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RIVM is right at the heart of society. Again in 2014, we were the trusted adviser to the government, providing independent knowledge on public health and the environment. This annual report sets out a number of compelling examples of research and projects carried out in 2014.

There were world events in 2014 with major impact on us. For instance, the MH-17 disaster had an impact on the community of AIDS researchers in the Netherlands. No RIVM personnel were among the victims but we lost valued friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

Research and innovation are key themes for RIVM as presented in the RIVM Strategic Programme (SPR) to be implemented in the coming years. In that respect, we introduced an internal innovation prize to reward inspiring and innovative ideas. In 2014, we launched the tick bite app, an innovative means of communicating with the general public. RIVM took a new direction in the sixth edition of the Public Health Status and Foresight report (VTV). As well as an overview of the current health status of the Netherlands and a trend scenario, the report sets out future scenarios based on four different perspectives on public health.

There are continually more applications for nanomaterials in consumer products. New materials are being developed, the effects of which on human health and the environment are as yet unknown. Thus, RIVM is working in international cooperation to investigate the safety of new nanomaterials. We are also cooperating internationally on antibiotic resistance. In 2014, RIVM was assigned the status of WHO Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology and Surveillance. This collaborating centre is contributing to establishing and strengthening national surveillance systems for antibiotic resistance in the European WHO member states.

RIVM will continue to work on innovation and improvement directed to a healthy population and a healthy living environment by means of research, advice and directing implementation in 2015. Because we are committed to health and sustainability.

Prof. Dr. André van der Zande