1. A work plan developed by the industry and the EU Commission to address the issue of fragrance allergens
2. IDEA is a long-term project conducted in partnership with the EU Commission
IDEA consists of a series of two to three-day workshops bringing leading international scientists together to reach consensus on improving existing methodologies. Each workshop focuses on a specific task of the work plan but the tasks are not necessarily addressed in the order outlined in the work plan. In 2013, three IDEA workshops were organized: the first was dedicated to the refinement and the validation of the QRA methodology (task IV), the second one focused on the risk assessment of pre- and pro-haptens (task III) and the last one aimed at characterizing fragrance allergens (task I). The order in which the tasks have to be addressed is jointly defined by IFRA and the European Commission.
At the end of each year, an Annual Review is organized by the European Commission to monitor and validate the progress recorded over the past year, update the program and priorities when needed and ensure that all stakeholders can express their views and get further clarification on the project.
The workshop participants are identified by the IDEA Management Team ("Nyon II" group plus the IFRA staff) and by the European Commission. Scientific expertise is the sole criteria for being invited in an IDEA workshop and the number of observers (e.g. representatives of the EU Commission and trade associations) is always kept to a strict minimum. The required expertise can be general (e.g. dermatology, toxicology, chemistry, epidemiology, etc.) or specific (e.g. specialist of hydroperoxides, specialist in aggregate exposure, etc.). However, the IDEA Management Team tries, as much as possible, to keep a good balance between academia, industry experts and SCCS representation:
A typical 2-day workshop starts with one day of formal lectures to set the scene of the task to address and to share background knowledge and positions between all workshop participants. These presentations are given by academics, industry representatives and EU Scientific Committees' members. The first day finishes by a moderated discussion where the workshop Rapporteur presents his conclusions and the Moderator helps the participants to phrase consensus and common understanding. The second day starts by the formation of several working groups. A theme identified by the IDEA Management Team (the Rapporteur, the Moderator and the IFRA staff) is assigned to each working group. The working groups get half a day to work on the theme, draw conclusions and make recommendations. The Moderator of each working group presents these conclusions and recommendations in plenary session. Then, a moderated discussion takes place and the final workshop conclusions and recommendations are drawn.
Every workshop leads to the preparation and the publication (on this website) of three important documents:
3. IDEA is a project conducted in full transparency
All guarantees have to been taken to avoid conflicts of interest and biased opinions. First of all, the IDEA project is controlled by a 'Supervisory Group' of four to seven members with no vested interests in industry activities and jointly nominated by the European Commission and IFRA.
The role of this group is to scrutinize all aspects of the project execution in order to guarantee the neutrality of scientific debates and experts’ selection procedures. The Supervisory Group also reviews and approves the (draft) agenda of all IDEA workshops.
Furthermore, for each workshop, the Supervisory Group nominates a Rapporteur amongst its members. This Rapporteur attends the workshop and writes the report based on its outcome. This progress report is reviewed by the Supervisory Group which draws conclusions and sets recommendations in view of improving the overall process. Rapporteurs of the workshops held during the year present their progress reports at the Annual Review.
The current IDEA Supervisory Group members are:
Furthermore, the IDEA Management Team and the IDEA Supervisory group established a Modus Operandi that lays down all the rules that have to be followed during the workshops. This document precisely specifies which types of costs related to the workshop participation are going to be reimbursed and to whom.
Finally, all workshop documents (including presentations, key conclusions, progress reports, recommendations) are made publicly available on this website (please, consult the 'Events' section).