NewsHARMLESS / OECD SG AdMa Workshop


On 15th November 2022, the H2020 project HARMLESS, together with the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials Steering Group on Advanced Materials (OECD WPMN SG AdMa), organised a virtual workshop on Advanced Materials (AdMa) with the main aim of testing current foresight schemes to anticipate safety and sustainability issues regarding AdMa. The workshop was not public but intended for the members of the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) only, although experts from the NMBP-16 sister projects (DIAGONAL and SUNSHINE) were also invited, as we are closely collaborating with them.

During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to get more information about a few current foresight schemes to anticipate safety and sustainability issues regarding AdMa and to test them of the selected HARMLESS case study on Aerogels, as façade insulation material (as one of many layers of the façade of a building).

After a short presentation of the HARMLESS project by HARMLESS coordinator Otmar Schmid (HMGU), Otmar introduced the workshop to the audience.

Subsequently, Lars Montelius, from Lund University (Sweden) gave a talk on the Materials 2030 Roadmap, informing about the Advanced Materials 2030 initiative and sharing his thoughts related to advanced materials.

The next session was led by Wendel Wohlleben (from BASF) in his role as Case Study leader in the HARMLESS project, who briefly introduced the Aerogel case study (Fibre-aerogel-mats for façade insulation).

After that, participants were divided into two different break-out rooms to assess and discuss the different schemes in more detail. The break-out room on “InnoMat.Life and Early4AdMa” was moderated by Blanca Suarez (TEMASOL) and the schemes were presented by Wendel Wohlleben (BASF) and Agnes Oomen (OCD WPMN SG AdMa). The second break-out was on “Early4AdMa & Arvidsson” and was moderated by Susan Dekkers (TNO) and the schemes were presented by Andrea Haase (BfR) and Anders Baun (DTU).

In both break-out sessions, after a short introduction to the different schemes (aim, developed by, application), very vivid discussions took place as the participants were giving feedback to the schemes to further improve them in the future.

The workshop finished with a plenary session moderated by Blanca Suarez, summarising the suggestions and thoughts raised up in both break-out rooms, and a discussion with the participants on strengths and opportunities for integration of the presented approaches into the real-life processes which will help fine-tuning them.

More than 50 people from all over the world attended the workshop coming from different stakeholder groups (scientific community, SMEs, large industry, policy maker, regulator, NGO).

The main aims of the workshop were to get feedback on the different schemes to improve them, locate them along the innovation process or even integrate them and to potentially identify issues based on the example provided by HARMLESS. The outcomes and conclusions of the workshop will feed into an open report. Furthermore, this workshop will contribute to the HARMLESS framework, as SSbD decisions require not only risk screening, but ranking and similarity by hazard, exposure and functionality aspects, …

Stay tuned!

Special thanks to the HARMLESS team for the great preparation of the workshop, the OECD WPMN (Mar Gonzalez), the chairs of the SG AdMa (Kathrin Schwirn and Agnes Oomen) for all your inputs, the IT support of the OECD team (Lesley Smith and Kimiko Yamamoto) and all the participants for your interest, feedback and active involvement in the workshop for further improving the schemes!

The assessment concepts that were discussed in the workshop were:

  • AdMa 2030 Manifesto and Roadmap (2022). Link to publication.
  • Early4AdMa (RIVM, BfR, UBA, BAuA 2022). DOI: 10.21945/brochure-advanced-materials
  • AdMGRID AdMa categorisation (Kennedy et al. 2019). DOI: 10.1111/risa.13304
  • InnoMat.Life AdMa categorisation (2022). It will be refined and published in 2023.
  • Nano-enabled AdMa screening (Arvidsson et al. 2022) – Arvidsson, R., Peters, G., Hansen, S.F., Baun, A. (2022). Prospective environmental risk screening of seven advanced materials based on production volumes and aquatic ecotoxicity, NanoImpact, 25, 100393,

Some highlights of the workshop:

Opening of the workshop, by Otmar Schmid
(HARMLESS coordinator, HMGU)
Presentation of the Materials 2030 Roadmap by Lars Montelius (Lund University)
Wendel Wohlleben (BASF) giving an insight into the HARMLESS case study on Aerogels
Presentation of the InnoMat.Life scheme, by Wendel Wohlleben (BASF)
Presentation of the Early4AdMa scheme, by Agnes Oomen (co-chair of the OECD WPMN SG AdMa)
Final Plenary session of the workshop, moderated by Blanca Suarez (TEMASOL)
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