NanoHarmony OECD TG/GD Process Mentor; Help to bring your science forward as harmonised test methods
NanoHarmony, a European Horizon 2020 funded project, is today releasing the NanoHarmony OECD TG/GD Process Mentor. The Process Mentor is an interactive web-based tool to guide stakeholders through the development process of OECD Test Guidelines (TGs) and Guidance Documents (GDs). The OECD publishes internationally agreed and accepted standard methods for the safety testing of chemicals and nanomaterials. Under the OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) system, laboratory tests performed under an accepted TG and following Good Laboratory Practises (GLP), can be accepted in all OECD Member countries and countries adhering to MAD for the purposes of safety assessment.
The NanoHarmony OECD TG/GD Process Mentor has been developed to highlight the involvement of key institutions in the OECD Test Guidelines Programme, and their incentives to take part in the TG development. It brings guidance and tips on how to develop or adapt TGs and GDs, including when and how to prepare for required activities, key start and finish dates of the development process, and who to involve in which activities and when.
As an online guidance tool, the NanoHarmony Process Mentor is for anyone with an interest in the OECD TG development process, including those interested in leading or participating in a TG development. It can be used by research projects who need to understand how their new methods can be taken into the OECD process, by university teachers who can educate their students on how science is used in regulations or by governments to train the next generation of regulatory scientists. For this purpose, the Process Mentor also hosts the NanoHarmony training material that was also developed as part of the project. The NanoHarmony training material provides a low-level entry into the topic of standards and harmonised OECD Test Guidelines and how science can contribute to this.
“The NanoHarmony OECD TG/GD Process Mentor will help people understand the OECD TG Development Process better and acts as a useful tool to steer people through this complex process. It makes TG developments easier, allows developers to understand the whole process and what steps they need to take at each phase.” says Dr Elise Morel from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and the main editor for the Process Mentor
Mar Gonzalez from the OECD is enthusiastic about the tool and states, “The Process Mentor will be an excellent tool to complement our existing guidance on developing TGs by compiling practical advice for us to share with the whole OECD TG/GD development community. It will support our work and gives everyone a hands-on and intuitive tool. It is an easy and straight forward way to get to understand the process as well as to help those who actively try to move a new method from science to standardisation & harmonisation.”
Professor Eva Valsami-Jones, Coordinator of the EU Nanosafety Cluster, sees the big advantage of bringing scientist closer to societal needs and how their work can contribute to a safer Europe “The NanoHarmony OECD TG/GD Process Mentor is a much-needed tool to help scientists developing innovations that will be the basis for future harmonised test methods. The Nanosafety Cluster, which represents European funded projects addressing the safety of materials, believes that this tool will help the projects understand how to move their science into regulatory useful methods and will also be useful to help train the future generation of scientists.”
The NanoHarmony Process mentor can be accessed for free at (www.testguideline-development.org) by anyone with an interest in OECD Test Guidelines.
For further information about the NanoHarmony project or to arrange to speak to the NanoHarmony experts contact Dr Sean Kelly (email@example.com or +44 7956 410024).
Notes to editors
The NanoHarmony project has been funded with a total budget of c.€3m under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement No 885931. Running from April 2020 to September 2023, the project was a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) that brought together 14 partners and was coordinated by the German Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA).
NanoHarmony supported the development of a set of scientifically reliable test methods and good practice documents, based on the translation of existing scientific knowledge and data into a form that has regulatory relevance. Alongside the development of OECD Test Guidelines and Guidance Documents for 8 nanomaterial test endpoints that were prioritised by agreement with relevant stakeholders, the project also coordinated the organisation of a sustainable network of stakeholders to exchange relevant data and information for future regulatory needs. The aim of the network was to analyse the processes in test methods development and through the active participation of stakeholders, to develop best practice to allow for the timely development of test methods ready for regulation to meet future needs.