2024 New Year message from the Secretary General

Dear ECETOC Members and Stakeholders,

As we bid farewell to the successes of 2023, I am delighted to extend my warmest greetings all of you as we step into 2024.

Last year was marked by significant achievements and milestones for ECETOC, which furthered our mission in chemical safety assessment and increased our visibility, even globally. In the last week of November, for example, we were invited to present our collaborative work (and our TRA) at the Latin American Regulatory Cooperation Forum (LARCF) in Chile in front of representatives from ten Latin American countries. The positive reception and collaboration witnessed during this event underscore the international recognition of our dedication to enhancing science for a safer world.

Reflecting on the accomplishments of 2023, it is essential to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of certain individuals within our ECETOC community. At the close of the year, we bid a fond farewell to Jan Urbanus, who retired and gracefully stepped down from the Scientific Committee. Jan's dedication to our exposure work, particularly with the Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) and a potential Transformational Programme on elevating exposure science, has left an enduring impact. Though Jan has transitioned into retirement, he has kindly offered his continued support in these areas, for which we are immensely grateful.

Moreover, we express our deepest gratitude to Ben van Ravenzwaay for his outstanding decade-long service as Chair of the Scientific Committee. Ben’s leadership has been instrumental in steering ECETOC through a period of growth and achievement. As Ben steps down, we warmly welcome Johannes Tolls, who has taken up the mantle as the new Chair. Johannes brings a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm, and we look forward to the continued success and evolution of ECETOC’s Science Programme under his guidance. The Scientific Committee is currently accepting nominations for a new vice-chair and I look forward to announcing their name to you, soon.

These changes highlight the dynamic nature of our organization and the strength that comes from the collective dedication of our members. Our thanks go to Jan, Ben, and Johannes – and to all those who contributed so far for their contribution in shaping ECETOC's past, present, and future.

I am also thrilled to announce a noteworthy addition to the ECETOC family as we welcome Nestlé on board as members. Their partnership amplifies our collective strength, reinforcing our dedication to fostering a sustainable and safe future. Please join me in welcoming them – and their delegate Walburga Seefelder – to our network!

Looking ahead to 2024, our agenda is brimming with exciting activities and initiatives. Just to give you a glimpse, in 2024 we’ll be

  • Continuing the ongoing scientific programme and launching new Task Forces (such as the State of the Science and Guidance for Non-EATS Modalities -metabolic disorders)
  • Participating in European Projects (such as PARC and the recently-launched CHIASMA Project on accessible innovative methods for the safety & sustainability assessment of chemicals & materials)
  • Organising a series of events, such as the:
    • MARII webinar series between April and November (in collaboration with ICCA)
    • 250th Scientific Committee Meeting & AGM on 23 May in Brussels – save the date!
    • Thyroid Hormone Disruptors Workshop at Eurotox in Copenhagen
    • 2024 ECETOC and Cefic LRI Scoping meeting on 24-25 September, in Brussels – save the date!
    • MARII annual meeting in Latin America in Q3-Q4
    • AI workshop in Q4
    • Non-EATS modalities workshop in Q4 (or Q1 2025)
    • Biodiversity workshop in Q4 (or Q1 2025)

This year promises to be dynamic and filled with opportunities for growth and impact. I encourage each one of you to actively participate, collaborate, and contribute to the collective success of ECETOC. If you have any questions on any of the ongoing activities – or the new initiatives mentioned above – please drop me a line.

Together, we will continue to lead the way in advancing science for the betterment of our global community.

Wishing you a prosperous and fulfilling 2024.

Warm regards,

Blanca Serrano,

Secretary General, ECETOC