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EPA to partner with U.K. Funding Agencies to Launch Major Joint Research Effort on the Behaviour and Effects of Nanomaterials in the Environment
The Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council, the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the U.K. Environment Agency is in the process of finalising a major joint research effort to develop and validate predictive tools and similar conceptual models that predict exposure, bioavailability and effects of manufactured nanomaterials in the environment. This activity will be implemented through a joint call issued by all organisations involved and will incorporate a common review and evaluations process. The intent is to form consortia of both UK and US investigators using combined but independent national funding arrangements.
It is anticipated that the call (or solicitation) will ask applicants to propose conceptual models and similar predictive tools for environmental fate, behaviour, interaction, bioavailability and effects focused on one or more classes of manufactured nanomaterials. They will also be asked to propose research to validate and refine the proposed model(s). In addition, researchers will be asked to develop novel techniques for detection and characterisation of nanomaterials in complex environmental and biological systems. The joint program aims to draw on complementary strengths in the UK and US to produce robust, validated models that accurately predict transport, fate and bioavailability of nanomaterials and their interaction with biological and ecological systems. The program will be strongly interdisciplinary in its approach.
It is anticipated that this collaborative research will generate valuable tools to support assessment of risks associated with the environmental release of manufactured nanomaterials. It is anticipated that the solicitations will be issued in February 2009.