National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

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RIVM coordinates WP1 and provides expertise to all other work packages. RIVM is a widely acknowledged expert in regulatory risk assessment. RIVM provides scientific policy advice to several Dutch Ministries. One of our fields of interest is the safety of new and emerging technologies including nanotechnology and synthetic biology

About RIVM

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (‘Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, RIVM’, www.rivm.nl) is a governmental research and knowledge institute providing policy support to the Dutch government. RIVM performs tasks to safeguard and promote public health and environmental quality in the Netherlands.

 

RIVM provides the government with impartial advice on infectious diseases, vaccination programs, population screening, life style, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, environment, sustainability, safety and security.

The main tasks of RIVM are:

  • to conduct research;
  • to provide policy advice and recommendations;
  • to direct and implement prevention and control response (e.g. national coordination of health and environmental monitoring programs);
  • to coordinate intervention programs (e.g. vaccination programs);
  • to provide information to professionals and the general public.

 

RIVM participates in various international networks and are members of many international scientific committees and experts panels of the EU. RIVM also carries out activities for other international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and OECD. Currently, RIVM has about 1,500 employees.

Relevant expertise

  • Nanotechnology: RIVM has a long-standing and established expertise in integrated risk assessment in the health, environment, medical applications, food and non-food sectors, and is strongly involved in discussions about the need for new research, regulation and standards in nanotechnology
  • Modern biotechnology and synthetic biology: RIVM is responsible for risk assessment and permitting of genetically modified organisms, and is policy advisor to the Dutch government on new and emerging developments in modern biotechnology, such as synthetic biology, in relation to benefits, risks and risk assessment.
  • New and emerging risks: RIVM develops methodologies and tools aimed at identifying risks for man and the environment (consumer, worker, patient, environmental compartments) associated with new technologies and new applications.
  • Safe innovation approach: within the context of the EU project NanoReg2, RIVM develops an phased approach the combines business-oriented  innovation management model and the basic elements of safety thinking to include safe-by-design as well as regulatory preparedness.

 

Stakeholders and network

The public eye increasingly turns towards a range of topics such as environmental health issues, food and consumer safety, vaccines and new medical technologies.  Among these are also health effects of emerging technologies. RIVM is well-versed addressing stakeholder concerns, risk perception and modern health worries. In addition to engaging in societal debates. RIVM performs research on a variety of topics including risk perception and concerns, on mental models regarding risk issues, on risk communication, on modern health worries and medically unexplained physical symptoms, and on willingness to pay or to accept environmental health risks.