Nanotechnology is an emerging branch of research and technology development. As yet, safety aspects have not yet been researched sufficiently to permit conclusive assessments of postulated risks. At the same time, concerns about potential risks are being raised and there are first signs of a public debate. Not least against the background of the experiences in the field of biotechnology, there is a need for a foresighted nanotech policy based on profound and well presented analyses. As documented in the first half of 2006 by two projects on the state of risk and accompanying research (see ITA project and Joanneum Research project), there is massive need for research and communication. We aim to meet these needs in this project.