Institute of Occupational Medicine

Riccarton, United Kingdom

Institute of Occupational Medicine

Riccarton, United Kingdom

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Grant
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the well-known principle of the half-life of facts (Samuel Arbesman, 2012) means that what is an accepted truth now is no longer valid in 20 or 30 years time.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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 13.58M | Year: 2013

SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) is the first project addressing the entire lifecycle of nanotechnologies to ensure holistic nanosafety evaluation and incorporate the results into tools and guidelines for sustainable manufacturing, easily accessible by industries, regulators and other stakeholders. The project will incorporate scientific findings from over 30 European projects, national and international research programmes and transatlantic co-operations to develop (i) methods and tools to predict nanomaterials exposure and effects on humans and ecosystems, (ii) implementable processes to reduce hazard and exposure to nanomaterials in different lifecycle stages, (iii) innovative technological solutions for risk management in industrial settings, and (iv) guidance on best practices for securing both nano-manufacturing processes and nanomaterials ultimate fate, including development of approaches for safe disposal and recycling. In summary, SUN stands for an integrated approach for the long-term sustainability of nanotechnologies through the development of safe processes for production, use and end-of-life processing of nanomaterials and products, as well as methods reducing both adverse effects and exposure to acceptable levels.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-02-2015 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2015

Nanocomposites are promising for many sectors, as they can make polymers stronger, less water and gas permeable, tune surface properties, add functionalities such as antimicrobial effects. In spite of intensive research activities, significant efforts are still needed to deploy the full potential of nanotechnology in the industry. The main challenge is still obtaining a proper nanostructuring of the nanoparticles, especially when transferring it to industrial scale, further improvements are clearly needed in terms of processing and control. The OptiNanoPro project will develop different approaches for the introduction of nanotechnology into packaging, automotive and photovoltaic materials production lines. In particular, the project will focus on the development and industrial integration of tailored online dispersion and monitoring systems to ensure a constant quality of delivered materials. In terms of improved functionalities, nanotechnology can provide packaging with improved barrier properties as well as repellent properties resulting in easy-to-empty features that will on the one hand reduce wastes at consumer level and, on the other hand, improve their acceptability by recyclers. Likewise, solar panels can be self-cleaning to increase their effectiveness and extend the period between their maintenance and their lifetime by filtering UV light leading to material weathering. In the automotive sector, lightweight parts can be obtained for greater fuel efficiency. To this end, a group of end-user industries from Europe covering the supply and value chain of the 3 target sectors and using a range of converting processes such as coating and lamination, compounding, injection/co-injection and electrospray nanodeposition, supported by selected RTDs and number of technological SMEs, will work together on integrating new nanotechnologies in existing production lines, while also taking into account nanosafety, environmental, productivity and cost-effectiveness issues.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 49.52M | Year: 2013

The innovative and economic potential of Manufactured Nano Materials (MNMs) is threatened by a limited understanding of the related EHS issues. While toxicity data is continuously becoming available, the relevance to regulators is often unclear or unproven. The shrinking time to market of new MNM drives the need for urgent action by regulators. NANoREG is the first FP7 project to deliver the answers needed by regulators and legislators on EHS by linking them to a scientific evaluation of data and test methods. Based on questions and requirements supplied by regulators and legislators, NANoREG will: (i) provide answers and solutions from existing data, complemented with new knowledge, (ii) Provide a tool box of relevant instruments for risk assessment, characterisation, toxicity testing and exposure measurements of MNMs, (iii) develop, for the long term, new testing strategies adapted to innovation requirements, (iv) Establish a close collaboration among authorities, industry and science leading to efficient and practically applicable risk management approaches for MNMs and products containing MNMs. The interdisciplinary approach involving the three main stakeholders (Regulation, Industry and Science) will significantly contribute to reducing the risks from MNMs in industrial and consumer products. NANoREG starts by analysing existing knowledge (from WPMN-, FP- and other projects). This is combined with a synthesis of the needs of the authorities and new knowledge covering the identified gaps, used to fill the validated NANoREG tool box and data base, conform with ECHAs IUCLID DB structure. To answer regulatory questions and needs NANoREG will set up the liaisons with the regulation and legislation authorities in the NANoREG partner countries, establish and intensify the liaisons with selected industries and new enterprises, and develop liaisons to global standardisation and regulation institutions in countries like USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.4-1 | Award Amount: 14.89M | Year: 2013

Assessing individual exposure to environmental stressors and predicting health outcomes implies that both environmental exposures and epi/genetic variations are reliably measured simultaneously. HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) brings together in an innovative approach a comprehensive array of novel technologies, data analysis and modeling tools that support efficiently exposome studies. The general objective of HEALS is the refinement of an integrated methodology and the application of the corresponding analytical and computational tools for performing environment-wide association studies in support of EU-wide environment and health assessments. The exposome represents the totality of exposures from conception onwards, simultaneously identifying, characterizing and quantifying the exogenous and endogenous exposures and modifiable risk factors that predispose to and predict diseases throughout a persons life span. The HEALS approach brings together and organizes environmental, socio-economic, exposure, biomarker and health effect data; in addition, it includes all the procedures and computational sequences necessary for applying advanced bioinformatics coupling thus effective data mining, biological and exposure modeling so as to ensure that environmental exposure-health associations are studied comprehensively. The overall approach will be verified and refined in a series of population studies across Europe including twin cohorts, tackling different levels of environmental exposure, age windows of exposure, and socio-economic and genetic variability. The HEALS approach will be applied in a pilot environment and health examination survey of children including singletons and sets of twins with matched singletons (each twins pair having also a matched singleton) covering ten EU Member States (the EXHES Study). The lessons learned will be translated into scientific advice towards the development of protocols and guidelines for the setting up of a larger European environment and health examination survey.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-01-2014 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2015

The CO-PILOT project addresses the field of nanocomposites which has witnessed remarkable progress (compound annual growth rate of 18%) in recent years with many different types of nanocomposites exhibiting radically enhanced properties for a wide range of industrial applications. The CO-PILOT project aims to develop an open access infrastructure for SMEs interested in the production of high quality (multi-)functional nanocomposites on a pilot scale. In CO-PILOT this infrastructure will be prepared for access (open acess) by SMEs beyond the project. It will be able to produce typically 20 to 100 kg nanocomposite product, characterize it and validate its performance. This is sufficient to make management decisions to progress to the next step of new nanocomposite product development. CO-PILOT aims to set new standards for high-quality nanoparticle production with the assistance of in-line nanoparticle dispersion quality monitoring. CO-PILOT chooses to develop a centrifuge module to address the adequate and automated down-stream processing of the nanoparticle dispersions. CO-PILOT will test and validate the pilot line infrastructure. Based on the consultation of SME nanocomposite producers, CO-PILOT has chosen the following range of industrial nanocomposite applications : - flame and smoke inhibiting polymer materials (layered double hydroxides) - acid scavenging used as anti-corrosion and in polymer stabilisation (layered hydroxides) - heat isolating plastics (hollow/porous silica) - light-weight flame inhibiting composites (layered hydroxides combined with hollow/porous silica) - UV protective polymer coatings (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) - high refractive index, visually transparent polymer (titanium dioxide) - low-refractive index polymer (hollow/porous silica) - anti-glare polymer coatings (hollow/porous silica) - magnetic recoverable catalyst nano-composite beads (magnetite).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-19-2015 | Award Amount: 7.99M | Year: 2016

In the wind power generation, aerospace and other industry sectors there is an emerging need to operate in the low temperature and highly erosive environments of extreme weather conditions. Such conditions mean current materials either have a very short operational lifetime or demand such significant maintenance as to render many applications either very expensive to operate or in some cases non-viable. EIROS will develop self-renewing, erosion resistant and anti-icing materials for composite aerofoils and composite structures that can be adapted by different industrial applications: wind turbine blades and aerospace wing leading edges, cryogenic tanks and automotive facia. The addition of novel multi-functional additives to the bulk resin of fibre reinforced composites will allow the achievement of these advanced functionalities. Multi-scale numerical modelling methods will be adopted to enable a materials by design approach to the development of materials with novel structural hierarchies. These are capable of operating in severe operating environments. The technologies developed in this project will provide the partners with a significant competitive advantage. The modification of thermosets resins for use in fibre composite resins represents both a chemically appropriate and highly flexible route to the development of related materials with different applications. It also builds onto existing supply chains which are represented within the partnership and provides for European materials and technological leadership and which can assess and demonstrate scalability. The partnership provides for an industry led project with four specific end users providing both market pull and commercial drive to further progress the materials technology beyond the lifetime of the project.


The main objective of this research proposal is to identify and elaborate those characteristics of ENM that determine their biological hazard potential. This potential includes the ability of ENM to induce damage at the cellular, tissue, or organism levels by interacting with cellular structures leading to impairment of key cellular functions. These adverse effects may be mediated by ENM-induced alterations in gene expression and translation, but may involve also epigenetic transformation of genetic functions. We believe that it will be possible to create a set of biomarkers of ENM toxicity that are relevant in assessing and predicting the safety and toxicity of ENM across species. The ENM-organism interaction is complex and depends, not simply on the composition of ENM core, but particularly on its physico-chemical properties. In fact, important physico-chemical properties are largely governed by their surface properties. All of these factors determine the binding of different biomolecules on the surface of the ENM, the formation of a corona around the ENM core. Thus, any positive or negative biological effect of ENM in organisms may be dynamically modulated by the bio-molecule corona associated with or substituted into the ENM surface rather than the ENM on its own. The bio-molecule corona of seemingly identical ENM cores may undergo dynamic changes during their passage through different biological compartments; in other words, their biological effects are governed by this complex surface chemistry. We propose that understanding the fundamental characteristics of ENM underpinning their biological effects will provide a sound foundation with which to classify ENM according to their safety. Therefore, the overarching objective of this research is to provide a means to develop a safety classification of ENM based on an understanding of their interactions with living organisms at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels based on their material characteristics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: NMP-27-2014 | Award Amount: 2.91M | Year: 2015

The CSA links different initiatives and facilitates the integration of results from these initiatives, so that a maximum use of these results can benefit the regulatory process. The CSA is designed to facilitate this process and show European leadership on chemical safety, including nanos. The aim of this activity is to coordinate and support for risk assessment, management and governance by streamlining data acquisition, collection and management on regulatory orientated toxicology testing of nanomaterials, exposure monitoring, LCA, and disposal and treatment of waste nanomaterials. A number of topics were not included in NANoREG, as they fell outside the scope of that call. The principles enshrined in NANoREG will through PROSAFE be transferred to as many other member states and non-EU states as possible. Nano-safety can be considered to improve significantly when Safe by Design is internationally accepted to guarantee safety. But it lacks agreed definitions, guarantees, and therefore confidence for acceptance. PROSAFE will facilitate and promote the acceptance of Safe by Design within the EU-COM, its Member and Associated states. Consideration is given to regulatory developments including challenges raised by the convergence between nano and biotechnologies. To prepare for the future, after decades of playing EHS catch-up on innovations that became major environmental hazards like lead, asbestos, PCBs, a shift is needed towards a proactive approach of demonstrating safety and sustainability in pre-commercial innovation. Priorities are: Move from generalized discussions to case specific differences Improve characterization of nanomaterials and require reporting on their use Increase funding for research on ecotoxicology and environmental fate and behaviour Use value chains assessments when considering environmental impacts Commit to environmentally sustainable and socially robust innovation.

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