New research project on the risks of nanocarriers

Under the leadership of Dr. Bernd Giese, work began in September on the new project for the risk assessment of nanocarriers. The BOKU Institutes of Waste Management and Circularity and of Synthetic Bioarchitectures are also involved. Dr. Christina Hipfinger is responsible for the research work of the ISR. The three-year project is funded by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). During this time, the environmental risks of nanocarriers as the smallest synthetic carrier structures, which are mainly used in agriculture for pesticides and fertilizers and in medicine for the targeted administration of drugs, will be investigated. For particularly critical nanocarriers, test strategies are to be developed and implemented that enable an investigation of their environmental behavior and the possible release of the transported active ingredient under environmentally relevant conditions. In this way, the influence of the carriers on the change in the environmental behavior of active substances will be determined as an example and the implications for an appropriate evaluation of the environmental behavior in the context of risk assessment will be described in more detail. The results will help to adapt the guidelines for risk assessment of nanocarriers to the latest developments.


-the institute profile as pdf to downlod-

The Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences (ISR) is an Interdisciplinary Research Institute, which is located at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) since 2009.

The main research areas are:

  • Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security
  • Energy Transition – Renewable Energy – Natural Resources
  • Risk and Technology Assessment of Bio- and Nanotechnology
  • Prospective Technology Assessment

Furthermore, the ISR does not limit itself to the highlighted research areas but addresses various crosscutting issues related to the main research areas. Detailed information on the research activities is available under the menu option Research.

As a University Institute, the ISR offers several lectures, which are based on the Institutes research activities. One example out of many is a Lecture Series, on nuclear energy use, which discusses the research topics of the Institute in an interdisciplinary way. This lecture series takes place in the winter term. For details, see Lectures.

The ISR cooperates in areas with different international research institutions and stakeholders.  An example is the cooperation between the ISR and Wiener Umweltanwaltschaft. We are jointly hosting the yearly Viennese Nuclearsymposium

On the initiative of ISR the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group (INRAG) was established as an international research network in the field of nuclear safety. International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group.

Brief History of Institute of Safety/Security and Risk Sciences

In 1994 the Academic Senate of the University of Vienna created the Project “Nuclear Safety”, two years later the Institute of Risk Research (IRR) was founded.

In 2009 the IRR moved from the University of Vienna to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) and to the Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards. At the same time, the name of the institute changed in to Institute of Safety/Security and Risk Sciences (ISR). Two years later ISR moved to the Department of Water – Atmosphere – Environment (WAU) were it stayed to this day.

From the foundation to October 2012 ao.Univ.Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kromp was the head of the institute. Since October 2012 Univ.Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Liebert is the new head of the ISR. The deputy head was Univ.Prof. Wolfgang Renneberg until he retired in December 2015. The research areas of the Institute were expanded and the cooperation with partners inside the University for Natural Resources as well as national and international partners were deepened. After Univ.Prof. Wolfgang Renneberg retired; Dr. Nikolaus Müllner became the new deputy head of the institute.

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