Safe by Design was successfully completed from 22 June to 24 June with a tremendous response from the PhD participants from all the relevant fields. We thank all the experts and the participants from various prestigious institutions to make this event a success.

About the program

Safety is becoming increasingly relevant in various fields, particularly in designing products and processes. The renewed focus on Safe by Design (SbD) tries to identify and include safety (along with other important values such as sustainability, security, and circularity) at an early stage of design. This course offers a general outlook on SbD, then dives into different disciplinary perspectives on SbD and its industrial applications and ends with (ethical) reflections on SbD. Group assignments and networking are an important part of the set-up of this course. We offer an excellent overview of the extensiveness and importance of the integral approach of Safe by Design. The team of lecturers together represent both the broad academic as the more practice-oriented approach and represent TU Delft, WUR, VU, Leiden University and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Safe by Design. 

In recent years, we have been witnessing an increased attention in research and innovation for society’s grand challenges. Think of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the large national and European mission-oriented research and innovation programs. Under labels such as Responsible Research and Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, or Science With & For Society, efforts are undertaken to engage in research and innovation in reflective, anticipative, forward-looking, and simultaneously responsive ways and incorporate this way work working into grand societal needs. SbD continues these academic traditions by proactively addressing potential risks and addressing ethical, legal, and societal issues early on in research and innovation.

SbD acknowledges the importance of safety in all phases of research and innovation trajectories and potentially looks at safety as integral to the entire chain of any research or innovation trajectory. What this precisely entails in terms of risk assessment, risk management, chain coordination and so on, will vary from one field to the next.

SbD aims to mitigate risks as much as possible during the design process rather than during manufacturing or customer use. The approach frontloads thinking about safety at an early stage of development. And of course, this preventive rationale gains even more force in the transition towards circularity. Think of the circular economy in which products and materials are intended to escape the linear pathway of ‘produce – consume – dispose ‘and are foreseen to remain to stay.

This event was Free & open for PhD candidates from all universities and universities of applied science in the Netherlands.


Course Feedback:

We would be happy to get any feedback from you. You can do so by sending an email to 

PhD course ‘Safe by Design’ program

When: 22-24 June 2022
Where: Building Wijnhaven, The Hague

/* */