Exploring the Nanotechnology Revolution: The NIA 8th Annual Symposium

On March 27, 2019, the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) will hold their 8th Annual Symposium in Brussels. This free event is open to all nanomaterial scientists, as well as the policy makers, end-users, producing industries and regulators of novel nanomaterials around the world.

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Exploring the Revolution of Nanotechnology

The 2019 NIA Symposium will explore the growing role of nanotechnology in modern science. When reduced to the nanoscale, the properties of these newly engineered materials exhibit an exceptional transformation that typically exceeds that of their bulk counterparts. From computers and textiles to biological devices and solar panels, researchers across practically all sectors have spent a considerable amount of time over the past several years in designing relevant nanomaterials.

Some of the most recent developments in the design and synthesis of nanomaterials have occurred within the biomedical industry. More specifically, biomedical researchers have manipulated the properties of quantum dots (QDs), graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon dots (CDs) for their application in a wide range of bioanalytical applications. For example, nanoscaled bioanalytical applications can be found in diagnostic imaging tools, biosensors, drug delivery systems, and photothermal cancer therapy. To this end, NIA’s 8th Symposium will provide presentations and discussions to attendees on the significant impact that nanotechnology has made on the products, processes, and business of nanomaterials across various industries around the world.

The Added Value of Nanomaterials

Another topic that will be discussed at the 8th NIA Symposium will investigate how nanomaterial-producing industries can add value to their products. Furthermore, this topic will also include ways in which these industries can better understand the needs of their customers to ensure the overall economic success of their nanomaterials.

Since 2000, more than 60 countries have emerged with their unique nanotechnology development strategies that have been incorporated into their respective national agendas for science and technology advancements. As a result, exponential growth in research and development projects focused on nanotechnology has occurred. While nations like the United States, Japan, China and various European countries including Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have emerged as key players in nanotechnology advancements, it is crucial for the industries of these nations to translate their technological competence into economic performance.  

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

In addition to significantly influencing the financial aspect of several industrial sectors across the globe, the development of nanotechnology and nanomaterials has also emerged as a topic of concern for regulatory agencies. The field of nanotoxicology is a growing area of research that investigates the specific toxicity of nanomaterials to the environment, as well as human and animal health.

In addition to discussing the importance of regulatory compliance during the development of nanomaterials, presentations at the 8th Annual Symposium will also focus on the European Commission’s REACH legislation. REACH was initially developed to place responsibility on the nanomaterial-producing industries to investigate the risks associated with their products and ensure that their results are transparent to the consumer population. In 2018, the European Commission adopted additional legislation that was incorporated into REACH as Annexes I, III and VI-XIII. These amendments now require industries to precisely identify and characterize nanoforms, which have been described as natural or manufactured substances that exhibit more than 50% of their particle concentration to be within the nanoscale size range. The impact that this new legislation will have on how industries determine appropriate metrics for reporting results to the Commission, as well as which specific physicochemical properties support the chemical safety assessments of their products, will be carefully examined on March 27 of this year.

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How to Manage Nanowaste

By 2020, it has been estimated that the global nanotechnology industry will reach USD 75.8 billion. As the development of nanomaterials continues to intensify, regulatory and environmental agencies have become increasingly concerned with how the industries that produce nanomaterials will address the proper disposal of nanowaste materials.

Currently, most governments around the world have issued limited funds that have been dedicated to both evaluating the toxicity and developing safe disposal practices of nanomaterials In addition to these budgetary constraints, the small nanometer size of nanoengineered materials makes it even more difficult to track these particles once they enter the environment or human body. Recent research has already confirmed the presence of nanosilver in wastewater sources, which, especially when converted into ionic silver, can cause detrimental impacts to the environment and public health. More specifically, the antimicrobial properties of nanosilver particles can be toxic for a wide range of organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and earthworms, if present in their natural environments.

The 8th NIA Symposium will provide attendees the opportunity to participate in an open dialogue discussing the effect of nanowaste pollution and how industries can play a role in establishing necessary disposal and recycling standards.


  1. Kecili, R., Buyukitiryaki, S., Hussain, C. M., et al. (2019). Advancement in bioanalytical science through nanotechnology: Past, present, and future. Trends in Analytical Chemistry 110; 259-276. DOI: 10.1016/j.trac.2018.11.012.
  2. Wang, G., & Guan, J. (2012). Value chain of nanotechnology: a comparative study of some major players. Journal of Nanoparticle Research 14(702). DOI: 10.1007/s11051-011-0702-7.
  3. “Nanomaterials in REACH and CLP” – The European Commission
  4. “Nanowaste: Need for Disposal and Recycling Standards” – G20 Insights
  5. https://nanotechia.org/events/nia-annual-symposium - NIA Annual Symposium

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Benedette Cuffari

Written by

Benedette Cuffari

After completing her Bachelor of Science in Toxicology with two minors in Spanish and Chemistry in 2016, Benedette continued her studies to complete her Master of Science in Toxicology in May of 2018. During graduate school, Benedette investigated the dermatotoxicity of mechlorethamine and bendamustine; two nitrogen mustard alkylating agents that are used in anticancer therapy.


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