ECO represents a complementary professional team of professional scientists & tutors having a broad expertise in different aspects of environmental sciences, which is supported by expert advisors & management.
The expertise of ECO members ranges from experimental groups working from traditional analytical techniques (IFAR, HMGU) to modern bioscreening methods using unicellular eukaryotes (Tetrahymena species), fungi (S. cerevisiae) (HMGU), multicelluar eukaryotes algae, daphnids (RIVM) as well as fish lines (INIA, RIVM). The computational expertise ranges from molecular mechanics (CSIC, HIK) to semi-empirical and ab initio quantum chemical calculations (CSIC, IEC, UMB). The expertise in chemoinformatics methods ranges from multivariate methods (HIK) to modern non-linear approaches (HMGU) and genetic methods (UMB). The range of addressed problems ranges from prediction of physico-chemical end-points (HMGU), simple toxicological end-points (HIK, UMB) to complex problems of metabolism and biodegradation (IFAR), prediction of properties of complex mixtures (RIVM, HMGU), fate modeling and exposure assessment (RU, RIVM) and assessment of nanomaterials. This expertise would not be possible without excellent technical equipment of groups, thanks to their location in leading centers in their countries. This expertise creates a scientific fundament of ECO, which has received multiple validations by excellent scientific records of group leaders and their participation to prestigious EU and national grants.
The expertise of associated partners from the USA Center of Excellence in Computational Toxicology (Prof. Welsh), public societies (SECOTOX, Prof. Schramm), ITN GOODWATER (Prof. Meckenstock), as well as from the EU and national project partners provide the second level of ECO with respect to which knowledge could be offered to the fellows. The interests of large industry (P&G), SMEs and consultancies (KNOELL, CAMO, CQ, ZFB, etc.), environmental authorities (HLUG, ME) and topics of STR fellowships provides information on which knowledge are demanded by the market right now. However, the ECO could not be able to function without professional management and IPR support which will be provided in the network by the HMGU center and its intellectual property management partner (ASC), thus creating practical & legal basis of the network. This will allow the ECO to achieve its goals with preparation of new environmental chemoinformaticians, i.e., the future REACH professionals, regulators, educators, consultants, etc., but still in the first turn, the scientists.