Innovation that is targeted to meet real workplace needs is essential to prevent exposure to carcinogens during the whole life cycle of substances or materials - this knowledge needs to be common understanding.
The often existing gap between what is needed for implementation at workplace level (i.e. substitution of carcinogens or, if this is not technically feasible, low-emission design of products and processes) and what innovation from current research provides, can be bridged by linking producers (equipment), researchers, sectors, and other relevant stakeholders and discussing collaboration and bridging solutions under the umbrella of Horizon Europe and European Green Deal.
The Roadmap Challenge 4.1 ‘Bridging the Gap’ was aimed at bringing together work floor needs with innovators and researcher to better fit practical realities and at the same time sensitise innovators and researcher to how materials are used throughout the life cycle to promote their safe and sustainable design (see also the initial ideas below). Therefore, the milestones and activities of the challenge were designed to link researchers and producers (of technical equipment) to sectors and their representatives as well as other relevant stakeholders to discuss collaboration and bridging solutions under the umbrella of Horizon Europe and the European Green Deal.
To achieve the aims of Challenge 4.1, one focus was to establish a close connection and exchange between health and safety as well as risk management experts within the science community (of innovation and material research). To support this specific activity, a preparatory study was commissioned by the RoC management with the aim to identify relevant programmes and strategies at European and, if applicable, international level, that can be used as starting points for the progression of Ch4.1. For this purpose, an overview and one page documents (OnePagers) of each respective activity relevant to occupational safety and health in relation to the Chemicals Strategy on Sustainability, the Beating Cancer Plan, the action program on the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), the future strategic framework for occupational safety and health and the new research framework program Horizon Europe was compiled from the researched information. This resulted in 16 OnePagers that include the ‘name of the activity and reference framework’, ‘lead DG or organisation’, ‘programme period’, ‘contact person (personal or functional)’, ‘objectives of the activity’, ‘assignment to predefined keywords’, ‘reference to the goals and projects of the RoC’ and ‘relevant links to accessible published documents’. For details, the preparatory report and one-pagers can be found here.
Challenge 4.1 conclusions in a nutshell
In summary, it can be concluded that in order to start closing the gap between science and work floor, interested parties, partners or stakeholders, can use the identified contacts within the OnePagers of the preparatory study to help raise awareness to the aims of the RoC, test for synergies and solidify these aims in EU programmes with the highest probability to be successful. Connection to the PARC initiative is most promising. For the EU Mission Cancer connections on member state level should be pushed by the respective ministries.
From these findings, the RoC Management concluded that the RoC must improve its communication with stakeholders of industry now in order to transport results currently generated by the initiative not only to the usual suspects. One of the additional OnePagers was ‘campaigning’. It could be directly used to establish new concepts of reaching the so far neglected target group of industrial stakeholders. SusChem could be a possible platform to engage with the target group of industrial stakeholders.
As the challenge and the results from the preparatory study were not further followed by a partner that stepped in a leading role, Ch4.1 was concluded as of 31. August 2022 by the Roadmap management together with the challenge partner from Finland. The management together with Finland provide a summarising and concluding report.
Below you can find the original activities, milestones and deliverables that had been envisioned when starting this challenge in 2021.