Long-Range Research Initiative

The innovative research program of the ICCA Long-Range Research Initiative (ICCA-LRI) is designed to improve the quality of chemical safety assessments. Although societal and political drivers vary around the world, the three regional LRI programs in Europe, the U.S. and Japan identify common scientific topic areas that industry regards as important to form the core of the global ICCA-LRI program. Through the ICCA, the independently managed LRI research programs support complementary areas of scientific investigation.

A Global Program Addressing Key Issues in Chemical Management

LRI is focused on improving our understanding of potential health and environmental risks and catalyzing advanced approaches for the scientific assessment of the safety of chemicals. The ICCA LRI Global Research Strategy highlights the program’s activities in the three priority areas. Much of this investment in research is leveraged through collaborations with publicly funded projects.

  • Emerging Technologies: Pioneering 21st century chemical safety determination technologies.
  • Exposure Science: Expanding understanding of environmental and human exposures.
  • Translating Research Outcomes to Product Safety: Developing dosimetry and biological pathway methods that strengthen the scientific foundations of risk assessment.

LRI Principles

The following principles are the basis of the LRI program and ensure that the funded research meets the highest quality standards.

  • Scientific Excellence: The best research proposals and most-qualified scientists will be selected for funding.
  • Transparency: Research will be conducted openly and the results will be publicly available.
  • Fair and Unbiased Conduct: Potential conflicts of interest will be rigorously evaluated.
  • Relevance to the Chemical Industry: Research will address the potential health and environmental impacts of chemicals.

The ICCA-LRI Research Portfolio

The three LRI regional programs (ACC-LRICefic-LRI and JCIA-LRI ) each support research projects within the priority research areas. These priority areas, which by design are interrelated and interdisciplinary, provide an overall structure for the global LRI program. However, the specific projects funded within these areas can vary from region to region and from year to year depending on industry priorities, financial resources, and other drivers. More detailed information on each research project can be found by accessing the ICCA-LRI Research Portfolio, a searchable database that includes project descriptions from all three regions and links.

Click here to access the ICCA-LRI Research Portfolio database.

Technology’s Role in Chemical Safety Evaluations

Researchers supported by the ICCA-LRI programs are using biomolecular approaches to investigate the potential of chemicals to interact with biological pathways. These technologies are playing an increasingly useful role in chemical safety evaluations. At certain exposure levels, no responses may be observed, but at increasing levels of exposures, cells may respond by changing production in the types or quantities of certain biomolecules, and scientists can study these responses by evaluating the cell’s RNA.  Researchers around the world are expanding the understanding of the relationships between these types of cellular responses, called transcriptomics. The development of technologies that enable transcriptomics to be applied to study small numbers of cells, in vitro cell cultures, contemporaneous or archived tissue samples, and even single cells isolated in situ from tissues preserved in formalin (taken from in vivo lab animal studies or clinical specimens ions) hold considerable promise to improve the scientific basis of chemical safety assessments by quantifying exposures that may produce no effects and comparing these to exposures that produce adaptive effects or adverse effects. A recent ICCA-LRI Science and Research Highlights explains these technologies and summarizes a number of applications, including those being investigated as part of the Cefic, ACC and JCIA LRI programs.

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