Reducing Costs, Risk and Uncertainty: The Advantages of Task Force Management

Understanding the Complex, Global Plant Protection Product Landscape

Regulations governing products that protect the globe's plants are complex and constantly shifting. Active substances in these products must be reassessed at regular intervals to ensure their continued approval for use. This reassessment normally requires the generation of additional data and the use of new risk assessments. That’s why it makes sense for companies that share a common interest to join forces in obtaining the renewal of these active substance approvals.

The key to reaching a successful outcome is the appointment of a dedicated task force manager or chairman. The Battelle Regulatory Affairs team has a combined experience of more than 30 years of managing task forces just like these. When our experienced project managers and technical experts are managing your approval process, any task force can have confidence in progress and success.

What Are Task Forces?

A task force is a group of companies that have come together to jointly support an active substance through the reassessment of its current approval by the regulatory authorities. While it may seem counterintuitive, there are reasons why these commercial competitors work with “coopetition” and the benefits are numerous.

Benefits of Task Forces: Cost Reduction, Mitigating Regulatory Risks and Collaboration

Forming a task force provides a reduction in both costs and uncertainty. The costs involved in the renewal of an active substance have escalated significantly. This is due to ever-increasing regulatory requirements to provide more data for the assessment of hazards and risks. Companies that act independently will need to generate their studies at their own cost. However, most of these studies are the same, so conducting a single study and sharing the outcome makes sense.

Sharing data also reduces uncertainty and risk. If several studies of the same type are being conducted by different companies, the results of these studies, even if the test material is the same in all cases, could be widely different. There is the possibility that one company obtains a study result that is significantly different than the others. In this case, authorities often go with the extreme result. Sharing one study between all the task force members greatly reduces the risk of this scenario.

Task forces also benefit by sharing their in-house resources and expertise. Task forces can form sub-groups with specific technical expertise (e.g. toxicology, efficacy, and e-fate sub-groups). These sub-groups pool ideas and create a fertile arena for problem resolution, mitigation of regulatory risks, and designing and monitoring of new studies.

Another huge benefit of a task force is the joint investment in a common risk assessment approach.  Presenting a common approach to the authorities by all stakeholders lends weight to the argument and reduces costs and uncertainty for individual members of the task force.

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The Role of a Task Force Manager

The primary role of a task force manager is to act as a facilitator to enable consensus between all members of the task force.

The advantage of appointing a third-party manager or chairperson is that sensitive discussions can be steered with no bias or financial interest in the outcome.

Choosing Battelle: Expertise, Financial Management and Flexibility for Task Forces

Battelle has highly experienced project managers who can act as task force managers or chairs. Besides steering technical discussions, we competently manage the finances of the task force. Accurate quarterly and annual financial reporting is provided to ensure full transparency to the task force members. Members can leverage the expertise of our regulatory and technical experts and in-house laboratory facilities. These can augment any capabilities the task force members have or act as the primary lead in any of the technical areas.

Task force management styles and processes can differ depending on the needs of the members. Battelle’s systems and experience in task force management and regulatory projects allow us to be agile and flexible enough to meet the individual needs of any task force.


If you require any information about Battelle’s experience or the benefits of a task force, or how Battelle can help you set up and run a task force, please do not hesitate to contact Dominik Reinhard @ [email protected].

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September 07, 2023
Battelle Insider
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