Presenting the 3R Foundation
The Aim of the Foundation
The aim of the 3R Foundation was 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 supported first and foremost projects aimed at developing new methods or refining accepted methods (validation) which offered improvements vis-à-vis standard animal experimentation in line with the 3R motto Replace, Reduce, Refine. Research projects were selected for support according to periodically defined principal areas for financial support.
How the Foundation was structured
The 3R Foundation is a cooperative institution set up in 1987 by the Parliamentary Group for Animal Experimentation Questions (public organ), Interpharma (www.interpharma.ch/fr/propos-damp039-interpharma/2810-membres) and the Foundation for Animalfree Research (animal protection). The organisation was supervised by the Federal Department of Home Affairs.
The Administrative Board was made up of nine members, two representing the Swiss parliament, 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 assess proposed research projects and applications for grants. This Committee in the end comprised 14 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 aimed, 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 482 applications for research grants and 146 of these projects have received some financial aid.
The funds used to support approved projects were provided in equal parts by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office and Interpharma. An annual amount of approximately Sfr. 600,000 was available for grants.