EIRENE Consortium Meeting 2023 - Rome

The annual meeting of the EIRENE RI consortium took place in Rome on December 12-13, 2023. Hosted in the splendid Aula Marconi at the Italian National Research Council (CRN) in central Rome, the meeting centered on deliberations about the EIRENE RI network's development and updates on the EIRENE PPP project. The event drew nearly 50 participants from 20 European countries and the USA.

19 Dec 2023

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The commencement of the meeting featured welcoming remarks from representatives of the Italian Ministry of University & Research, the Director of the Environment & Health Department at the National Institute of Health, and the Director of Programs at the Italian Space Agency. They expressed continued support for the EIRENE Italian National Node and acknowledged the collaborative efforts in Exposome research on an international scale. In the morning session, Jana Klánová, the EIRENE RI coordinator, provided an overview of EIRENE's activities, aspirations, and objectives. She underscored the significance of political backing at both national and regional levels, as exemplified by Italian stakeholders, for the successful implementation of EIRENE.

EIRENE aims to provide a harmonized system for environmental exposure assessment, ensuring standardized services and trustworthy data. The near future will witness the development and presentation of service packages and examples elucidating specific applications and possibilities of EIRENE RI for potential users and policymakers.

The afternoon was dedicated to presentations on synergic projects, partnerships, and programs in Europe and the USA, along with the scientific vision of EIRENE. Martine Vrijheid and Jelle Vlaanderen highlighted synergies with EHEN (The European Human Exposure Network) and IHEN (International Human Exposome Network), emphasizing global cooperation. Gary Miller from Columbia University discussed trends in the USA and coordination activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Jana Klánová and Robert Barouki presented connections with previous and current European Partnerships, while Amy Foreman from EMBL-EBI explored potential collaboration avenues.

The second day commenced with an overview of EIRENE National Nodes' activities and current status. Prospective EIRENE members from Portugal, Luxembourg, and Cyprus detailed their planned contributions and expertise. The day also featured insights from Ms. Gelsomina Papallardo, an ESFRI Board Member, on the role of ESFRI, RI Open Access policies, and the ERIC legal entity. The remaining sessions focused on the progress of EIRENE PPP Work Packages, covering Human Resources and Services, Services Pilot, Data and Ethics, Performance Assessment, Governance Models, and Financial Planning.

The meeting concluded with a robust discussion shaping the EIRENE Scientific Strategy document, determining the organizational framework, and outlining services. The next annual meeting is slated for Utrecht in October 2024, alongside the IHEN meeting.

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