tion of progress in relation to the goals of the strategy and for refinement and adaptation of the strategy as the information base evolves and drives the need for change.
Resources needed to conduct research and implement the strategy: An integral part of an effective strategy is a means for continuing assessment of resources for conducting the research and for implementing the strategy. That includes assessing the adequacy of current resources, how they are to be deployed, and how additional resources would best be acquired and used.
Key audiences for implementing the strategy: The strategy should effectively consider and integrate the needs of and appropriate roles for the full array of stakeholders involved in implementing the strategy or concerned with its outcomes. These stakeholders include the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and the federal agencies within its structure; the private sector, including nanomaterial developers and users; consumers; and the broader scientific community, including academic researchers and non-governmental organizations.
Many of the questions posed in formulating a strategy for research on nanomaterials are equally applicable to strategies that might be developed for other emerging technologies. Lack of knowledge and high degrees of uncertainty, with a rapidly changing landscape of perceived risks and benefits, are inherent in the rollout of any new technology. As with nanomaterial research, there are likely to be challenges in developing common protocols for a community of researchers that turns its attention to the evaluation of the environmental and health implications of any new technology and seeks to compare the results of research among laboratories. For those reasons, the proposed research strategy can be considered a model approach for developing a strategy that examines the risks produced by other emerging technologies.
Mechanisms for effective implementation of an EHS research strategy are just as essential to its success as is the substance of the identified research, a key finding in NRC (2009). Questions that must be grappled with include the following: What are the most effective approaches to achieving the stated goals? How will research efforts be coordinated to ensure a coherent approach to achieving the stated goals? What mechanisms and approaches are in place or could be created to enable interdisciplinary research that crosses established funding and agency boundaries and to foster effective coordination and partnerships?
1A final version of the strategy was published in October 2011 (NEHI 2011a). Because the committee’s report had already gone to peer review, NEHI (2011a) was not reviewed by this committee.