Presenting the 3R Foundation
The Aim of the Foundation
The aim of the 3R Foundation is to promote alternative research methods to animal experimentation through grants for research projects as well as to implement and promote the 3R principles. The organisation supports first and foremost projects aimed at developing new methods or refining accepted methods (validation) which offer improvements vis-à-vis standard animal experimentation in line with the 3R motto Reduce, Refine, Replace. Research projects are selected for support according to periodically defined principal areas for financial support.
How the Foundation is Funded
The 3R Foundation is a cooperative institution set up in 1987 by the Parliamentary Group for Animal Experimentation Questions (public organ), Interpharma (Actelion Ltd, Merck Serono Ltd, Novartis Pharma Ltd, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and the associated members Bayer (Switzerland) Ltd, Cilag Ltd and Vifor Ltd) and the Foundation for Animalfree Research (animal protection). The organisation is supervised by the Federal Department of Home Affairs.
The Administrative Board of the Foundation is made up of nine members, two representing the Swiss parliament (1 seat vacant), two representing animal protection, two from Interpharma and two from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, as well as a representative of other interested circles.
The Board has appointed an Evaluation Committee to revue proposed research projects and applications for grants. This Committee at present comprises 11 scientists from the academic and industrial sectors.
The Foundation's Achievements To Date
Research into experimental methods which do not involve live animals has played an important role in replacing animal experimentation by alternative methods. The Foundation also aims, however, at improving animal experimentation methods in line with increased animal protection. The research activities which have benefited from 3R's support have made a major contribution towards reducing the number of experiments involving live animals in Switzerland, as well as developing better or new methods.
Since it was founded, 3R has received around 450 applications for research grants and 130 of these projects have received some financial aid.
The funds used to support approved projects are provided in equal parts by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office and Interpharma. An annual amount of approximately Sfr. 500,000 is available for grants.