New bio-analytical infrastructure is on its way

EIRENE (Research infrastructure for EnvIRonmental Exposure assessmeNt in Europe) is a new bio-analytical infrastructure being built in Europe to better understand how environmental factors contribute to the rise of a number of chronic diseases in Europe.

EIRENE was included in the newly published Roadmap 2021 of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). This makes EIRENE one of eleven new top class European research infrastructures, which will be built in the next 10 years. The selected research infrastructures support excellent science in a wide range of disciplines.

EIRENE is based on the exposome concept in which the interaction of human and environment is central. EIRENE will build capacity through a multidisciplinary approach for environmental monitoring innovation, for population-based research on chemical exposure and downstream biological effects, for management, processing and interpretation of data. EIRENE is coordinated by the Czech Masaryk University and includes 50 research institutions from 17 countries, including Belgium. EIRENE builds on the existing expertise and analytical capacity generated through the European Human Biomonitoring Network HBM4EU. Specifically in Flanders, the Flemish Human Biomonitoring Program has been running for 20 years on behalf of the Flemish Government. These programs investigate the impact of chemical substances on human health. VITO, the University of Antwerp, KULeuven and the Flemish Environment Department will form the Flemish hub of EIRENE.