In recent days, the US EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research and the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council, Physical Sciences Research Council, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Environment Agency announced a "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." The organizations are expected to issue a joint call to interested parties for the submission of predictive models that will be jointly evaluated by both countries. The models will will likely cover "environmental fate, behaviour, interaction, bioavailability and effects focused on one or more classes of manufactured nanomaterials," as well as new detection methods and other topics. Solicitations are expected in February 2009.
In the ongoing quest to close the "data gap," this is appears to be another useful partnership where two of worldwide leaders in nanotechnology development are combining resources and efforts to better understand the environmental impacts of nanomaterials. Stay tuned for the call for models and research projects and also the eventual results of the partnership.