How can industrial innovation in nanotechnologies be reconciled with the legitimate concerns of citizens regarding environmental protection and public health? SaferNano will familiarize early-stage researchers and postgraduate students (2nd year Master/PhD) with risk evaluation using computational methods of modeling and simulation relevant to nanomaterials.

SaferNano, Design & Law : Apply now !

SaferNano’s mission is to tackle the challenges of safer eco-design for Nanomaterials of. To do so, the School is centered on the reorientation of toxicity testing towards evaluation of the responses of toxicity pathways, i.e. perturbing normal cellular signaling pathways by exposure to nanomaterials in well-designed in vitro assays using human cells. This new paradigm would replace the current approach of relying almost exclusively on high-dose phenotypic responses in animals. An intensive one-week specialist school, SaferNano examines the analytical tools and methodologies required to rise to the challenge of the ecodesign of nanomaterial-enabled technology. The School will use a dynamic approach, involving complex problem solving, with a case study on the next generation monitors incorporating both Quantum-Dot LED display with silver nanowire..

The school combines an intensive program of lecture presentations followed up by practical sessions  (experiments, computer simulation and modeling) and interdisciplinary group work. Courses will be given by international experts from France, Scotland, the US, the Netherlands and Switzerland and representatives from industry and regulatory bodies. The working language of the school is English.


SaferNanoDesign is an interdisciplinary course addressing:

  • 1st Session: Nanomaterials and their life-cycle analysis.

The design of nanomaterials in the context of materials science and market reality.

  • 2nd Session: Nanomaterials transformation in the environment; Ecosystem and Human Exposure.

The interaction of nanomaterials with their physical, chemical and biological environment and the corresponding impact on product life-cycle.

  • 3rd Session: Toxicology and Risk assessment

The evaluation of potential risks related to exposure and toxicity, the regulatory and ethical considerations and the roles of bodies such as the EU, the ILO, the OECD.

  • 4th Session: Technology transfer and Business development.

The challenges and opportunities of marketing nano-based products for an SME, including  a mastery of the general legislation concerning eco-design at EU and national levels, as well as working knowledge of value chain issues. It also includes the capacity to analyze in specific contexts how innovative strategies may lead to improved firm performance or to new business perspectives.

Learning Outcome

At the end of SaferNano Design & Law, students will have gained:

  • An in-depth insight into the design of nanomaterials with specific and innovative industrial applications but safe for humans and the environment.
  • Practical experience of exposure assessment and the development of predictive risk analysis based on modeling of the life cycle, from the production to the end of life, of nano enabled products in the environment.
  • Theoretical and practical understanding of nanomaterial reactivity and transformation in the environment.
  • Knowledge of the different types of assays available to assess the impact of nanomaterial exposure at different levels (environment, organism, cell, molecule etc.).
  • Knowledge of how to obtain and analyze « omics » data to perform gene ontology and pathway analysis. They will also become familiar with predictive toxicology via the adverse outcome pathways (AOP) and Effectopedia tool.
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities of marketing nano-based products for an SME.
  • The capacity to analyze in specific contexts how innovative strategies may lead to improved industrial performance and new business perspectives
Examination and credits rewarded

3 ECTS are awarded to Master and PhD students after taking part in the Oral defense (Pitch session), and after submitting the individual assignment (deliverables) no later than two weeks after the Summer School. The ECTS are delivered by Université Grenoble Alpes in an official letter of participation and transferred to the partner universities.

Deadline for applications

April 1, 2018

Location and dates

European Scientific Institute, Archamps Technopole, France (15 minutes from Geneva airport).
May 26 – June 4, 2018

Partner Institutions

SaferNano Design & Law is jointly organised by Université de Grenoble Alpes and ESI. SaferNano is supported by EIT RawMaterials, and the SERENADE Labex . SERENADE, which is coordinated by CEREGE and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR «Investissements d’Avenir»), associates French Universities (Aix-Marseilles, Grenoble Alpes, Paris Est, and Novancia School of Management), CNRS (CEREGE, LCE, IMBE, LEMIRE and ISTerre), CEA (Cadarache, Marcoule, Grenoble), INSERM (Paris), INRA (Nantes, Toulouse, Montpellier), INERIS and industries (ARKEMA, ALLIOS, SUEZ-ENVIRONNEMENT, CALCIA, DANONE, AFIPEC, UIC).





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