A recent evaluation by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has shown that Horizon 2020 has largely had a positive impact on the chemical industry.
The report highlighted that the focus should now turn to translating the results of projects into real-world actions, and ensuring that fair attention is paid to those that show substances, especially key enabling technologies such as nanomaterials, are safe.
The EU Nanosafety Cluster, established by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG-RTD), aims to find synergies between EU-funded work on the safe handling of nanomaterials, covering all aspects from toxicology, exposure, risk assessment and standardisation.
Cefic said that while it recognised the good work by researchers, there was still a strong need to bridge fundamental research and industry needs in terms of risk assessment to adequately respond to society’s demands.
It added that one way to improve how Horizon 2020 studies on nanosafety are conducted would be to increase the number of projects resulting in useful tools for the risk assessment of industrial nanomaterials.
Cefic supports the continuation of research initiatives like the ones included in the Nanosafety Cluster in future H2020 projects. However, it said they should focus developing internationally accepted tools for hazard characterisation and methods useful for the risk assessment of nanomaterials and particles.
Cefic also believes that involvement from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would be helpful.