Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment

The Hague, Netherlands

Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment

The Hague, Netherlands
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Home > Press > The Sustainable Nanotechnologies Project’s Final Events: Bringing Nano Environmental Health and Safety Assessment to the Wider Discussion on Risk Governance of Key Enabling Technologies Abstract: The EU FP7 Sustainable Nanotechnologies (SUN) Project is coming to its end in March 2017. The project has designed its final events to serve as an effective platform to communicate the main results achieved in its course within the Nanosafety community and bridge them to a wider audience addressing the emerging risks of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). The series of events include the New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment: A joint conference organized by NANOSOLUTIONS, SUN, NanoMILE, GUIDEnano and eNanoMapper to be held on 7 – 9 February 2017 in Malaga, Spain, the SUN-CaLIBRAte Stakeholders workshop to be held on 28 February – 1 March 2017 in Venice, Italy and the SRA Policy Forum: Risk Governance for Key Enabling Technologies to be held on 1- 3 March in Venice, Italy. Jointly organized by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and the SUN Project, the SRA Policy Forum will address current efforts put towards refining the risk governance of emerging technologies through the integration of traditional risk analytic tools alongside considerations of social and economic concerns. The parallel sessions will be organized in 4 tracks: Risk analysis of engineered nanomaterials along product lifecycle, Risks and benefits of emerging technologies used in medical applications, Challenges of governing SynBio and Biotech, and Methods and tools for risk governance. The SRA Policy Forum has announced its speakers and preliminary Programme. Confirmed speakers include: Keld Alstrup Jensen (National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark) Elke Anklam (European Commission, Belgium) Adam Arkin (University of California, Berkeley, USA) Phil Demokritou (Harvard University, USA) Gerard Escher (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) Lisa Friedersdor (National Nanotechnology Initiative, USA) James Lambert (President, Society for Risk Analysis, USA) Andre Nel (The University of California, Los Angeles, USA) Bernd Nowack (EMPA, Switzerland) Ortwin Renn (University of Stuttgart, Germany) Vicki Stone (Heriot-Watt University, UK) Theo Vermeire (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands) Tom van Teunenbroek (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands) Wendel Wohlleben (BASF, Germany) The New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment (NMSA) conference aims at presenting the main results achieved in the course of the organizing projects fostering a discussion about their impact in the nanosafety field and possibilities for future research programmes. The conference welcomes consortium partners, as well as representatives from other EU projects, industry, government, civil society and media. Accordingly, the conference topics include: Hazard assessment along the life cycle of nano-enabled products, Exposure assessment along the life cycle of nano-enabled products, Risk assessment & management, Systems biology approaches in nanosafety, Categorization & grouping of nanomaterials, Nanosafety infrastructure, Safe by design. The NMSA conference key note speakers include: Harri Alenius (University of Helsinki, Finland,) Antonio Marcomini (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy) Wendel Wohlleben (BASF, Germany) Danail Hristozov (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy) Eva Valsami-Jones (University of Birmingham, UK) Socorro Vázquez-Campos (LEITAT Technolоgical Center, Spain) Barry Hardy (Douglas Connect GmbH, Switzerland) Egon Willighagen (Maastricht University, Netherlands) Nina Jeliazkova (IDEAconsult Ltd., Bulgaria) Haralambos Sarimveis (The National Technical University of Athens, Greece) During the SUN-caLIBRAte Stakeholder workshop the final version of the SUN user-friendly, software-based Decision Support System (SUNDS) for managing the environmental, economic and social impacts of nanotechnologies will be presented and discussed with its end users: industries, regulators and insurance sector representatives. The results from the discussion will be used as a foundation of the development of the caLIBRAte’s Risk Governance framework for assessment and management of human and environmental risks of MN and MN-enabled products. The SRA Policy Forum: Risk Governance for Key Enabling Technologies and the New Tools and Approaches for Nanomaterial Safety Assessment conference are now open for registration. Abstracts for the SRA Policy Forum can be submitted till 15th November 2016. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Steenbergen R.D.J.M.,TNO | De Boer A.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment | Van Der Veen C.,Technical University of Delft
Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering -Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering | Year: 2011

Evaluating and upgrading concrete slab bridges is an important issue. A large part of the existing infrastructure has been built about 50 years ago and the design life has been reached or will be reached in the near future. Also traffic loads have increased significantly over the last 50 years. These structures need to be reassessed in order to find out whether the safety requirements are met. Not only for new structures but also for the existing stock the Eurocodes are starting point for the assessment of the safety. However, it would be uneconomical to require all existing buildings and civil engineering works like bridges to comply fully with these new codes and corresponding safety levels. The assessment of existing structures therefore differs from the design situation. This paper describes the main differences with respect to the relevant reliability requirements and develops a set of partial factors to be used in reassessment of the shear force capacity of existing bridges under traffic load. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Zondag B.,Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency | de Bok M.,Significance | Geurs K.T.,University of Twente | Molenwijk E.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems | Year: 2015

In current practice, transportation planning often ignores the effects of major transportation improvements on land use and the distribution of land use activities, which might affect the accessibility impacts and economic efficiency of the transportation investment strategies. In this paper, we describe the model specification and application of the land use transport interaction model TIGRIS XL for the Netherlands. The TIGRIS XL land-use and transport interaction model can internationally be positioned among the recursive or quasi-dynamic land-use and transport interaction models. The National Model System, the main transport model used in Dutch national transport policy making and evaluation, is fully integrated in the modeling framework. Accessibility modeling and evaluation are disaggregated and fully consistent, which is not common in accessibility modeling research. Logsum accessibility measures estimated by the transport model are used as explanatory variables for the residential and firm location modules and as indicators in policy evaluations, expressing accessibility benefits expressed in monetary terms. Modeling results indicate that accessibility changes from transport investments in the Netherlands have a significant but modest positive influence on the location choice of residents and firms. This is probably mainly due to the spatial structure and already dense and well developed transport networks, and the large influence of national, regional and local governments on the Dutch land use markets. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Lijzen J.P.A.,National Institute of Public Health and Environment RIVM | Otte P.,National Institute of Public Health and Environment RIVM | van Dreumel M.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

This article presents and discusses the main elements for a fundamental policy change for groundwater management in The Netherlands. The study analyzes the status and current use of groundwater, the increasing pressure in The Netherlands and many other countries on the natural soil-water system, the effects on quality and quantity of groundwater and the use of the subsoil. An overview is given of the current national and European regulations regarding groundwater and related policies for e.g. drinking water, soil policies and other interventions in the subsurface. The Dutch National Government is developing a new framework for groundwater management that aims a sustainable use of groundwater not only in environmental, but also in economic and social perspective. This framework for groundwater will benefit the Structure vision on the subsoil. The question is how 'sustainable use' can be a guiding principle in groundwater management, strengthening the relation between groundwater quantity and quality. It is proposed to define a generic National approach for the assessment of new and existing activities with potential effects on groundwater and for groundwater quality assessment. Additionally it is proposed to give local authorities the opportunity to set area-specific objectives on a regional or local scale to adjust for specific societal needs and area-specific characteristics. For setting these objectives it is recommended to use the concept of ecosystem services as a leading principle for defining the groundwater quality and quantity (e.g. for use as source for drinking water, aquifer thermal storage and sustaining terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems). © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | April 13, 2016

"Finally, this is a historic step for the Robird and our company", says Nico Nijenhuis, Master's student at the University of Twente and the CEO of Clear Flight Solutions. "We already fly our Robirds and drones at many locations, and doing this at an airport for the first time is really significant. Schiphol Airport has been interested for many years now, but Dutch law makes it difficult to test there. The situation is easier in Germany, which is why we are going to Weeze." Clear Flight Solutions is benefiting from the more relaxed rules at Weeze, as well as the relatively limited amount of air traffic there. The airport handles around 2.5 million passengers annually, most of whom come from the Netherlands. Schiphol Airport handles 55 million passengers annually. In addition to testing the Robird, the company will also train the Robird's 'pilot' and 'observer' (who watches other air traffic). "If you operate at an airport, there are a lot of protocols that you have to follow", says Nijenhuis. "You're working in a high-risk area and there are all kinds of things that you need to check. We use the latest technologies, but the human aspect also remains crucial." No option but to cross the border Nijenhuis thinks it is a shame that the situation at Schiphol Airport is so difficult, but he also says that a lot of work is currently being done to accommodate the drone sector in the Netherlands. "Airports are very important to us, however the law in the Netherlands means that this kind of testing is very sensitive. There are major differences with countries like Germany and France. It is unfortunate to see that so much activity in the drone sector is being drawn away from the Netherlands. Fortunately, our politicians are starting to understand this. Meetings between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the drone sector are going well, so I'm very happy about that. Finally we are all talking about the rules together. At the moment, it is often the case that professionals are not allowed to do anything, while amateurs are can do whatever they want. Luckily, that situation is changing. The government has also launched an awareness and information campaign. That is another positive development." The Robird is the flagship product of Clear Flight Solutions - a robotics and drone spin-off company of the University of Twente. The company was recently the beneficiary of an investment of €1.6 million from Cottonwood Euro Technology Fund. This investment has enabled Clear Flight Solutions to become a global leader in the field of bird management. "We have grown tremendously and we now employ 15 people", says Nijenhuis. "We have also become much more multidisciplinary. We even have a retired 747 captain on our team now, especially to help us with the airport projects. He knows the rules, so his input is very valuable." The link with research and teaching at the University of Twente is still strong - in February, three new graduates started work at Clear Flight Solutions. The work of an earlier graduate, Berend van der Grinten, meant that an autonomous Robird was very close to being finished as early as last summer. "I recently gave a lunchtime lecture at the University of Twente and there were over a hundred students there. Eighteen of them were very interested in completing a final thesis project. That is wonderful - we need more of that. There has also been a lot of interest from Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Our work goes further than just electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. We are working on multidisciplinary solutions to social issues - that's what makes this project so cool." The cost of bird control at airports worldwide is estimated in the billions, and does not consist only of material damage, as birds can also be the cause of fatal accidents. Birds worldwide also cause damage running into billions in the agrarian sector, the waste disposal sector, harbours, and the oil and gas industry. A common problem is that since birds are clever they quickly get used to existing bird control solutions, and simply fly around them. The high-tech Robird, however, convincingly mimics the flight of a real peregrine falcon. The flying behaviour of the Robird is so true to life that birds immediately believe that their natural enemy is present in the area. Because this approach exploits the birds' instinctive fear of birds of prey, habituation is not an issue. Explore further: 3D-printed robotic birds of prey are undergoing trials

Daniel R.A.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Global Thinking in Structural Engineering: Recent Achievements | Year: 2012

The areas and infrastructures crossed by bridges or viaducts can develop. As a result, existing space under the bridge may need to be widened or heightened. This paper presents some modification and reconstruction projects in the Netherlands, which have resulted in widening and heightening of the navigation clearance under existing bridges. Inland navigation, both cargo vessels and recreational, generates important requirements for the Dutch bridge crossings.

Daniel R.A.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Long Span Bridges and Roofs - Development, Design and Implementation | Year: 2013

Two structural systems dominate the choice of a very long span bridge nowadays - the suspension and cable-stayed bridge, both with one or more main spans and in steel or concrete version. Yet, the combination of these possibilities leaves the designer with quite many options. The question which option represents the best choice has been studied in details as part of the Western Scheldt Crossing project in the Netherlands. This paper presents the conclusions of that study and the comparative conceptual designs of four final bridge options. The results can be indicative for prospective studies on long span bridge crossings in other projects.

Mohd Hasan M.R.,Universiti Sains Malaysia | Hamzah M.O.,Universiti Sains Malaysia | Van De Ven M.,Technical University of Delft | Voskuilen J.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2016

Mortar creep takes place when the asphalt mortar continuously migrates downwards due to gravitational forces and can significantly disrupt air voids continuity in porous asphalt samples. This study was an extension to a previous work that ascertained the existence of the binder creep phenomenon as reflected from the continual permeability loss especially on samples conditioned at elevated temperatures. Nonetheless, in this paper, the terminology "mortar creep" was adopted instead of "binder creep". This is because, in an asphalt mixture, the aggregates are glued together not by the binder in isolation, but by the mortar; which is comprised of asphalt binder, fine aggregates and filler. The variables investigated included aggregate gradation, binder type, bitumen content and conditioning temperature. The mixes were prepared using conventional bitumen (60/70 pen. grade) and modified asphalt binder (PG76) at three levels of binder content at 0.5% increment. Permeability loss was continuously monitored over an extended period up to 120 days using a simple falling head water permeameter. Over the test period, the samples were separately conditioned at 15 °C, 20°C, 30°C and 35°C. The results showed that all factors significantly affect the occurrence of mortar creep in porous asphalt prepared in the laboratory, especially for the specimens conditioned at the highest temperature. Permeability loss was more significant on specimens' prepared using conventional binder at a higher bitumen content. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Daniel R.A.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Assessment, Upgrading and Refurbishment of Infrastructures | Year: 2013

We know that the condition of bridges and viaducts must answer the requirements of developing traffic loads. However, also the infrastructure below the bridge develops and generates requirements for that bridge. As a result, the existing clearance below the bridge may need to be heightened or widened. This paper presents three bridge adaptation and reconstruction projects in the Netherlands, which have resulted in heightening and widening of the navigation clearance below existing bridges. Inland navigation - carrying cargo, passengers or just recreational - constitutes an important branch of the Dutch economy. Additionally, the discussed projects comprised substantial improvements of technical condition, which extended the service life of the structures.

Van Den Berg M.,Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life | Year: 2013

It was Pieter Winsemius[1] in his book on environmental management who proposed the life cycle of environment issues. After a phase of exploration in which the problem would be defined and recognized, political focus would rise through the phase of searching for solutions, policy formation, regulation and taking up measures. After that the problem would be under control, and loose political attention when entering the phase of maintenance and control. The phases are well recognizable (with the benefit of hindsight) in the development of noise policy in the Netherlands. The past few years political attention for noise in the political arena was steadily diminishing, and it looks like it will come to a complete halt the next years. But is the problem completely under control? If noise problems cannot be completely solved in a modern society, is there a bottom that can be reached?.

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