For the further development of the Centre, the entry into the European Framework Programmes, the implementation of the INCHEMBIOL research project and the first European Structural Funds project CETOCOEN were decisive. This stimulated the development of interdisciplinary joint teams with the Departments of Chemistry and Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science, and later also with the St. Anne's University Hospital. Intensive cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic or the United Nations Environment Programme began.
PEOPLE and TEAMS
The Environmental Chemistry research programme is led during this period by Jana Klánová, who develops sampling methods for the study of contamination of free air and indoor environment. Branislav Vrana monitors surface water, and Zdeněk Šimek focuses on analytical methods. Gerhard Lammel, coming from the Max Planck Institute, is the first foreigner to set up his own environmental modelling group.The Environmental Toxicology programme is coordinated by Luděk Bláha and focuses on testing natural and anthropogenic pollutants in aquatic environments. Jakub Hofman deals with soil pollution, Klára Hilscherová studies substances that disturb hormonal balance and Pavel Čupr develops the area of health risk assessment.
In this period, two joint workplaces with other institutes of the Faculty of Science are also established: in the third research programme Photochemistry and Supramolecular Chemistry, Petr Klán and Vladimír Šindelář from the Institute of Chemistry officially join, and in the fourth programme Protein Engineering, Jiří Damborský and Zbyněk Prokop from the Institute of Experimental Biology join.
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATION, APPLICATION
In honour of the important Czech scientist of the 19th century, a new Josef Loschmidt Chair was opened at the Faculty of Science of MU during this period with the support of Alfred and Isabel Bader. In 2003, this position was acquired by Jiří Damborský, who founded the Loschmidt Laboratories in 2005. In 2008, they became a shared workplace of the RECETOX Centre and the Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of MU and in 2011 they joined the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC) of St. Anne's University Hospital. In 2006, members of Loschmidt Laboratories founded the first biotechnology spin-off of Masaryk University ENANTIS, s.r.o. and in 2011 the software spin-off CaverSoft.
Research on passive air sampling methods carried out at the centre since 2003 led to the gradual development of MONET monitoring networks - first in the Czech Republic, then in Central and Eastern European countries, and finally in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Hand in hand with this, the Centre has been building the GENASIS environmental information system, which makes all measured data available to the general public, both professional and lay. MONET and GENASIS then became the main pillars of cooperation with the public sector, in particular with the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, which was signed in 2001 to protect human health from the effects of persistent organic pollutants. While MONET provides data on atmospheric levels of monitored substances and their long-term trends in different regions, GENASIS (and its GMP version prepared for the presentation of global data) makes all data available for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of the Conventions. Since 2006, the Centre has officially provided support to the Czech Government and Ministries in the role of the National Centre for Toxic Substances in the implementation of international conventions. And since 2009, in its role as the Regional Centre for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer in Central and Eastern Europe, it also supports the UNEP.
With the support of a European Centre of Excellence project, the Centre established in 2005 the tradition of organizing the Annual International Summer Schools in environmental chemistry and toxicology, which continues to this day. Over nearly two decades, the summer schools have hosted dozens of international lecturers and hundreds of participants from all over the world. Collaboration with UN agencies in capacity building for environmental toxicant risk analysis has also resulted in the organisation of dozens of international training events, workshops and hands-on training sessions both at the Centre and at partner organisations around the world. This has necessitated a staff strengthening of the National and Regional Centre, which has been headed by Kateřina Šebková since 2013.
PROJECTS and COOPERATION
In 2005, the seven-year research project INCHEMBIOL (Interactions between CHEMICAL substances, environment and BIOLOGICAL systems and their consequences at global, regional and local levels) was launched, which equipped the Centre with instrumentation and laid the basis for its future interdisciplinary cooperation with other departments of the Faculty of Science.
In 2009, the Centre was awarded the CETOCOEN (CEntre for TOxic COmpounds in the ENvironment) project funded by the Operational Programme Science and Development for Innovation (OP VaVpI) supporting its major expansion. During the implementation of this project, the Centre officially starts using the name RECETOX and moves to a newly built research and teaching facility in the existing Hall D29.