The European Nanotechnology Community Informatics Platform: Bridging data and disciplinary gaps for industry and regulators (NanoCommons)
This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research program on nanotechnology.
EU grant agreement number: 731032
Nanotechnologies and the resulting novel and emerging materials (NEMs) represent major areas of investment and growth for the European economy. Recent advances have enabled confidence in the understanding of what constitutes toxicity of NEMs in relation to health and environmental hazards. However, the nanotechnology and nanosafety communities remain disparate and unconnected, whilst knowledge and data remain fragmented and inaccessible, such that from a data integrating and mining perspective it is clearly a “starting community”. The field, and indeed the European open knowledge economy, requires conversion of these scientific discoveries into legislative frameworks and industrial applications, which can only be achieved through concerted efforts to integrate, consolidate, annotate and facilitate access to the disparate datasets. NanoCommons brings together academia, industry and regulators to facilitate pooling and harmonising of methods and data for modelling, safe-by-design product development and regulatory approval purposes, thereby driving best practice and ensuring maximum access to data and tools. Networking Activities span community needs assessment through development of demonstration case studies (e.g. exemplar regulatory dossiers). Joint Research Activities will integrate existing resources and organise efficient curation, preservation and facilitate access to data/models. Transnational Access will focus on standardisation of data generation workflows across the disparate communities and establishment of a common access procedure for transnational and/or virtual access to the data, and modelling and risk prediction/management tools developed and integrated. Given the extremely rapid pace of development of nanoinformatics, NanoCommons’s detailed workplan will be prescribed for the first 18 months, beyond which it will be co-developed with stakeholders on a rolling call basis to ensure maximum responsiveness to community needs.
BfR parts of the project:
The BfR is involved in several work packages (WPs) and in leading WP11 (NA3) on Dissemination and Case Studies. WP11 Dissemination and Case studies will develop, initiate and support case studies according to specific criteria involving all other WPs and the input of an advisory panel. In addition, the WP ensures efficient dissemination of best practice SOPs and guidance documents. To that end several workshops will be organized during the project dedicated to specific stakeholder needs.