new and unique challenges for companies, challenges that may require new types of policy responses, including those in particular application fields.


In 2007-2008, the WPN undertook a project involving 51 company case studies across 17 countries. A forthcoming OECD report on challenges in the business environment draws on the company case study work and a survey of countries, both undertaken in 2008, and on previously existing reports and analyses. It identifies the origins and trends in the evolution of nanotechnology while also considering characteristics of the companies, the ways in which they are applying nanotechnology, and the challenges they are facing in commercialisation. The case studies, supported by all the other data, indicate that there are challenges for companies in areas including research and development; human resources; finance; intellectual property; value chains and production; in public perception; and in aspects of environment, health and safety.
Building on the previous work, the aim in 2009-2010 is to explore with companies in more depth (through case studies, existing materials and one or more workshops) the challenges and possible policy actions in selected sub-areas and/or applications. The first area being addressed by the WPN for this further qualitative work is Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy. The project is initially addressing the areas of energy harvesting (solar and wind), energy conversion (thermoelectric) and energy storage (batteries and super-capacitors). The lead WPN delegations for this project are Australia, Germany and Korea. The report of the OECD workshop in Seoul on “Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy Options” on 22 February 2010 is on the WPN web site at www.oecd.org/sti/nano.


The second area proposed for work by the WPN in the area of business environments is nanomedicine. An OECD workshop on “Challenges in the Innovation Environment of Nanomedicine” took place in Seoul, Korea, on 23 February 2010. The event was hosted by the Korea Nano Technology Research Society (KoNTRS) and the Korean Centre for Nanostructured Materials Technology (CNMT). The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. It was supported by the Asia NanoForum and the Nano Technology Research Association. Participants in the workshop came from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.


The purpose of the workshop was to gather information which would help to further develop the proposal for work by WPN on nanomedicine. The speakers at the workshop were invited to focus on the following topics:

  • Technology transfer;
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Perceptions of the public and other stakeholders
  • Regulatory aspects relating to industry
  • Scaling up to production
  • Finance
  • Competitive pricing
  • Human resources
  • Capacity building and skills development; and
  • Research and technology.


The discussions at the workshop will inform the project proposal which will be presented to the Working Party on Nanotechnology at its plenary meeting in September 2010.


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