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NANOMAT-Nanoteknologi og nye materialer

Governance of the precautionary principle and the nano-consumer: A comparison of ethical aspects in nano-products in Norway and the UK

Awarded: NOK 2.0 mill.

Project Number:

182043

Application Type:

Project Period:

2007 - 2009

Location:

Subject Fields:

The theme of this proposal is the increasing marketing of nano-products in the consumer market. In late November 2006 The Wilson Centre have identified more than 356 products in the consumer market up from 212 in March 2006. Most common are textiles, sp ort equipments, cosmetics and information technology. We will focus on how nano products are advertised and labelled and how the massage is understood and trusted among consumers. If consumers develop a positive connotation to the concept of nano, the dif fusion of nano-products will be a much easier task then if they are ignorant or negative to the concept.. To an increasing extent we will have to meet ethical and social issues. The study will be carried out in Norway and UK as cooperation between SIFO a nd CRIC, University of Manchester. There are reasons to believe that the market for nano-based products is rather different in the two countries. There has been a lively debate on nano-technology in Great Britain, while it so far has been few traces of su ch a public debate in Norway. Studies have also shown that consumer trust in the institutions participating in the discourse vary substantially between the two countries We have developed a methodological triangulation, and the empirical study will includ e: · Content analysis of advertisements, packaging and labels in the UK and Norway · Qualitative information interviews with producers, importers and retailers in the two countries. The interviews will be limited to cosmetics, textiles, ICT and sport equ ipment · Quantitative consumer surveys. How do the Norwegian and British consumers approve of and understand the relevant regulatory agencies? What level of knowledge on nanotechnology and risk/benefits is it possible to identify? · Focus groups among co nsumers within the same four relevant branches, and sport equipment. Of economic reasons, the focus groups will be carried out with targeted consumer groups, so far limited to Norway.

Activity:

NANOMAT-Nanoteknologi og nye materialer