Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) in brief
- A 7-year partnership under Horizon Europe, the EU’s 2021-2027 framework programme for the funding of research and innovation.
- 200 partners in 29 countries and at EU level, national agencies and research organisations working in the areas of the environment or public health, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA)
- A budget of 400 million euros, 50% funded by the European Union and 50% by Member States
Submitted by ANSES and its French and European partners in response to a Horizon Europe call for projects in September 2021, the PARC project received a favourable assessment by the European Commission in January 2022 and has started on the 1st of May 2022.
The Agency, which is responsible for the scientific and administrative coordination of the partnership, is also participating in cross-cutting activities and scientific production.
PARCopedia is a knowledge management and social media platform for the international community of chemical risk assessment professionals created by the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC). In one website, users of PARCopedia have access to up-to-date and easy-to-read webpages that cover all the aspects of chemical risk assessment in and outside of the EU with a special focus on innovation based on New Approach Methods (NAMs) and Next-Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA).
PARC inspired ECHA’s scientific research needs
Which research areas should be prioritised to lead the way for future regulation of hazardous chemicals? In a recent report the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) gives its advice inspired by PARC.The report ‘Key areas of regulatory challenge 2023’ identifies areas where research is needed to protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals. It also highlights where new methods, that support the shift away from animal testing, are needed. In 2024, ECHA will revisit the key areas and update where necessary. In the first year of PARC, ECHA realised from its interaction with the different projects and from the project proposals submitted for the second year of PARC, that the regulatory relevancy of research is not so easy to comprehend. To help research be useful for regulators, ECHA concluded it should better articulate the key areas and topics where the Agency sees a clear need for further research and development and sketch better the regulatory context.
Consortium Meeting PARC – Hall in Tirol May 2024
Save the date! The next meeting of the PARC Consortium will take place between 13th and 16th May 2024 in Austria, on the UMIT Tirol premises. This second meeting of the entire PARC consortium will provide an opportunity for everyone to present and discuss the work carried out in each PARC Work Package, to take part in a workshop on PARC's environmental activities, and to exchange views with the stakeholders who are members of the PARC Stakeholder Forum, as well as with PARC's International Board. Each of PARC's strategic boards will also be able to meet in person on this occasion.
One ambition: to move towards a new generation of chemical risk assessment methods
The European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals aims to advance research, share knowledge and improve skills in chemical risk assessment. By doing so, it is helping to support the European Union's Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, paving the way for the "zero pollution" ambition announced in the European Green Deal.
PARC represents a campaign of unprecedented scale, since it brings together about 200 French and European players, involving national and European health and safety agencies as well as research organisations. PARC encompasses all aspects of chemical risk assessment, including improving the anticipation of emerging risks, better addressing combined risks, and supporting the effective implementation of new European public policy guidelines for the protection of health and the environment in response to major health and environmental challenges and in line with citizens’ expectations.
The partnership is building on work undertaken as part of the European Joint Programme on human biomonitoring, HBM4EU (Human Biomonitoring for Europe), which came to an end in the summer of 2022, and will broaden the scope of its interests specifically to the assessment of environmental risks.
- Develop the scientific skills needed to address current and future challenges in chemical safety
- Provide new data, methods and innovative tools to those responsible for assessing and managing the risks of chemical exposure
- Strengthen the networks which bring together actors specialised in the different scientific fields contributing to risk assessment
Main results expected:
- Establishment of a permanent interdisciplinary network on a European scale to identify and prioritise conceptual, scientific and technical advances and needs in terms of research and innovation
- Development of joint research and innovation activities reflecting the defined priorities
- Strengthening of existing capabilities for research and innovation and the creation of new cross-disciplinary platforms in Europe
First steps of the partnership:
- Continue work on the biomonitoring of chemicals in humans with the implementation of European studies in the general population and in work situations. Review the state of the art in chemical monitoring in order to set up new schemes or broaden the scope of substances monitored in existing ones while innovating with regard to the analytical methods used.
- Contribute to data generation to meet regulatory needs and to the development of new methodological approaches to assess effects on humans or on target organisms in the environment.
- Develop computer models and data analysis methods for analysing the effects of mixtures and combined exposure.
- Contribute to making data and models accessible and reusable for research and risk assessment purposes (i.e. that meet the FAIR principles - Findable - Accessible - Interoperable - Reusable), as part of an "Open Science" approach.
- Develop the new concepts and tools needed to implement the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability: the chemical synthesis of new compounds or materials without risks to health and the environment, the ability to detect substances that are hazardous to health or the environment, or the provision of modelling tools.
The research strategy and work programme ensure that an open and transparent dialogue between scientific and regulatory bodies is promoted, involving all stakeholders.
This partnership has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101057014