LIFE PROSIL - Promoting the use of in silico methods in industry

LIFE12 ENV/IT/000154

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Contact details:

Contact person: Emilio Benfenati
Tel: 390239014420
Fax: 390239014735
Email: emilio.benfenati@marionegri.it

Project description:


The EU REACH Regulation promotes a new vision for handling chemical substances. It requires information from manufacturers and/or importers confirming that chemical substances have been evaluated as safe for the intended use.

The use of non-animal alternative methods has been foreseen within REACH. In particular, the use of computational means to calculate properties of chemicals is explicitly mentioned by the Regulation, and the criteria are also defined for the so-called (quantitative) structure-activity relationship, (Q)SAR.

Presently there is a lack of experience in Europe on the use of (Q)SAR models, although they have been used for decades in regulatory processes in the United States of America.

By adopting (Q)SAR, chemical companies will not only be able to avoid producing unsafe chemicals, even before their synthesis, they will also save money and resources.


The PROSIL project aims to facilitate a proactive attitude amongst chemical companies about the REACH Regulation. This will help to promote a transition towards a more responsible environmental approach, and lead to reductions in health risks. Project work will cover both existing and new chemicals, to enable the industry to take account of relevant toxicity properties right from the planning phase of chemical plants.

The main objectives include:

  • Establishing a network of REACH-related laboratories for the chemical industry;
  • Exploiting in silico methods for assessing particular situations of chemical substances: chemical categories and mixtures of chemicals of natural origin;
  • Integrating (Q)SAR models within mainstream industrial procedures;
  • Screening new chemicals to ensure they are safe;Exploiting methods to generate structural alerts from confidential data;
  • Producing case studies in the following industrial sectors: dyes, leather, and pesticides; andImproving standardisation on the use of non-testing methods.
  • Expected results: Anticipated project outcomes include:

  • A procedure to screen all compounds within a mixture of chemical compounds;
  • Promotion of (Q)SAR tools, which are safe, residue-free, and environmentally benign compared to experimental methods;
  • Creation of a guidance document and software for integrating the results from (Q)SAR and read across;
  • A procedure for scrutinising the safety of candidate new chemicals, before their synthesis;
  • A procedure for exploiting the hazard values of related compounds within a group of similar compounds;
  • Development of a network of projects and initiatives applying (Q)SAR models for industry;
  • Publication of success stories from the dyes, pesticides and leather sectors.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Chemicals


human exposure to pollutants‚  hazardous substance‚  alternative material‚  preventive measure

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Mario Negri Institute is a private non-profit organisation carrying out projects funded by the Italian Government, LIFE and others. It specialises in: Computational chemistry; (Q)SAR; toxicity prediction; environmental toxicology; environmental management; environmental chemistry; analysis of organic compounds by mass spectrometry; metabolism studies; and risk assessment.
Partners Centro Reach S.r.l., Italy Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Studi Superiori in Sardegna s.r.l. uninominale, Italy Farbotex S.p.A., Italy Gammacolor S.r.l., Italy Manifattura Chimica Italiana Trading S.r.l., Italy Kemisjki inštitut, Slovenia Oxon Italia S.p.A., Italy Politecnico di Milano-Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Italy


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/IT/000154
Duration 01-OCT-2013 to 30-SEP -2016
Total budget 986,105.00 €
EU contribution 492,302.00 €
Project location Piemonte(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia) Osrednjeslovenska(Slovenia Slovenija)


Read more:

Brochure Project's brochure (Slovene version)
Brochure Project's brochure (Italian version)
Newsletter Newsletter Nr. 1 - June 2014
Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version