22 Oct 2020 Publications

Safe-by-Design concept report that will serve as basis for further safety assessments and Safe-by-Design actions

Safe-by-Design concept report that will serve as basis for further safety assessments and Safe-by-Design actions

Project Deliverable by BNN
HI-ACCURACY, Grant Agreement No. 862410  (Topic: H2020- DT-NMBP-18-2019)
Date of publication: October 2020
Area: Design for Technology Development (DfTD)
BNN team involvement: Susanne Resch, Clemens Wolf


This report outlines the Safe-by-Design (SbD) concept, its principles and relation to a classic chemical risk assessment, and how it can be adopted within the HI-ACCURACY project, with a special focus on nano-related safety issues. By implementing the SbD concept, safety-related issues are considered in the design phase from the very beginning, i.e., from the project start of HI-ACCURACY. This allows to design innovative materials, processes, and products as safe as possible and prevents late development failures.

Based on state-of-the-art literature, the key elements of risk assessment and the SbD concept were elaborated, including the cross-cutting issues regulation, standardisation and sustainability.

Within the development and innovation process, clarity about the safety surrounding new technologies is one of the most important conditions for acceptance of the technology. Particularly for nanomaterials, safety garners attention due to the uncertain risks. Figure 11 shows the needed steps to achieve safer (nano-)innovations.



Figure 1. Steps needed to achieve safer (nano-)innovations


The SbD concept enables us to define the ideal option for specific use cases. Compared to a classic chemical risk assessment, the clear benefit of the SbD approach is that different settings and options during the innovation process are assessed, with the clear aim to design materials, processes and (interim) products to be as safe as possible while adhering to technical requirements, complying with current and future regulations and keeping costs as low as possible.

Defined SbD actions within the HI-ACCURACY project encompass:

  • Share detailed questionnaire with all project partners to continue information gathering and collection of relevant data
  • Continue mapping critical hotspots, considering relevant (nano-) materials, related processes and (interim) products
  • Translate identified hazards into a set of exposure scenarios, choose best-fitting RA tools, perform risk assessment and identify risk mitigation options (i.e., Safe-by-Material-Design, Safe-by-Process-Design, Safe-by-Product-Design)
  • Further address and consider regulation, standardisation and sustainability
  • Derive recommendations and target best solutions for the specific use cases.

In summary, the clear benefits of the SbD concept are:

  • Safer products
  • Timely reduction of risks and uncertainties
  • Building trust among stakeholders
  • Potential savings of time, money and resources.

A consortium-internal workshop on (nano-)safety and SbD helped to raise awareness among all project partners on these topics and allowed to transfer knowledge, exchange ideas and collect initial feedback. Moreover, the interactive session during the workshop kicked-off the identification of critical hotspots along the project workflow, considering human and environmental health. This mapping of critical hotspots will be further continued and evaluated on back-plane TFT materials and process development, on barrier materials, and on front-plane display materials.

The original deliverable is confidential and can only be viewed by project beneficiaries.