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Innovative, systemic zero-pollution solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals

Pollution from persistent and mobile chemicals is often a systemic problem, as it is driven by factors closely related to the prevailing ways of production and consumption and is reinforced by missing appropriate technical solutions, including (bio)remediation and monitoring techniques for the environment (including the marine environment). These chemicals also pose challenges for regulatory authorities to develop or enforce effective policies.

Scope:

Taking into account latest policy needs and developments, this call topic aims at establishing new knowledge, exploring the feasibility of new or improved technologies and demonstrating innovative solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals. Selected projects are expected to advance our knowledge on health impacts and environmental effects and to address and preferably prevent a specific pollution problem involving contamination of environmental resources (such as soil, sediments, air, food and drinking water). The solutions developed should lead to cost-effective prevention, monitoring and to, as a last resort, mitigation or elimination of the issues (e.g. mitigation or remediation efforts in particularly affected geographic areas). They should also lead to better understanding of environmental fate and help proactively prevent negative impacts from persistent and mobile chemicals (and, where relevant, their precursors) on humans and the environment. The projects may include appropriate technologies, business, governance and social innovation aspects and the demonstration of innovative solutions in a relevant environment (TRL 4-6). In particular, projects may consider analytical methods and monitoring, enabling to quantify entire groups of persistent and mobile chemicals in food, soil or drinking water. This would allow achieving a higher level of consumer protection, as such grouping methods are essential for regulating groups of harmful substances that have similar structures. 

The successful projects should target persistent and mobile chemicals and include elements (one or several), such as 

  • gain insight to the uses, sources and environmental fate of persistent and mobile chemicals 
  • development of new cost-effective high-resolution methods to analyse and model the presence of persistent and mobile chemicals in products/materials and in different media; 
  • environmental and human (bio)monitoring[2] of persistent and mobile chemicals;
  • gathering of toxicity and toxico-kinetic information (including animal-free approaches such as in vitro and in silicoapproaches) in order to allow characterising risks to human health and ecosystems, including at low environmental levels and combined/cumulative exposure; 
  • detection and identification of specific pollution problems and their sources[3]
  • research and development of (bio)remediation technologies of soil and water (including sources of drinking water) contaminated by persistent and mobile substances and their precursors; 
  • development and improvement of models to predict and assess long-term trends and risks for persistent mobile substances and propose preventive solutions 
  • development of best practices for the management and treatment of waste, soil and water containing persistent and mobile substances, in line with the ambitions of the Circular Economy Action Plan[4].

 

Proposed solutions should be suitable for real life challenges, environmentally sustainable, cost-effective and easily implementable to encourage their uptake. Therefore, close consultation or collaboration with potential end-users of the expected results during the project lifetime is recommended.

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Deadline: 
26 January 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time
Country: 
European, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), The associated countries (AC)
Fund: 
Horizon2020
Budget: 
8 to 12 million €
Sector of activity: 
Environmental monitoring, Environmental ressources