Symposium on Safe and sustainable-by-design: the small molecules challenge
‘Let’s raise awareness about the importance of Safe and sustainable-by-design and connect the various disciplines in the field!’. That was the call made by initiators Pieter Bruijnincx (UU), Annemarie van Wezel (UvA),
Michiel van Kuppevelt (VNCI) and Maarten Honing (UM).
As society we need to find a way to sustainable meet our needs for energy and materials. Currently, much of the sustainability research focuses primarily to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change, and thus mainly on the energy transition. However,
the need to change the way we source, design, produce and use the materials we rely on daily is equally pressing.
We thus need a new paradigm for chemicals and materials production and that is where ‘safe and sustainable-by-design’ comes into play. Policy makers are increasingly aware of this, as is for example evident from the EU Green Deal’s ‘Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability’.
Changing the way we design, assess and value chemicals and materials requires systematic change and poses an inherently multi- and interdisciplinary research challenge. We need to redesign materials at all levels, from the molecule to the product , gain insight into the
desirable end-of-life properties in terms of varying degrees of persistence or degradability, develop knowledge in structure-function-toxicology relationships and digital tools to predict these, etc.
Such systemic challenges require a systems approach to scientific research. In this interactive symposium we aim to raise awareness of the challenge at hand, put the topic more firmly on our research agendas and, most importantly get the conversation going between
disciplines working on different design aspects of safe and sustainable materials and chemicals. We aim to provide academic, industrial as well as policy perspectives. This first symposium focuses on the design, production, persistence and fate of small molecules.
Event DetailsWhen: 15 March 2023, 10.00 – 18.00 hrs CET
Where: NWO Utrecht
Programme and more details will follow in the coming weeks.