Introduction

Foto Andre van der Zande

RIVM is positioned at the centre of society, as health and a healthy environment is a concern for everyone. This is why we carry out scientific research and provide  government and society with independent and reliable knowledge. Increasingly we carry out our scientific research within an international context and in conjunction with other governments and institutes. RIVM contributes significantly to this development with our knowledge and expertise. In this annual report, we provide highlights and relevant information about the diverse work carried out across our organisation in 2015.

Projects and research

RIVM carries out scientific research in over forty areas of expertise, which is far more than we can include in this annual report. Natural radioactivity in dwellings and the safety of injection needles are just two examples of our research from 2015 that received widespread attention. In addition, we are coordinating the introduction of the heel prick screening in the Dutch Caribbean, we play a role in the combating and monitoring of the influenza virus, and collaborate with partner organisations to promote public health in districts. In 2015 the evaluation of our strategic research programme (SOR 2011-2014) was published. The follow up (SPR 2015-2018) has started with new spearheads, according to trends in society and science. The SPR provides opportunity to carry out our own research programme in addition to our commissioned research.   

International collaboration

The 2016 Dutch EU presidency provides the opportunity to contribute to international consultation using our expertise, and to reinforce collaboration. The Netherlands is ahead in this international collaboration. In 2015, RIVM signed a cooperation agreement with fellow institutions in Norway and France. In addition, RIVM coordinates the EuroMix project, (chemical substance exposure risk assessment) and collaborates internationally in the ConsExpo project (software development for the exposure to dangerous substances). RIVM has also played a crucial role in international projects in the area of antimicrobioal resistance for years.

Corporate image

Because RIVM carries all of this research out in the service of society, it is important to know what citizens and professionals think about RIVM. Our biannual corporate identity  survey indicates that public awareness and understanding of our institute and our mission is increasing . However, RIVM’s independence and impartiality is interpreted in different ways. This  is an important stimulus to share results of our research and our role as a reliable advisor for the government and society.

Organisational development

We are also developing as an organisation, and concluded 2015 with a positive financial result. Sustainability and innovation are  key themes for  RIVM , and our positive result will be invested in support of this. A prominent example is the kick-off of our digital document management project,   in 2016. Because innovation and sustainability in document management are also important for the future.

RIVM continues to work on innovation and improvement for a healthy population in a healthy  environment. Because our institute is committed to health and sustainability.

Professor Emeritus  André van der Zande, RIVM Director-General