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Map (clickable) locations of CREAM partner institutions (red) and associated partners (blue)

KEMI RUC NERI UYORK WU UBA UJAG UFZ IME RIFCON BASF EAWAG Harlan ANSES Bayer RWTH GAIAC INRA UREAD CTGB CRD VU Syngenta

Who we are

CREAM is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network, funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme and has started on September 1, 2009.  The network consists of 13 partner institutions and 10 associated partners from industry, regulatory authorities, and contract research organizations. CREAM includes 20 PhD and three postdoc projects. All projects are related to developing ecological models for the risk assessment of chemicals, primarily pesticides. Many projects include, or even focus on, empirical work.

What CREAM is about

EU regulations require extensive testing and risk assessment before a chemical is approved for use. Current risk assessments focus on risk at the level of individual organisms, but according to EU directives the protection goal for most species aims at achieving sustainable populations. Population-level effects depend not only on exposure and toxicity, but also on important ecological factors that are nearly impossible to fully address empirically.

Mechanistic effect models (MEMs), for example population models, enable the integration of these factors, thus increasing the ecological relevance of risk assessments as well as providing vital understanding of how chemicals interact with ecosystems. Such understanding is crucial for improving risk mitigation strategies and ecosystem management. Still, examples clearly demonstrating the power of MEMs for risk assessment are urgently needed, and industry, academia and regulatory authorities across Europe need scientists that are trained in both MEMs and regulatory risk assessment.

What CREAM will deliver

CREAM will develop and experimentally validate a suite of MEMs for organisms relevant for chemical risk assessments. The framework for transparent and comprehensive ecological modeling documentation (TRACE) is applied by the individual CREAM projects. In addition, the CREAM consortium will formulate guidance for Good Modelling Practice that will foster consistency and transparency of MEMs. CREAM provides world class training for the next generation of ecological modellers, emphasizing transparency and rigorous model evaluation as core elements of the modelling process.