The implementation of the new EU legislation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) requires demonstration of the safe manufacture of chemicals and their safe use throughout the supply chain. REACH encourages development of new in vitro test methods and replacement of animal tests wherever possible by alternative methods. These goals are not achievable without well-trained personnel with a broad expertise and knowledge in both experimental and computational areas of environmental sciences. The requirements for such scientists, however, are not limited to the REACH implementation itself. Large companies and SMEs could be interested to employ such specialists to perform risk assessment and prioritization of molecules in the development stage. Therefore, the primary objective of this ITN (http://www.eco-itn.eu) is to contribute to the education of a new generation of scientists, environmental chemoinformaticans, who will receive advanced training in both environmental and computational methods. To achieve this goal the ITN will train the fellows using expertise and knowledge of its partners in various complementary computational and experimental areas of environmental sciences. The additional training will also be offered by means of Winter and Summer Schools and will include both theoretical and practical courses. The internships to the laboratories of associated partners will allow fellows to learn new methods and to broaden their knowledge in the field. A flexible system of Short Term Fellowships will offer additional targeted training to researchers originally not associated with the network. Given the potentially great business impact of evaluating more than 120,000 industrial chemicals in the European market within the next decade, the fellows of this network may have a significant economic dimension with regard to the hazard evaluation of chemicals in Europe.
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