Some of the issues surrounding regulation are as vague as those related to commercialisation judging by the over generous sprinkling of ‘mays’ and ‘coulds’ in this Technology Review article.
Blanket regulation of nanotechnologies is unowrkable, and leads to some rather silly ideas like the ones below.
As regulations are imposed, it will likely affect small nanotechnology startups. Materials testing could be too time consuming and expensive. Since some regulation is inevitable and necessary, though, such innovative startups may need to develop partnerships with other, larger companies to meet regulatory requirements.
Another possibility is a government- or an industry-sponsored fund to help such companies jump through the regulatory hoops necessary before their products can start making a profit.
The article does at least point out that not all fullerenes are the same, which complicates the situation further. Let’s hopee that we hear some sensible perusals in this area in 2006.