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NORA Update 1998 Highlights Two Years of Success

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 260-8519
July 14, 1998

Today, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released the NORA Update 1998 which highlights two years of accomplishments under the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).

Since its creation in 1996, NORA has proven to be an extremely successful tool for targeting occupational safety and health research. In March, NIOSH and three institutes in the National Institutes of Health announced the largest ever single infusion of extramural funding targeted for investigator-initiated occupational safety and health research—a $24 million three year commitment. Additionally, Congress provided NIOSH with $5 million in NIOSH’s 1998 budget to support research in NORA priority areas. These accomplishments and others are summarized in the document.

NORA is a framework to guide occupational safety and health research into the next decade — not only for NIOSH but for the entire occupational safety and health community. Over 500 organizations and individuals outside NIOSH provided input into the development of NORA. The process resulted in remarkable consensus around 21 top research priority areas.

The implementation efforts of the partnership teams (comprised of NIOSH researchers and 150 individuals external to NIOSH) are highlighted in the document as are other partnership successes including collaborative research with Wal-Mart, Browning-Ferris Industries, Navistar, the United Auto Workers, and Aetna US Healthcare.

“Partnership continues to be the backbone of NORA,” said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H.. “NORA partnership has put us in a position to make great strides in occupational safety and health research. As evidenced in this document, pooling resources and working from a consensus agenda puts us in a position to better protect the American workforce.”

The focus on partnership is one of the reasons NORA was selected as one of 100 semifinalists (from a pool of 1,420 applicants) for the Ford Foundation and Harvard University’s 1998 Innovations in American Government Award Program . NORA Update 1998 also highlights the number of other organizations following this example of partnership and using NORA as a model for creating research agendas or other types of partnership and planning. Examples include the Italian National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State, The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology and the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

To receive a copy of NORA Update 1998, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 98-141, or for more information on NORA or NIOSH, call 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit the NORA web site.