Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-33-2015 | Award Amount: 30.12M | Year: 2016
The vision of EU-ToxRisk is to drive a paradigm shift in toxicology towards an animal-free, mechanism-based integrated approach to chemical safety assessment. The project will unite all relevant disciplines and stakeholders to establish: i) pragmatic, solid read-across procedures incorporating mechanistic and toxicokinetic knowledge; and ii) ab initio hazard and risk assessment strategies of chemicals with little background information. The project will focus on repeated dose systemic toxicity (liver, kidney, lung and nervous system) as well as developmental/reproduction toxicity. Different human tiered test systems are integrated to balance speed, cost and biological complexity. EU-ToxRisk extensively integrates the adverse outcome pathway (AOP)-based toxicity testing concept. Therefore, advanced technologies, including high throughput transcriptomics, RNA interference, and high throughput microscopy, will provide quantitative and mechanistic underpinning of AOPs and key events (KE). The project combines in silico tools and in vitro assays by computational modelling approaches to provide quantitative data on the activation of KE of AOP. This information, together with detailed toxicokinetics data, and in vitro-in vivo extrapolation algorithms forms the basis for improved hazard and risk assessment. The EU-ToxRisk work plan is structured along a broad spectrum of case studies, driven by the cosmetics, (agro)-chemical, pharma industry together with regulators. The approach involves iterative training, testing, optimization and validation phases to establish fit-for-purpose integrated approaches to testing and assessment with key EU-ToxRisk methodologies. The test systems will be combined to a flexible service package for exploitation and continued impact across industry sectors and regulatory application. The proof-of-concept for the new mechanism-based testing strategy will make EU-ToxRisk the flagship in Europe for animal-free chemical safety assessment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-26-2014 | Award Amount: 11.93M | Year: 2015
One of the greatest challenges facing regulators in the ever changing landscape of novel nano-materials is how to design and implement a regulatory process which is robust enough to deal with a rapidly diversifying system of manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) over time. Not only does the complexity of the MNM present a problem for regulators, the validity of data decreases with time, so that the well-known principle of the half-life of facts (Samuel Arbesman, 2012) means that what is an accepted truth now is no longer valid in 20 or 30 years time. The challenge is to build a regulatory system which is flexible enough to be able to deal with new targets and requirements in the future, and this can be helped by the development and introduction of Safe by Design (SbD) principles. The credibility of such a regulatory system, underpinned by the implementation of SbD, is essential for industry, who while accepting the need for regulation demand it is done in a cost effective and rapid manner. The NANoREG II project, built around the challenge of coupling SbD to the regulatory process, will demonstrate and establish new principles and ideas based on data from value chain implementation studies to establish SbD as a fundamental pillar in the validation of a novel MNM. It is widely recognized by industries as well as by regulatory agencies that grouping strategies for NM are urgently needed. ECETOC has formed a task force on NM grouping and also within the OECD WPMN a group works on NM categorisation. However, so far no reliable and regulatory accepted grouping concepts could be established. Grouping concepts that will be developed by NanoREG II can be regarded as a major innovation therefore as guidance documents on NM grouping will not only support industries or regulatory agencies but would also strongly support commercial launch of new NM.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-02-2015 | Award Amount: 5.04M | Year: 2016
The aim of CHEOPS is to develop very low-cost but highly performing photovoltaic (PV) devices based on the emerging perovskite (PK) technology. At lab scale (<0.5cm2), PK energy conversion was rapidly advanced to efficiencies >20%. But only few attempts at upscaling have been made, yielding significantly reduced efficiencies <9% on aperture area. In addition, the very question about material stability and reliable measurement procedures are still debated. CHEOPS will now scale up the lab results to single junction modules manufactured in a pre-production environment while maintaining high efficiencies (>14% stable for aperture area in modules >15x15cm2). This will demonstrate the potential of PK as a very low-cost technology (target <0.3/Wp) well suited for building-integrated PV. In parallel, CHEOPS will develop materials and processes to achieve very high efficiency (>29% on 2x2cm2 cells) at low cost (target <0.4/Wp) using a tandem configuration with a crystalline silicon heterojunction cell. CHEOPS will also perform a sustainability assessment from a life-cycle perspective to anticipate potential risks for the technology (including business, technological, environmental, social & political risks). CHEOPS will establish a quantified future development roadmap as well as protocols for stability testing and for reliable measurements. CHEOPS partners cover the whole value added chain: key PK researchers, groups with track records of scaling up high efficiency and tandem cell developments, specialised technology and service providers as well as SMEs and industry partners with already strong IP portfolios, ready to exploit the CHEOPS results. Transferring the results to other growing industry sectors such as lighting or organic large area electronics will additionally benefit European industry. In summary, CHEOPS will decisively advance the potentially game-changing PK technology towards the market and will thus help to face the energy challenge in Europe and beyond.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 31.03M | Year: 2015
The nations of Europe are distributed around some of the most complex and dynamic geological systems on the planet and understanding these is essential to the security of livelihoods and economic power of Europeans. Many of the solutions to the grand challenges in the geosciences have been led by European scientists the understanding of stratigraphy (the timing and distribution of layers of sediment on Earth) and the discovery of the concept of plate tectonics being among the most significant. Our ability to monitor the Earth is rapidly evolving through development of new sensor technology, both on- and below-ground and from outer space; we are able to deliver this information with increasing rapidity, integrate it, provide solutions to geological understanding and furnish essential information for decision makers. Earth science monitoring systems are distributed across Europe and the globe and measure the physico-chemical characteristics of the planet under different geological regimes. EPOS will bring together 24 European nations and combine national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earths resources. With a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) to be located in Rome (Italy), EPOS will provide an opportunity for Europe to maintain world-leading European Earth sciences and will represent a model for pan-European federated infrastructure.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC1.R1-2015 | Award Amount: 6.71M | Year: 2016
Zelcor project aims at demonstrating the feasibility of transforming lignocellulose biorefinery recalcitrant side streams into high added-value biobased products, including fine chemicals. Its concept is to combine chemical and enzymatic catalysis with insects-based biological conversion, within a biorefinery integrated approach. The project is conceived to avoid waste production by recycling waste bio-based products and improve the sustainability of existing second generation biorefineries. It addresses three types of recalcitrant raw materials: lignocellulosic residues from ethanol production, lignins dissolved during pulping process and lignin-like humins formed by sugars conversion. Enzymatic and process engineering will be implemented to design efficient conversion routes and permit technological breakthroughs. A transversal platform for the characterisation of biomolecules will be settled to identify bio-products of commercial interest among lignins and humins multifunctional nanoparticles, phenolic antioxidants, insects-based chitosans and aromatic chemical intermediates. Thanks to this platform, Zelcor will enhance knowledge of the structure-function relationships and the mechanisms involved in recalcitrant raw materials catalytic depolymerisation and bioconversion. Demonstration of the approach feasibility will be performed by process scaling-up, formulation of end-product prototypes and value chain sustainability and safety assessment. The presence of industrial partners all along the value chains, from lignocellulosic feedstock to end products, will facilitate demonstration activities and technological transfers. With this strong industry drive, Zelcor will lead to large scale production of biomolecules for cosmetics, packaging and chemical industry, as well as novel biocatalysts. Zelcor is a 6.7M collaborative project, 49% of which for SMEs (43% EC grant). It gathers 18 organisations from 8 countries, including 6 academia, 8 SMEs, and 3 corporations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-22-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016
Toxicology and risk assessment are undergoing a paradigm shift, from a phenomenological to a mechanistic discipline based on in vitro and in silico approaches that represent an important alternative to classical animal testing applied to the evaluation of chronic and systemic toxicity risks. Large databases and highly sophisticated methods, algorithms and tools are available for different tasks such as hazard prediction, toxicokinetics, and in vitro in vivo extrapolations to support this transition. However, since these services are developed independently and provided by different groups world-wide, there is no standardized way how to access the data or run modelling workflows. To overcome the fragmentation of data and tools, OpenRiskNet will provide open e-Infrastructure resources and services to a variety of communities requiring chemical risk assessment, including chemicals, cosmetic ingredients, therapeutic agents, and nanomaterials. OpenRiskNet will combine the achievements from earlier projects for generating modeling and validation workflows, knowledge integration and data management as well as include all ongoing projects and important stakeholders through an associated partner programme. The main components of the infrastructure will be an interoperability layer added to every service to describe the functionality and guaranteeing technical and semantic interoperability, a discovery service, deployment options based on container technology, and packaging of the infrastructure into virtual instances. This will be complemented by training and support on integration of specific services based on prototype implementation, usage of standard file formats for data sharing including the generation of templates for data and metadata, as well as the harmonized usage of ontologies. Case studies will demonstrate the applicability of the infrastructure in productive settings supporting research and innovation in safer product design and risk assessment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-28-2014 | Award Amount: 11.30M | Year: 2015
Concept: NanoFASE will deliver an integrated Exposure Assessment Framework, including methods, parameter values, model and guidance that will allow Industry to assess the full diversity of industrial nano-enabled products to a standard acceptable in regulatory registrations. Methods to assess how use phases, waste streams and environmental compartments (air, soil, water biota) act as reactors in modifying and transporting ENMs will be developed and used to derive parameter values. Our nanospecific models will be integrated with the existing multi-media fate model SimpleBox4Nano for use in EUSES and also develop into a flexible multi-media model for risk assessment at different scales and complexities. Information on release form, transformation and transport processes for product relevant ENMs will allow grouping into Functional Fate Groups according to their most probable fate pathways as a contribution to safe-by-design based on fate. Methodology: Inventories of material release forms along the product value chain are established. We then study how released ENMs transform from initial reactive states to modified forms with lower energy states in which nanospecific properties may be lost. Transport studies assess material fluxes within/between compartments. The experimental work underpins models describing ENM transformation and transport. Open access is provided to the models suitable for incorporation into existing exposure assessment tools (e.g. SimpleBox4Nano) and for more detailed assessment. Framework completeness is validated by case studies. Impact: Identified links between ENM material properties and fate outcome (e.g. safe-by-design). Improved representation of nanospecific processes in existing key fate and exposure assessment tools (e.g. SimpleBox4Nano in EUSES). Contribution to standardization. GIS framework to support predictive assessment, catchment and point source management of ENM releases.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-08-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 5.56M | Year: 2016
The FLEDGED project will deliver a process for Bio-based dimethyl Ether (DME) production from biomass. The FLEDGED project will combine a flexible sorption enhanced gasification (SEG) process and a novel sorption enhanced DME synthesis (SEDMES) process to produce DME from biomass with an efficient and low cost process. The primary aim of FLEDGED project is to develop a highly intensified and flexible process for DME production from biomass and validate it in industrially relevant environments. This objective will be accomplished by: - Experimental validation of the flexible SEG process at TRL5; - Experimental validation of the flexible SEDMES process at TRL5; - Evaluation of the full biofuel production chain from energy, environmental, economic, socio-economic and risk point of view; - Preparation of the ground for future exploitation of the results of the project beyond FLEDGED, by including in the consortium industrial partners along the whole biofuel production chain. By combining the SEG and the SEDMES processes, the FLEDGED project will validate a plant concept that: - is characterized by a tremendous process intensification: sorption of CO2 in the gasifier and of water in the DME reactor allows designing an overall process for DME production with only two fundamental steps and with reduced units for syngas conditioning - allows operating with a wide range of biomass feedstocks - will be more efficient than competitive processes and expected to have a lower cost, thanks to the reduced number of components, the avoidance or significant reduction of recycles and the avoidance of energy consuming and costly air separation and CO2 separation units - is capable of producing syngas with tailored composition by adapting the SEG process parameters, which allows coupling with an electrolysis system for converting excess intermittent renewable electricity into a high value liquid fuel
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-30-2015 | Award Amount: 9.83M | Year: 2016
The objective of the caLIBRAte project is to establish a state-of-the-art versatile Risk Governance framework for assessment and management of human and environmental risks of MN and MN-enabled products. The framework will be a web-based system-of-systems linking different models and methods for: 1) screening of apparent and perceived risks and trends in nanotechnology, 2) control banding, qualitative and fully integrated predictive quantitative risk assessment operational at different information levels, 3) safety-by-design and multi-criteria decision support methods, 4) risk surveillance, -management and -guidance documents. The risk management framework will support assessments of emerging and existing MN and MN-enabled products following the recent ISO31000 risk governance framework, as well as safety in innovation by matching models to the principle innovation steps in the Cooper Stage-Gate product innovation model Control banding tools and quantitative models will be subject to sensitivity analysis and performance testing followed by a revision as needed. After revision the models will again be analyzed by sensitivity testing, calibration, performance tested to establish the uncertainties. After calibration, the models will be part of the framework, which will be demonstrated by case studies. Stakeholders will be involved for defining the user requirements of the framework and will receive training in the framework at the end. The caLIBRAte project proposal answers to the call of NMP30-2015: Next generation tools for risk governance of MNs. The project is specifically designed to address the key challenges defined in the scope of the call text. There is particular focus on model revision, calibration and demonstration of existing models and methods that support the risk governance framework in regards to safe innovation and already implemented nanomaterials. Next generation computational exposure assessment and -toxicology is anticipated in the framework
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: NMBP-27-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016
A significant challenge to ensuring sustainable production and use of nanotechnologies is to understand safety and health risks of the technology and its end-products, and to implement practical strategies to manage these risks. Knowledge is growing rapidly, but effective use of this knowledge for risk management is lagging behind. We therefore need to bridge the gap between knowledge on hazard and risk, and fit-for-purpose risk management tools and strategies supported by measurement and control methods. EC4SafeNano will bridge this gap in an efficient and sustainable way by setting up an independent, science-based, managed Centre (hub) linked with several networks (spokes) to act at the interface between research organisations, industry, regulatory bodies, and civil society. The objectives are to: 1) understand the needs of all stakeholders along the innovation value chain for nanotechnologies, ensuring safer, marketable, regulated and accepted long-lived products; 2) identify the resources and capabilities available to address these needs, and evaluate the capacity to provide technical solutions and actions; 3) build, test and benchmark a range of services, based on selected resources that answer stakeholder needs across the innovation value chain; 4) develop mechanisms and operating procedures to facilitate periodic updating of the needs and resources mapping and of the service provision; 5) develop networking activities aiming to share, benchmark and promote the EC4SafeNano services thereby enhancing and harmonizing the overall expertise, at EU level and beyond; and 6) develop governance rules and a strategic plan to prepare for self-sufficient operation beyond the project lifetime. The main outcome is the definition of a legal entity with operating procedures, gathering, integrating and sharing available technology, tools, skills and processes and promoting services and capabilities to support stakeholder needs in risk management and safe innovation.