Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Safety in NanOmaterials & NAnotechnology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SiNfONiA (Safety in NanOmaterials & NAnotechnology)

Período documentado: 2020-09-01 hasta 2022-11-30

The potential of nanomaterials and nanotechnology to improve the quality of life, to address society’s grand challenges and to contribute to economic growth and to sharpen the competitiveness of industry is now widely recognized, not only in Europe, but globally. Nanomaterials and nanotechnology offer substantial possibilities for improving the competitive position of the EU and for responding to key societal challenges. However, there is a need to ensure the safe development and application of nanomaterial and nanotechnologies and for finding reliable ways to predict the potential risks to health, food and environment of these materials and technologies. Due to the widespread use of nanomaterials, it is critical to identify any potential risks they may pose to human health or the environment. These current uncertainties surrounding nanomaterial risk mean that research is required into nanomaterial safety. Addressing these knowledge gaps will help to ensure that innovation in the rapidly developing area of Nanotechnology is not stifled by concern, but instead by determining risks associated with nanomaterials we can promote the safe, sustainable and responsible use of this technology.

SiNfONiA aims at attracting and maintaining a high profile researcher (ERA Chair) and respective research team with excellent research capabilities in the nanosafety research domain. SiNfONiA will play as a catalyst to fully maximize the impact of the ERA Chair on the scientific excellence and research performance of the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL).
The first period of SiNfONiA was focused on the recruitment of the research team. After recruitment the ERA-Chair Holder (Ernesto Alfaro-Moreno), we had a period of 6 months to recruit the first elements from the research team (July-Nov 2020). After the amendment, we proceed with the recruitment of one more element to research team, accomplishing the 6 elements (1 Era-Chair Holder + 5 elements in the research team). Later on, due to the exit of one of the elements, we proceed with the new hiring in June 2022.

With the SiNfONiA Research Team recruited and installed the work on creating a solid network and kick-off research started. The resources were focused on building new bridges/collaborations with important institutions/laboratories around the world, but mostly in Europe, in alignment with the Nanosafety Group Research Agenda. Besides the organization of an International conference, the researchers have been traveling and visiting different laboratories around Europe and have been inviting renowned researchers to visit INL and share their knowledge. This work has been very fruitful and besides different invitations to participate in scientific and industrial events, the Nanosafety Group has now a solid network with real engagement to work together.

Important to note that the first steps of this great work were made together with the International Advisory Board that kindly shared their contacts and promoted different interactions between the ERA-Chair Holder and important stakeholders in the field.

The research team in collaboration with the management team have as well worked on the sustainability plan for the research group. Besides the organization of funding workshops, the management team, namely the grants office, has focused on scouting opportunities to the research group and supporting them on the crafting of proposals. This works has been successful with 2 granted European projects in the last year: one as coordinator (LEARN) and another as partners (iCare). Together with the grant of a national funded project granted over the first year of SiNfONia - Safe by Design Tool Box (SbDToolBox)-, the SiNfONia team has showed their capacity to build their research lines and get competitive funding to support them.

The Era-Chair Holder and his reasearch team have also being working in research activities, namely on building the laboratory and developing new protocols for safety assessment of nanomaterials. The publication and oral presentations' list is integrated in the technical report.
The ERA Chair activities will allow the creation of a competitive research environment and the conditions necessary for attracting, retaining, and developing world-class research at INL, aiming at making INL more successful in obtaining competitive funding and playing a key role in the European research and innovation area.

The main impact of the Project so far, within the hiring of the ERA Chair and respective team members, is the creation of a new research group at INL focused on the safety of nanomaterials. This new research group has full autonomy to develop and implement its research strategy and agenda and explore international cooperation opportunities in the nanosafety arena, forming alliances and strengthening the international dimensions of the European Research Area in nanomaterials’ safety related research.

Up to know the team has already published important scientific articles and presented in scientific meetings. A great effort has been put on participate/integrate different forums/cluster/societies on the field so that the network increases and their work would reach out to more people and vice-versa.

A remarkable result achieved in the last year of the project was related to the funding strategy for the sustainability of the research group: he Nanosafety Group has been granted with 2 European funded actions: one as coordinator (LEARN) and another as partners (iCare). Together with the grant of a national funded project granted over the first year of SiNfONia - Safe by Design Tool Box (SbDToolBox)-, the SiNfONia team has showed their capacity to build their research lines and get competitive funding to support them. Worth mention that all this work and efforts have as goal to impact the regional development through material´s safety research driven activities and dissemination towards the general public, the research community, industry, and policy makers in the North Portugal region.

Additionally, part of the work done in parallel with SbDToolBox, is focused on developing of assays to validate the safety of different nanometerials for industry. This work aims to impact in a regional as well as in a European level.

Documentos relacionados