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The European Nanotechnology Community Informatics Platform (NanoCommons)
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
Legal Status
University or higher education institution
Edgbaston, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, PO: B15 2TT (United Kingdom)
Type Of RI
Distributed, Virtual
Coordinating Country
United Kingdom
Participating Countries
United Kingdom
United States
Current Status:
Operational since 2018
Scientific Description
NanoCommons will deliver a sustainable and openly accessible nanoinformatics framework (knowledgebase and integrated computational tools, supported by expert advice, data interpretation and training), for assessment of the risks of NMs, their products and their formulations. NanoCommons combines Joint Research Activities to implement the nanoinformatics Knowledge Commons, Networking Activities to facilitate engagement with the research community, industry and regulators, and provision of funded Access to the nanoinformatics tools via funded calls for Transnational Access.NanoCommons will establish a single integrated resource for nanoinformatics data in which different stakeholders (e.g. scientists, regulators, NGOs, industries, etc.) can have confidence that it is both up-to-date and self-consistent.NanoCommons will thus:1. facilitate faster identification of potential NM-related risks through integrating data from across the entire real-life nanosafety workflow and through development and application of a suite of innovative computational approaches such as Physicochemical-Biological Read-Across (PcBRA), Deep Learning strategies (“Introspective Machine Learning”) and response surface mapping strategies in reduced dimensional representations and quantitative structure activity relationships (QSARs) including prediction of NMs uptake, localisation and therapeutic potential (to integrate with EU-NCL for example);2. enable ‘safe-by-design’ approaches through QSAR & read across development coupled with ‘design of experiments’ tools to map NMs physicochemical descriptors linked with increased/reduced hazard profiles and exposure modelling.3. support regulatory decision making by ensuring data integration, enrichment and use for predictive modelling to assess “sameness”, allow read-across & implementation of real safe-by-design strategies. These advancements can only be achieved by the project’s unique partnership, each participant being selected for being at the top of the relevant R&D and networking activities internationally.Objectives:NanoCommons is driven by the European nanosafety, nanomedicine and emerging materials research and regulatory communities need for an e-infrastructure providing a standardised, reproducible and interoperable way to access all available data, knowledge and analysis and modelling tools that have been adapted and verified as suitable for application to nanomaterials.More than 10 years of nanosafety research has delivered tangible insights into the key science and policy required for the development of safe nano-enabled products. However, this knowledge has yet to be systematised, or made “FAIR” (Findable, Accessible, Interoperate, and Reusable), in a manner that allows modellers to develop predictive frameworks and assess their domains of applicability, and allows industry to utilise the data, models and tools for safe-by-design strategies or as supporting evidence for use in regulatory dossiers, for regulators to compare one form to another or make estimations of data requirements for Novel and Emerging Materials (NEMs) based on shared properties with NMs, or for educators to utilise in teaching toxicology, ecotoxicology, environmental fate and modelling of the behaviour of NEMs.To address this gap, NanoCommons will create an openly accessible e-infrastructure serving the current and future (unmet) needs of the key research communities and pivotal industrial users and regulators.NanoCommons will facilitate:1. the efficient collection, integration, curation and maintenance of existing data and methods along with development and optimisation of the tools and user interfaces to interrogate them (JRA),2. the provision of access to the data, methods and tools collected or produced under the project, along with expert guidance in their use and in experimental design and workflows to harmonise data quality into the future (TA), and3. community building including bridging disciplinary gaps (e.g. toxicology and ecotoxicology, experimental and modelling), promoting best practice in data quality (e.g. Quality Assurance (QA) audits, Independent Experimental Data audits), and development of User case studies demonstrating the capability of the NanoCommons infrastructure to address real stakeholder challenges in partnership with industry & regulators (NA).NanoCommons is designed to integrate the Knowledge infrastructure for risk assessment of novel and emerging materials on a European and international scale, and provide (remote) access to data, data mining, modelling and risk assessment tools to all European researchers, from academia and industry, as well as regulators, ensuring their optimal use and joint development.

RI Keywords
Open data access, Nanomaterials, Research networking, Data mining, Data analysis, Transnational access, Nanosafety
RI Category
Research Data Service Facilities
Micro- and Nanotechnology facilities
Data Mining and Analysis (Methodological) Centers, including statistical analysis
Scientific Domain
Chemistry and Material Sciences
Data Processing & Analysis

From data cleansing, mining and analysis to modelling and from ISA-TAB tools to ontologies.

Data Visualisation & Predictive Toxicity

Omics, QSARs, modelling and risk assessment tools.

Experimental Workflows Design & Implementation

Automated data acquisition, online lab-books, data curation templates, nanoinformatics implementation.

Data Storage & Online Accessibility

Data repositories, storage, online access

Access Type
Date of last update: 23/05/2019
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