WorkPackages WP2 Research and innovation projects

WP2 Research and innovation projects


The Partnership for Radiation Protection Research is intended, through a competitive open call system, to consolidate and strengthen the EU’s research and innovation capacity for improving radiation protection of the population, workers and the environment. The focus should therefore be on the research and innovation efforts, and the scientific and technological advancement that will form the bases of all improvements in radiation protection.

This Work package will be the basis of the whole project, by co-developing research priorities based on the specific objectives defined. These priorities will form the basis of the Open Research Calls. The call priorities should be aligned with the priorities from participating Member States and further input from radiation protection stakeholders, including the broader public. A multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder and transnational approach is needed in this exercise.

The R&I projects selected through the competitive Open Calls will handle several aspects linked to these priorities, so it is important that these projects’ consortia work together. They should inform each other continuously of their results to maximise the projects’ impact. In particular, continuous cooperation between the projects from the start, particularly in relation to stakeholder engagement and dissemination, is very important. This will be assured by a specific task in this WP. Another task of this Work package is to perform an update of the Joint Roadmap for Radiation Protection Research developed within the EJP-CONCERT, considering on the one hand advances and developments that impact the future research needs and on the other hand the emergence of new scientific challenges, research results or societal concerns.

A final task in this Work package will coordinate, harmonize and stimulate activities related to the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data approaches in RP topical fields.

Lead: IRSN, ExB members, General Assembly members

Task 2.1 Set up the research priorities for 3 open calls

The main objective of this task is to define research priorities for radiation protection research which will serve the launch of the open calls for research and innovation projects for the duration of the Partnership. Calls must reflect a multidisciplinary and transnational approach, and priorities should integrate global EU policies and national research programs. In order to achieve an optimal harmonization with the main goals of Horizon Europe the priority setting will be aligned with the 3 pillars (excellent science, global challenges and European industrial competitiveness, innovative Europe) defined by Horizon Europe. The consensual list of research priorities in radiation protection elaborated in this task can be seen as the scientific workplan of the Partnership, and will serve for the preparation of the open calls text, to be launched under the responsibility of WP7.

The major input for research prioritization will come from
  • the CONCERT Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research;
  • the updated SRAs of the six platforms of MEENAS (MELODI, EURADOS, URAMED, NERIS, ALLIANCE and SHARE)
  • POMs reflecting special national needs with a European interest and
  • the views of the EURATOM STC on the CONCERT Joint Roadmap. Furthermore, input and outcomes from other EURATOM funded projects (e.g., MEDIRAD) and other EU initiatives such as SAMIRA will also be taken into consideration.

JRC involvement in the scientific projects will allow to better develop synergies and complementarities with the EC direct actions carried out by JRC and avoid duplication of efforts between the two programmes. Through collaboration with WP3 and the Stakeholder Advisory Board a continuous communication with radiation protection stakeholders (including also international initiatives such as directed by IAEA, UNSCEAR, NEA-CRPPH-HLEG, NGOS, civil society organisations) will be maintained during the whole prioritization process.

Lead: NNK; Participants: CIEMAT, SSM, SCK CEN, all POMs, all Platforms

Sub-task 2.1.1 Set up of research priorities

Three open calls are planned to be launched during the duration of the project. In order to ensure transparency, inclusion and a good representation of the views and expectations of all interested parties listed above, online consultations and focused round table discussions will be organized in collaboration with WP3. Thereby, national POMs and stakeholders will be invited to actively participate in the prioritization process by expressing their opinion on the suggested research priorities and/or suggesting new ones. Feedback from POMs and stakeholders will be collected and accounted for, both in the definition of research topics to be addressed in the open calls, and in the process of prioritization itself. R&I in support of regulations and implementation of the BSS will be endorsed. Coordination between WP2, WP4 and WP5 will assure harmonization among research activities, E&T and infrastructural guidelines.

The principle of the prioritization process will be uniform for all three calls and will adhere to the approach described above. It will be composed of the following steps, see figure 2:
  1. A first synthesis will be made by the Task partners based on the Joint Roadmap, the NRT 01-09 call, the Horizon Europe priorities, and the evaluation by the EURATOM STC on the Joint Roadmap
  2. A feedback round will be organized with the 6 European Radiation Protection Platforms, for inclusion of their latest Strategic Research Agenda topics
  3. Direct stakeholder involvement will be organized in parallel through collaboration with WP3 in the stakeholder advisory board, through online target group consultations and points of contact to related entities and organisations
  4. Input from POM’s for alignment with the national research programmes
  5. Cross check with international initiatives and on-going and planned European projects and other EC actions.
  6. Finalisation of the research priorities by the Executive Board and the General Assembly of PIANOFORTE for final decision.

Lead: NNK; Participants: CIEMAT, SSM, SCK CEN, all POMs, all Platforms

Sub-task 2.1.2 Evaluation of the prioritization process

An evaluation of the prioritization procedure of each call will be performed after the close of each call procedure. This will contain the description of the prioritization procedure itself for each call, will document and analyze feedback received from all interested partners in the definition of research priorities, summarize the main conclusions and lessons learned and will conclude on the main directions of radiation protection research for the next period to feed into the updated joint research.

Lead: Lead: CIEMAT; Participants: NNK, SSM

Task 2.2 Update of the Joint Roadmap

Objectives: To update the first edition of the Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research published in 2020, taking into account scientific progress and evolution of societal needs. As the Joint Roadmap is a document with a long-termvision, only one update is planned by the end of PIANOFORTE. Several preparatory steps are needed prior to publishing the second edition of the Joint Roadmap. The full trajectory towards the 2nd edition of the Joint Roadmap is within the scope of Task 2.2.

Lead: SCK CEN; Participants: JSI, ENEA, EK, all Platforms

Sub-task 2.2.1 Analysis of stakeholder feedback on the 1st edition of the Joint Roadmap

In January 2020 a first edition of the Joint Roadmap was published (CONCERT Deliverable 3.7). This document was sent for consultation to CONCERT beneficiaries and LTPs, the 6 MEENAS platforms, the CONCERT Stakeholder Group, the coordinators of research projects funded within CONCERT, the EC and to organisations involved in radiation protection (research) all over the world. The aim of the consultation was to collect comments on the Joint Roadmap for improvement, and to provide a ranking of the Game Changers defined in the Joint Roadmap. The results of this consultation will be analysed and will be taken into account to update the Joint Roadmap within PIANOFORTE, as well as in the prioritisation process.

Lead: JSI; Participants: EK, ENEA, SCK CEN

Sub-task 2.2.2 Identification of changes affecting the Joint Roadmap including the update of platform SRAs

The Joint Roadmap is a living document subject to the progress made in research and technology such as in the field of medical applications of ionising radiation, changes in the energy policies, environmental or climate changes, and changes in societal perspectives. Analysis of these aspects is foreseen from month M24 to M30. The timing of the analysis allows to include the latest advances in science and technology in research projects funded through PIANOFORTE calls. This subtask includes collaboration with the MEENAS platforms providing updated SRAs, and with relevant stakeholders (in collaboration with WP3), following the principle of transparent stakeholder engagement laid out in figure 2.

Lead: ENEA; Participants: SCK CEN, JSI, EK, all Platforms

Sub-task 2.2.3 Drafting of the updated Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research

Based on MS 2.2.1 and MS 2.2.2 a new draft version of the Joint Roadmap will be made in M48, taking into account the information from the updated SRAs of all the platforms.

Lead: SCK CEN; Participants: ENEA, EK, JSI, all platforms

Sub-task 2.2.4 Review of the draft and publication through stakeholder consultation through a questionnaire and live/online events

In the fourth year of PIANOFORTE, a stakeholder consultation process will be organized based on the draft joint roadmap (MS2.2.4) starting with a questionnaire. This subtask will be conducted in close collaboration with T 2.1, T2.3 and WP3.

Input from WP4-WP6 and from the coordinators of running research projects within and outside PIANOFORTE will be collected. The results will be collected, such that interaction with stakeholders will be allowed on a sufficient number of occasions (ERPW, platform workshops, other PIANOFORTE meetings).

Lead: EK; Participants: JSI, SCK CEN

Sub-task 2.2.5 Second edition of the Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research

The result of the consultation round in T2.2.4 will enable the finalization of the 2nd edition of the Joint Roadmap.

Lead: SCK CEN; Participants: ENEA EK, JSI, all platforms

Task 2.3 Scientific follow up and integration of the research projects

Several projects will be selected that will handle several aspects linked to research priorities defined in Task 2.1, so it is important that the results from these projects can be efficiently communicated to avoid overlap and to maximise the projects’ impact. In particular, through continuous cooperation between the projects from the start, particularly in relation to stakeholder engagement (WP3), dissemination (WP6), infrastructures (WP5) and education and training activities (WP4), the resources are used efficiently, the expertise is used widely across the projects, and stakeholders’ needs are addressed properly.

After each project selection round, synergies between projects will be discussed with selected projects’ participants (coordinators and Work package leaders), including new and already running PIANOFORTE projects. Tools will be developed to monitor the project outcomes and to communicate the results between projects, as well as to promote and monitor the integration of social sciences and humanities. A systematic follow-up and analysis of project outcomes will be carried out and new means of cooperation between projects will be suggested to, and discussed with, the project coordinators and the Stakeholder and Advisory Board (in collaboration with WP3).

Interaction with authorities, international organisations and other Horizon Europe initiatives and activities is analysed and possible ways to interact are promoted to projects. Moreover, the innovation and development in the projects are captured and are steered towards applications, and links to industry and other knowledge users are encouraged. The project outcomes are steered towards good practice guides, standardisation and recommendation forming to enable the efficient uptake of the results by the end users and other stakeholders such as authorities and international organisations.

Particular attention will be given to the integration of social sciences and humanities in funded projects. Guidelines will be set up to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and inclusion of social sciences and humanities research in radiation protection projects; these contributions will be monitored, and projects will be requested to report their achievements in this area using the abovementioned tools.

Lead: STUK; Participants: SCK CEN, CEA, INSERM, NCRPP, ISS U. Exeter

Sub-task 2.3.1 Web based tool

This task will develop a web-based tool for monitoring the project’s outcomes (such as scientific problems to be tackled, breakthroughs, and innovations), promoting interactions with other parties and for exchanging this information between projects. The tool will also serve to identify best practices in the integration of social sciences and humanities and citizen involvement in research.

Lead: NCRPP; Participants: STUK, SCK CEN, CEA, INSERM, ISS

Sub-task 2.3.2 Topical workshops

This task will organise online topical workshops between projects working towards the same research priorities, in particular each time a new round of projects starts. The workshop identifies synergies and possible ways to cooperate and seek possibilities to combine dissemination efforts. The SAB and relevant members of the Stakeholders Network (WP3) will be invited.

Lead: CEA, INSERM; Participants: STUK

Sub-task 2.3.3 Monitoring of scientific progress

This task will monitor the scientific progress of the research projects and promote the integration of the different projects working towards the related research priority. The monitoring is based on scientific reports and articles, progress reports, conference contributions and innovations.

To ensure meaningful and substantive integration of social sciences and humanities, this task will also establish guidelines for integrating social sciences and humanities in funded projects, and will monitor and promote the integration of social sciences and humanities in the projects. The tool developed in subtask 2.3.1 will be used to support this subtask.

Lead: Lead: STUK; Participants: U. Exeter, SCK CEN

Sub-task 2.3.4 Applications and recommendation forming

This task will aim to capture the innovation and development in the projects and steer them towards applications. A tool developed in subtask 2.3.1 will be used. We will steer the output of the research projects towards the dissemination and recommendation forming. These recommendations should focus on improving radiation protection practices, and should be used as input to the BSS revisions. Promote connections to end users, international organisations and authorities. Provide data to Subtask 6.4.1 for measuring the impact of the PIANOFORTE project.


Task 2.4 Integration of Artificial Intelligence in Radiation Protection

This task will coordinate, harmonize and stimulate activities related to the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data approaches in radiation protection topical fields. It will foster synergies between state-of-the-art AI research activities and radiation protection implementations while documenting and reviewing novel research works in the context of different thematic areas (such as medical, emergency response and recovery, radiation biology and radiation sensitivity). In the framework of generating interest in AI by radiation protection research groups in EU, key topics will be identified as potential study themes of R&I calls funded under PIANOFORTE. To this end, the requirements on training and validation data sets will be acknowledged along with pertinent limitations imposed by GDPR.

The Task objectives are to:
  1. delineate the relevance and applicability of AI and big data technologies in RP domains and identify the thematic areas that appear to be more susceptible to AI implementations (e.g., radiology, radiotherapy, dosimetry, emergency preparedness and response),
  2. identify and develop links with scientific communities specializing on AI and big data technologies,
  3. promote the uptake and application of AI in the PIANOFORTE R&I calls.

Lead: NCSRD; Participants: IRSN, OVGU, U. Exeter, all platforms

Sub-task 2.4.1 Review on AI implementations in RP

A literature review on AI and big data technologies will be performed to chart their relevance and applicability in radiation protection domains. In addition to reviewing the body of knowledge on AI and big data implementations, the study will identify the radiation protection domains that could benefit by adopting AI techniques such as radiology, radiotherapy, or emergency and recovery preparedness and response.

Lead: NCSRD; Participants: IRSN, OVGU

Sub-task 2.4.2 Interaction with scientific communities specializing in AI

A significant effort will be devoted to identifying and developing links with scientific communities specializing on AI and big data technologies (e.g., EurAI and corresponding ethical aspects. Partners involved in the Task will explore their expertise in the field and via their participation in technology platforms, scientific fora and projects (e.g., AI4EU will formulate an AI ecosystem with relevance to radiation protection. A Technical Meeting will be organized, where representatives from relevant technology platforms, projects and initiatives will be invited to jointly explore the adoption of AI and big data in RP.

Lead: Lead: IRSN; Participants: NCSRD, OVGU

Sub-task 2.4.3 Promoting the uptake of AI in R&I calls

There will be a spill over of the knowledge accumulated in Task 2.4 into other WP2 Tasks (and as a consequence into WP7: ‘Open call organisation’), into Task 5.3 “Promoting harmonization of quality standards, practices and protocols” (e.g. introduction of quality standards for data management in machine learning model development), Task 5.5 “Developing a plan and vision for data management and approaches to exploitation of archived data” as well as into Task 6.1 “Knowledge management”. Interactive sessions will be organised with research project partners to promote the inclusion of AI and big data technologies in the R&I calls formulated and announced in the PIANOFORTE framework.

Lead: OVGU; Participants: NCSRD, IRSN

Sub-task 2.4.4 Ethical challenges of AI

Use of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning are fast becoming ubiquitous in scientific research. The utility of such approaches varies across domains and for many areas the potential is not yet fully understood. Concurrently, some of the ethical challenges of AI have been posited in general terms but the affordances and limitations of AI in RP have not been explored. It is necessary that such ethical challenges are understood as evolving alongside the technical AI capacities. The sub-Task will assess the key issues arising for use of AI approaches in RP; report on the application to RP of existing relevant initiatives (e.g. IAEA Technical Meeting (TM) on Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear Technology and Applications; and liaise with relevant stakeholders on further research needs.

Lead: UExet