eNanoMapper Project
About the project

eNanoMapper (ENM) proposes a computational infrastructure for toxicological data management of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) based on open standards, ontologies and an interoperable design to enable a more effective, integrated approach to European research in nanotechnology.

eNanoMapper will support the collaborative safety assessment for ENMs by creating a modular, extensible infrastructure for transparent data sharing, data analysis, and the creation of computational toxicology models for ENMs. Building on recent developments of consortium partners in predictive toxicology, biology and nanotechnology research, we will develop resources, tools and standards for a scientifically sound risk assessment of ENMs that will support the design of new safe and environment-friendly ENMs as well as the assessment of existing materials.

The main objectives of the eNanoMapper project are:
Improving the utilisation of data through the implementation of a modular infrastructure for data storage, searching and sharing, based on open standards and semantic web technologies, minimum information standards and established security solutions;
Accelerating knowledge exchange and reuse through the development of ontologies for the categorisation and characterisation of ENMs (pristine and in situ) in collaboration with other projects, including those launched following the NMP.2013-1.3-3 call (Development of a systematic framework for naming and assessing safety of the next generations of nanomaterials being developed for industrial applications);
Enabling the creation of new computational models in nanomaterials safety through the implementation of interfaces for toxicity modelling and prediction algorithms which may process all data made available through eNanoMapper (e.g. using algorithms available from the OpenTox FP7 project or statistical/data mining software);
Enabling the meta analysis of nano-bio interactions supporting “safe-by-design” ENMs development by pursuing a Linked Data approach which integrates data and metadata originating from diverse sources within nanoscience, chemistry, biology and toxicology;
Creation of tools for the exchange, quality assurance and reporting of research protocols and data for regulatory purposes;
Creation of a community framework to accelerate interdisciplinary collaboration between experimental and computational scientists in the establishment and use of data management and analysis infrastructure and to mutually develop quality-driven guidelines for experimental design and optimal production and sustainable maintenance of new datasets;
Closely aligning the eNanoMapper infrastructure development with user needs to enhance the research cohesion, integration and advancement of the EU NanoSafety Cluster agenda.

The flexible computational infrastructure for this project will be implemented based on interoperable, standards-compliant and modular web services maximising cross-talk and interaction between different databases. This will include key services for ontologies, data storage, data analysis and modelling as well as supporting services (e.g. for authentication and authorisation) and prototype graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for data submission and analysis.

In order to achieve maximum impact and to avoid duplication, the system will be designed to be interoperable with resources already existing in this area; we will adhere to established standards and actively contribute to standards and new ontology development whenever necessary. To this end the consortium has assembled partners with specific experience in predictive toxicology database and modelling resource development (DC, NUTA, IST, IDEA, UM), ontology creation and curation (EMBL-EBI, UM), and existing interactions with European nanotechnology and NanoSafety Cluster projects (IST, KI, VTT).