Mapping the Environmental Genome of Industrial Products (EGIP): A Workshop on Vision, Value and Impact


    Led by retired NC State faculty member Dr. Michael Overcash, the goal of this workshop is to describe, model, and conceptualize a global map for the web of industrial chemicals and materials. This new environmental “genome”— the essential building blocks of everything humans have created and engineered—is defined as the map of origin and development, in both time and place, of molecular building processes used in the manufacture of all products in our global society.  This is a very new area and concept for green chemistry that could affect the efficient manufacturing of industrial chemicals and materials, human health, the environment, and national security.

    The mission of the overall project is for a fully mapped global web of chemicals and materials to reside in an efficiently managed open source database that will enjoy broad and cost effective utilization by academic, industrial, and public policy users to improve chemical manufacturing and the understanding of the resulting emissions to the environment.  An important feature of the fully mapped environmental genome will be the ability to look not just at a single plant or a first tier supply system, but also at the entire genome profile from product chemical back to natural resources mined from the earth.  Increase d access to emissions profiles of genomic segments will directly contribute to improved exposure science. This proposal seeks support to plan and implement a creative workshop meeting of individuals with broad experience and perspective to inform the future of the project goals and implementation.

    The target workshop size is 20-25 individuals from the U.S. and Europe.  This first workshop is part of an initial phase of a strategic planning effort to ensure the new organization is off to a strong start and is responsive to new partners, supporters, and contributors to its first steps in advancing its mission.  In that regard, the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute has agreed for be a direct partner for the initial workshop and to assist in the dissemination of the results. Dr. Overcash has also indicated he has have received preliminary notice from the National Science Foundation that they will fund a second conference late in 2017.  The Environmental Genome Initiative, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, was incorporated in North Carolina in November 2016.