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Extramural Research

EPA and the United Kingdom Propose Joint Research Effort on Nanomaterials

EPA in cooperation with Natural Environment Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom and the National Science Foundation in the United States have agreed to develop a joint research effort to explore new approaches to assess the environmental exposure, bioavailability and effects of manufactured nanomaterials. This joint activity will be implemented through a joint solicitation issued by all organizations involved and common review and evaluations processes. The intent is to form consortia of both US and UK investigators using a combination of national funding arrangements.

It is anticipated that the solicitation (or call) will ask applicants to propose a conceptual model of environmental fate, behavior, interaction, bioavailability and effects focused on one or more of several important classes of manufactured nanomaterials. Investigators will asked to propose approaches for synthesizing or acquiring and detecting and characterizing the candidate materials. They will also be asked to propose research to develop, evaluate and validate the conceptual model and produce tools that can predict transport, fate and bioavailability of nanomaterials and their interaction with biological systems.

It is anticipated that this collaborative research will result in a generation of models, approaches and important guiding principles useful in assessing the potential risks associated with the environmental release of manufactured nanomaterials. It is anticipated that the solicitations will be issued in December 2008 or January 2009.

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