The NanoKommission was launched in late 2006 as a dialogue platform for representatives from academia, business, environmental and consumer organizations, trade unions, government departments, and authorities. Together they are working on solutions for dealing with the opportunities and risks of nanotechnologies, focusing on nanomaterials.
At the end of the first work period in 2008 the decision was made – partly in response to growing public concern – to focus more on the sustainable management of nanomaterials. For that purpose different thematic groups were formed by the NanoKommission. The group supervised by Calliess on regulation of nanomaterials is to give the federal government suggestions for the development of nano-specific regulations as well as assistance with discussions on regulatory measures at the European level.
Calliess was appointed in 2008 by Freie Universität Berlin to teach public law and European law. Until then, he had been teaching at Göttingen University. His main research interests are European law, constitutional law, and environmental law. For example, he studies the requirements of the precautionary principle for nanotechnology. His publications include a paper on "Constitutional Law and the Environment," dealing with the balance between governmental measures for protecting health and the environment and constitutionally guaranteed economic freedom.