Public adoption of new technologies is an important determinant for their success. The chemical industry not only provides solutions for challenges to modern society through its technology and products, but also takes responsibility for these: the Cefic’s Long-range Research Initiative (LRI) 20 years programme serves to increase understanding of the potential impact of chemicals on human health and the environment, and to improve methods for risk assessment.
Over the past two decades, the LRI Programme has funded more than 250 research projects through its grants and Innovative Science Award. These projects aim to provide proactive scientific advice on which the entire industry and regulatory bodies draw to respond more quickly and accurately to societal concerns. LRI funded projects have also led to development of numerous quality-assured, easy-to-use and freely available chemical risk-assessment databases and tools.
Being a major contribution to a sustainable chemical industry, LRI needs to present a research programme that is forward-looking, ambitious but also realistic and coherent. The current research areas are addressing key public concerns:
- Development of intelligent testing (including alternatives to animal testing)
- Understanding the effects of chemicals in complex environments
- Public acceptance of new technologies
Providing an improved basis for informed policy-making and an early warning of emerging issues, LRI also helps the industry in its own decision-making, especially during the innovation process, giving ground for companies to better understand the issues around the introduction of new products or technologies.
And, because industry cannot act alone, LRI brings together a network of more than 200 leading experts to facilitate science-policy dialogue and decision-making. Every effort is made to build relationships with research programmes, government agencies, academics and non-governmental organizations to support the development of effective regulation for the sound management of chemicals.