Creation of a critical and commented database on the health, safety and environmental impact of nanoparticles

Project duration: 01.12.2008 - 30.11.2012    terminated


NHECD was supported by the European Commission's 7th RTD Framework Programme
(FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° NMP4-SA-2008-218639.



Tel Aviv University
Department of Industrial Engineering


Tel Aviv University, Dept of Physiology & Pharmacology, The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv - IL
Joint Research Centre (JRC), The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra - I
IVAM, Amsterdam - NL
tp21 GmbH, Berlin - D




Currently, the data-bases existing worldwide on nanoparticles are unable to extract information automatically from the meta-data that they possess. Moreover, the long termed upholding in an updated state and efficient use by the different user communities is a constant challenge facing the organizations operating these data bases. Therefore, there is a need, both in Europe and outside it, to have a free access structured information database on the impact of nanoparticles on health and environment that will possess the capabilities of employing automatic tools for update and comprehensive analysis of the published data.

The goal of the NHECD project is to build a free access robust and sustainable system than can meet the challenge of automatically keeping rich and up-to-date scientific research repository, enabling a comprehensive analysis of published data on environment and health effects following exposure to nanoparticles. Methodology and automated ranking and commenting processes will be set up handling unlimited number of detailed research results so that a large scale knowledge base can be built and maintained on a long term basis. This process will be accompanied and supported by automated data and text mining techniques capable to extract the results from unlimited number of published papers.

The NHECD approach will be based on the integration of the following features:

  • Innovative text mining tools designed specifically to extract information from scientific research papers in the nanoparticles domain
  • Automated content extraction and review processes designed to handle very large number of electronically published scientific research papers keeping quality results
  • Leading toxicology domain knowledge provided by the NHECD partners with links to data-bases inside and outside Europe
  • Web site as a front-end for hosting facilities as well as a web-based user interface for the data base application
  • Effective public relations operation to expose the repository to various audiences such as scientific community, regulatory bodies and the general public, dealing with generating white paper and production of summaries for interaction with stakeholders and dissemination to Industry and public.

It is expected that the combined features of the suggested database will lead to a synergistic outcome enabling:

  • Better understanding of the impact of nanoparticles on health and the environment, and definition of future actions;
  • Safe and responsible development and use of nanotechnology;
  • Support to research and regulation;
  • Support to regulatory measures and implementation of legislation;
  • Implementation of the European Commission's Action Plan for Nanotechnology;
  • Support to good governance in nanotechnology.



     Final Project Executive Summary & Publications