Innovative spin-off from annual Ctgb client contact day
The theme of our annual client contact day in June was innovation, which resulted only a few weeks later the first initiatives! Contacts and discussions at the annual event have led to concrete agreements. Two companies are already holding discussions with the Ctgb to determine how their innovation fits within the assessment frameworks and how the associated risks should be assessed in order to take advantage of the environmental benefits of the innovation and to ensure that there are no unsuspected risks for people, animals and the environment. A third company wants to apply for authorisation for its sustainable technology, but the active substance appears to be classified under the Biocidal Products Regulation in two ways for different uses and with different safety standards. What does that mean for a future authorisation? This is very difficult for the company, and is unfortunately an example of a sustainable innovation for which it is complicated to apply for authorisation within the prevailing legal frameworks. The Ctgb has therefore offered to enter into discussions about this problem at the European level with the aim of effectively promoting this type of sustainable innovation, and to find a way to do this within the prevailing legislation.
This can be difficult with innovations. For new techniques and ideas, a risk assessment framework has generally not yet been developed, let alone established. This sometimes only happens after dossiers have been submitted, as we have seen, for example, in the assessment of micro-organisms to protect crops. Micro-organism-based products are becoming increasingly important in agriculture and horticulture, but the assessment framework has focused primarily on assessing the risks of chemical substances. Various guidances and customised dossier requirements have also been established for micro-organisms so that these active ‘substances’ can be assessed with a tailor-made biological approach while taking account of their specific effects and risks. And that is equally possible for innovations in biocidal products.
This clearly demonstrates once again that exchanging ideas on the theme of innovation actually sets things in motion. As far as I am concerned, the usefulness and necessity of the annual Ctgb client contact day has been confirmed – in addition to the importance of meeting each other and networking!
Secretary / Director