The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) (link) works towards a healthy population living in a sustainable, safe and healthy environment. RIVM pursues those goals based on independent scientific research. Working with our commissioning clients, we identify the research that is needed and conduct studies accordingly. We provide advice to the government, to professionals and to members of the public, and share our knowledge. RIVM works on preventing and controlling infectious diseases, good healthcare and a healthy lifestyle, and living in a safe, clean environment. Within this last task, we monitor radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) and are active in the RF-EMF exposure field of research. Even though RIVM is owned by the Dutch government, we are independent in the performance of its commissioned projects.
Among the research-specific groups in NextGEM, RIVM has more experience with communicating with stakeholders outside of science, such as authorities and citizens. In the Netherlands (and many other places across the world), 5G is a topic that generates a wide range of opinions. In the Netherlands, RIVM is active in the knowledge platform for electromagnetic fields (link), which informs the population about pressing questions and the current state of research. RIVM will use this expertise to help generate practical guidelines for citizens and authorities based on the research done in NextGEM. Additionally, RIVM is a knowledge and research institute working on many work packages in NextGEM, such as developing new measurement devices for 5G, experiments on biological and health-related effects of EMFs, and case studies assessing the risks and impacts of 5G.
Our project has been featured in a review in the Revista Española de Salud Pública on Synthesis of the Report Trends in the incidence of brain cancer in Spain between 1985 and 2015 and its possible relationship with the use of mobile phones.
The International Conference in the field of BioElectromagnetics (BioEM2024) will be held in Chania, Crete, between the 16th – 21st of June 2024. The NextGEM project Coordinator, Nikolaos Petroulakis, PhD, will be the chair of the local organizing committee, supported by the NextGEM project and ICS-FORTH.
The NextGEM project will participate in BioEM, the world’s largest and most significant bioelectromagnetics conference attracting academic and industrial participants at all career stages from all over the world.
It is a great opportunity for the project to be part of the forum for the exchange of scientific achievements, demonstrating state-of-the-art research, identifying gaps in science and establishing and strengthening our liaison with professional networks.
The conference will take place between the 18th and 2rd of June 2023 at Oxford, UK.
Prof Fulvio Schettino from the University of Cassino, Italy, presented the directions of NextGEM regarding Exposure Assessment during the European Cluster of EMF and Health meeting on the 12th of January 2023.
On the 10th of January 2023, Dr Francisco Vargas-Marcos from the Ministry of Health, Spain, presented the directions of NextGEM regarding Risk Perception and Communication during the European Cluster of EMF and Health meeting.
The paper “Designing NIKH: the NextGEM Innovation and Knowledge Hub to Access Next Generation Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure and Health Data” was presented by the Coordinator of the NextGEM project, Nikolaos Petroulakis (ICS-FORTH) in the IEEE CSCN 2022 at Thessaloniki, on the 28th of November 2022.
NextGEM is a 48-month Horizon Europe project officially launched on 1st July 2022 with a total budget of 7.56 M€ EU funding under the “Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and health” call.
NextGEM held its 2nd plenary meeting and the 1st technical workshop on 25-26 of October 2022, at the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) premises in Barcelona, Spain.
The meeting, which was co-organized by CIMNE and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, CISC), gathered more than 30 attendees from the 20 European consortium partners, which joined both in-person and via teleconference.
The objective of the meeting was to present work achieved until the present point. Additionally, the technical workshop, which followed the general section of the plenary, focused on the technical aspects of the project. At the end of the two-day event, next steps were decided, as well as the coordination of efforts in internal communication and research planning.
NextGEM’s vision is to ensure EU citizens’ healthy living and a safer working environment when employing existing and future Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Field (EMF)-based telecommunication technologies. This will be accomplished by generating relevant knowledge that identifies appropriate control measures of EMF exposure in the residential, public, and occupational settings, trusted by the general public, while also staying in-line with regulations and laws issued by public authorities.
To achieve the above, NextGEM will provide a framework for generating health-relevant scientific knowledge and data in new scenarios of exposure to EMF, in multiple frequency bands. The project also aims to develop and validate tools for evidence-based risk assessment. NextGEM will also create the NextGEM Innovation and Knowledge Hub (NIKH) for EMF and Health, offering a standardised way for European regulatory authorities and the scientific community to store and assess project outcomes and insights into how EMF exposures affect health.
NextGEM’s consortium consists of 20 organisations located in 10 European countries (i.e. Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel). Moreover, the Institute of Computer Science of FORTH (ICS-FORTH) is the overall coordinator of the project.
Each NextGEM partner provides unique expertise, essential for the implementation of the project. Partner accumulated knowledge will empower NextGEM to include measurements and modelling of EMF sources, investigate of potential health effects by experimental human studies, investigate possible causal links between EMF exposure level and duration on potential health effects, perform risk assessment on studies and results and develop an innovation and knowledge hub to be used by scientists, relevant authorities, while also enhancing citizen awareness.
2nd Project meeting and 1st Technical workshop
During the meeting in Barcelona, active work packages leaders presented the work performed and their next steps. Dr. Nikolaos Petroulakis (ICS-FORTH), the coordinator of the project, presented the overall progress of the project, both in project management and technical aspects.
Prof. Fulvio Schettino (University of Cassino) presented the work done in the identification of the requirements analysis, specifications and design, while Dr. Marco Spirito (TU Delft) and Dr. Olga Zeni (CNR IREA) presented the upcoming work on the innovative model and sensor-based technologies for exposure monitoring and assessment of human studies and experimental approaches for assessing biological and health-related effects of EMF, respectively.
Dr. Andreas Gavrielides (eBOS) presented the work performed on project dissemination and communication activities, the next steps in contributions to the CLUE-H cluster of all EMF health projects mandated by the European Commission, as well as policy contributions and exploitation plans for the NextGEM Innovation and Knowledge Hub.
During the technical workshop, four sessions initiated vivid dialogues and sparked numerous enlightening conversations in the areas of:
RF-EMF exposure modelling and measurements, led by The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS).
Experimentation studies and biological effects, led by Sciensano (SC).
Causal links between EMF and potential health effects, led by Sciproof International (SPi).
NextGEM Innovation & Knowledge HUB (NIKH), led by Intracom Telecom (ICOM).
All participants had the opportunity to provide their insights, opinions and ideas, paving a ground of common direction that will be followed towards achieving the objectives of the project.
NextGEM’s next project meeting will take place in Spring 2023 in Naples, Italy, and will be hosted by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) – Istituto per il rilevamento elettromagnetico dell’ambiente.
More Information and Contact
NextGEM includes an ambitious communication and dissemination programme, with activities meant to maximise the impact of its’ generated results, thus increasing general awareness on the subject. An informative and functional project website, as well as presence in multiple social media platforms are continuously updated to provide full insight to the inner workings and progress of NextGEM.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101057527