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Meridian Institute

Science and Technology

Much of Meridian’s work involves issues at the intersection of science, technology, law, and policy. Our professionals have developed deep substantive knowledge of nanotechnology, biotechnology, alternative energy, and information technologies, among other scientific disciplines. Our work on these topics has focused extensively on the implications of emerging areas of science and technology for society, in the United States as well as internationally. We’ve convened and facilitated collaborative discussions relating to the regulation of emerging technologies, the appropriate balancing of risks and opportunities, the transfer of technology, and the development of optimal conditions and processes for innovation breakthroughs.

In the area of nanotechnology, for example, we have brought together stakeholders in a number of different settings and contexts to understand and guide the responsible development of this new frontier. (Nanotechnology refers to technologies that measure, manipulate, or incorporate manufactured materials at the scale of individual atoms and molecules.) In this emerging sector of innovation, the size of a technology is conversely proportional to its potential for global impact—and disruption.

Meridian Institute keeps decision makers in the know about nanotechnology through the electronic news service Nanotechnology and Development News, which consolidates the latest information from peer-reviewed journals, international news wires, governments, companies, and nongovernmental organizations. 

Over the past few years, our work has expanded to include the creation of mechanisms for broadening the societal benefits of innovation—for instance, by creating new institutions to facilitate access to innovations for humanitarian purposes, by designing innovation processes that draw on cutting-edge science and technology to help solve international development challenges, and by developing commercialization approaches to create access and facilitate the adoption of beneficial technologies by poor and excluded communities in developing countries.

Our work on science- and technology-related topics typically involves scientists and researchers in the public, private, and nonprofit realms, as well as policy makers, development workers, business people, local citizens, and others who have an interest in how scientific knowledge or new technologies will be used and applied.

On every project in this arena, we work with parties to create the right conditions for creative, practical solutions, as well as mutually beneficial agreements that can be effectively implemented.

    • Nanotechnology and Development News
      Meridian Institute's Nanotechnology and Development News ceased operation in September 2013 after 10 years of service on September 4, 2013. We appreciate the support over the years from our funders and subscribers. If additional funding becomes available, we will resume the news service. In the meantime, given Meridian Institute's long-term interest and work on nanotechnology issues, we would appreciate staying in touch with those in the field. Please feel free to contact Todd Barker, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute, at: tbarker@merid.org.
    • Stakeholder Council for a “.eco” Domain
    • The Canadian company Big Room, Inc., is applying to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to run a top-level domain with a “.eco” suffix. As part of the application process, Big Room engaged Meridian Institute to facilitate a 13-member Stakeholder Council and mediate a series of regional stakeholder meetings held around the world in 2009.
    • Emerging Technologies/Emerging Economies Conference
    • In November 2009, Meridian Institute provided facilitation services for a two-and-a-half day conference entitled “Emerging Technologies/Emerging Economies: (Nano)technology for Equitable Development.”