Friday, 30 August 2013

LRI Workshop: Science-led Decision-Making

Cefic’s Long-range Research Initiative (LRI) programme will hold its 15th annual workshop on 20-21 November 2013 in Brussels and registration is now open. This year’s workshop is titled: “Science-informed decision making: are we on track?”

The workshop’s objective is to demonstrate to scientists, academia, regulators and stakeholders the value that the LRI programme has created and to present its future direction. The workshop will commence on the evening of November 20 with a poster exhibition and dinner at the Sheraton Brussels hotel.

The event aims to examine in particular how science and scientific thinking can contribute to a decision-making process which ensures that future policies and initiatives are based on a holistic view and a realistic assessment of all the relevant data.

On November 21, the morning session of the workshop will discuss new results from the programme’s current project portfolio. The workshop will focus on key areas including thresholds of concern, bio-monitoring, domestic exposure, endocrine disruption, nanomaterials, toxicogenomics and sediment testing.

Innovative Science
In the afternoon, the workshop will continue with the official ceremony for the prestigious Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award for early career scientists. This will be followed by presentations from external stakeholders (European Commission, European Parliament and specialised media) on the subject of science-informed decision making. The venue for the workshop will be the International Auditorium, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5, Brussels.

A highlight of the workshop will be a presentation by Dr. Sabine Langie (left) of the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). Dr. Langie is this year’s winner of the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award worth € 100 000. The award will help fund her studies on the environmental programming of respiratory allergy in childhood and, specifically, the effect of exposure on DNA methylation. The overall goal of the research is to provide new levels of insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of prenatal exposure on childrens’ allergy risk. The objective of Dr Langie’s research falls within one of the main priorities of the Global ICCA-LRI Research Strategy: to improve our understanding of exposure to chemicals and their effect on health. The research is also highly relevant to European strategy priorities on public health and the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan in Europe (CEHAPE).

Science for Policy Impact
The LRI programme is one of the major voluntary initiatives of the European chemical industry to support its competitiveness and innovation potential. LRI aims to identify hazards posed by chemicals and to improve the methods available for assessing any associated risks.

LRI strives to have a policy impact for its scientific research. It is acknowledged as a preferred partner to provide industry inputs in scientific debates for our stakeholders, particularly on the regulatory side.

In particular LRI engaged with the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) to develop a better understanding of the use of alternatives in the context of REACH (the European regulation on chemical products) context, resulting in a collaborative workshop on acceptance of read-across methodology in late 2012. On the basis of that success, LRI initiated a further collaboration with ECHA on use of alternative testing (in vitro) for skin sensitization in February 2013.

Dr. Bruno Hubesch, LRI Programme Manager commented: “I believe LRI is an ideal platform to engage with stakeholders on research areas of public interest.”

More information
The LRI workshop will be attended by representatives of the European institutions and bodies, academia and industry and provides an excellent opportunity to network with both scientists and policy makers. For more information visit the Cefic-LRI website or contact LRI Programme Manager Bruno Hubesch. The draft programme for the event can be access here and you can register for the event here.

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