Research and Innovation | Articles | 23/01/2024

Safe and sustainable by design: integrated approaches for Impact Assessment of Advanced Materials

Safe and sustainable by design: integrated approaches for Impact Assessment of Advanced Materials

Hypertech is at the forefront of advancing safe and sustainable technologies as a leading participant in the SUNRISE project. This initiative, funded by HORIZON EUROPE, is dedicated to pioneering an Integrated Impact Assessment Framework (IIAF) that supports decision-making across the lifecycle of advanced materials and their associated products, adhering to the Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD) principles.

The SUNRISE Horizon Europe project introduces a comprehensive 3-tiered assessment framework, each tier tailored to different stages of the innovation process and designed to evaluate health, environmental, social, and economic impacts. This approach integrates various methodologies including Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA), New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), and advanced sustainability assessment tools like Environmental and Social Lifecycle Assessment.

By developing and demonstrating the IIAF across relevant industry case studies, the SUNRISE project not only aims to foster acceptance and support for this new framework but also ensures its practical applicability and adoption. The knowledge generated from this project will be pivotal in aiding public authorities across the EU and national levels in implementing SSbD-related policies more effectively. 

The project unites 19 partners from multiple European countries, each contributing unique expertise to this interdisciplinary and international effort. The collaboration spans over four years with a budget of €3.7 million, underscoring the scale and ambition of the SUNRISE initiative.

Hypertech’s Role: Leading Stakeholder Engagement

Hypertech SA leads the critical work package focusing on stakeholder engagement within the SUNRISE project. This involves identifying and engaging with key stakeholders from various sectors—industry, academia, public authorities, and civil society—to ensure the IIAF is both effective and reflective of diverse perspectives and needs. Hypertech's efforts include the development of the SUNRISE Virtual Living Lab, a dynamic online forum that facilitates co-creation and the exchange of best practices among stakeholders.

As the project progresses, Hypertech’s involvement is set to play a transformative role in how advanced materials are assessed and managed in terms of safety and sustainability. This aligns with broader EU objectives to integrate SSbD principles into material development and usage, setting a benchmark for future initiatives.

Disclaimer: The perspectives expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the European Union or HORIZON EUROPE.
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