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Partly based on: Patinha Caldeira et al., 2022 (© European Union, 2022)

The EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) aims at fostering a transition towards safer and more sustainable chemicals. To ensure this transition, safety and sustainability considerations should be integrated when assessing existing chemicals as well as alternative chemicals that might substitute them.

There is, therefore, the need to develop a new framework for the definition of criteria for SSbD chemicals and materials. A framework for SSbD requires the integration of risk assessment and safety-based considerations with life cycle-based consideration, to ensure sustainability along the entire value chain. (Patinha Caldeira et al., 2022)

Supporting S(S)bD

What is SSbD exactly and how should it be implemented? - some expert opinions

Safe-by-design and EU funded NanoSafety projects: Report on the EU nanomaterial SbD landscape in 2021

The report was delivered to the European Commission as a contribution of the EU NanoSafetyCluster (NSC) to answer the request to contribute to their study on the state-of-the-art and ongoing research in the field of Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design.

Safety aspects are amongst others very important to be addressed in the research, development and innovation (R&D&I) along the entire development chain, and specifically already from the earliest possible stages onwards. Considerable experience and knowledge have been gained in recent years tailored to nanomaterial related safety aspects. This enables the entire development and manufacturing areas to reduce delays to market launch of a product while extending their design processes to Safety and Sustainability by Design (SSbD). SSbD concepts and solutions developed in the nanotechnology area have the potential to become an essential asset in the future SSbD approach. Hence, several EU-funded projects in the frame of H2020 have already begun to integrate such aspects into their activities. Application- and/or product-oriented frontrunner-projects (e.g R2R Biofluidics-project1) have already incorporated sustainability aspects [in relation to theUN SDGs]. In other projects, case studies have been performed and initial discussions on safe innovation approach took place. In a few ‘closer-to-the-market’ projects (e.g. OITBs) this has been included specifically. Of course, it is needed to further advance current SbD tools and models to be future proof. Thus, the H2020 projects that address SbD aspects either on materials- and models-level, as well as on complex systems, have to support the further development by implementing this in the standard development process, and in parallel, shall contribute to the establishing a nano risk governance council and a sustainable nanofabrication community. Furthermore, a key issue to implement SbD is data. To enable SbD-implementation, all the knowledge needs to be handled according to the “FAIR”-principles to secure its access and use in the long-run, connected with European initiatives (e.g. EOSC, EUON), made operational via an umbrella infrastructure (i.e. NanoCommons) that shall be the organisational center to include or make accessible all data from finished and/or ongoing H2020 (e.g. PROCETS, caLIBRAte, ACEnano, Purenano, Hi-Accuracy, etc.) as well as future projects that will be funded under Horizon Europe.


  • Patinha Caldeira et al., 2022: Patinha Caldeira, C.; Farcal, R.; Moretti, C.; Mancini, L.; Rauscher, H.; Rasmussen, K.; Riego Sintes, J.; Sala, S. Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials Review of safety and sustainability dimensions, aspects, methods, indicators, and tools, EUR 30991 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2022.

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