Annual report 2000
1. Structure of the Foundation
The Foundation is a cooperative institution set up by the Parliamentary Group for Animal Experimentation Questions (public organ), Interpharma (Novartis Pharma Ltd, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Serono Ltd) and the Foundation for Animal-Free Research (animal protection). It was entered in the commercial register on 18th August, 1987.
The funds provided to subsidise research stem from the Federal Veterinary Office and Interpharma.
2. Purpose of the Foundation
The purpose of the 3R Research Foundation Switzerland is to promote alternative research methods which avoid the use of animals through grants for research projects. The organisation supports first and foremost projects aimed at developing new methods or refining accepted methods (validation) which offer practical improvements vis-à-vis standard animal experimentation in line with the 3R motto Reduce, Refine, Replace.
A broad range of projects is sponsored on the condition that they are likely to reduce the number of animals used or the stress and/or pain suffered. Projects considered must be based on the Foundation's three principles and are mainly in the bio-medical multidisciplinary field.
3. Activities during 2000
In its fourteenth year of existence the Administrative Board met twice, in April and December, for a half-day meeting. Apart from the statutory business concerning the end of the business year 1999, the Board addressed the following issues.
Research funds for 2000 were allotted to 12 projects already underway. In addition, 5 new projects were approved, while 2 applications were rejected. The Board also took note of the final assessment by the Evaluation Committee of 3 projects which had been completed. In April the guidelines for awarding research grants were expanded in order to be able to fund the presentation of project results at congresses.
Following problems that arose in connection with one project, the Administrative Board stipulated in its guidelines, in December, that a research grant is accorded ad personam to the project leader and that his or her employer may not replace the project leader without the agreement of the Foundation. In addition, interested project leaders now have the possibility of submitting a summary of a project in order to get an immediate idea of whether that project basically corresponds to the aims of the Foundation. Finally, the Administrative Board decided that Foundation's scientific advisor should in future attend the meetings of the European Consensus Platform for Alternatives (ECOPA) in Brussels.
With the support of the scientific advisor, the Evaluation Committee held two meetings during the year and dealt mainly with the following topics: assessing new applications, evaluating completed projects and publishing the 3R Information Bulletin. Apart from preparing the meetings of the Evaluation Committee the scientific advisor devoted most of his time to publishing the 3R Information Bulletin and presenting project summaries on the Foundation's Internet site at www.forschung3r.ch. In addition he represented the Foundation on various scientific meetings.
During the year 5 projects were completed: 46/96, 47/96, 60/97, 61/97 and 64/97. Together with those projects completed earlier (1-5/87, 6-15/88, 16/89, 17-20/90, 21-24/91, 25-42/92, 43-44/95, 45/96, 48/96, 49-51/96, 53/96, 55/96, 57/97, 59/97 and 62/97) this brings the total of finished projects to 59 out of 75.
In April 2000 Prof. Clemens A. Dahinden of the Institute for Immunology and Allergology of Berne University Hospital and Dr. Max Gassmann of the Institute for Physiology of Zurich-Irchel University were elected to the Evaluation Committee to replace Dr. Isabelle Allemann and Prof. Beda M. Stadler. The Administrative Board accepted the resignation of Dr. Beat Schmid from the Evaluation Committee and thanked him for all the work he had contributed. He was replaced in December by Dr. Franziska Boess from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
In December 2000 the Administrative Board elected Stephanie Baumann, member of the National Council, from Suberg to take the vacant place on the Board left by Hans Meier, member of the National Council, who had resigned the year before. Christine Egerszegi, member of the National Council, from Mellingen took over as Deputy Chairwoman.
So far the following 3R Information Bulletins have been published in English:
6. Financial business
During 2000 around Sfr. 496,000 was used for research grants. An additional Sfr. 86,000 was spent on project supervision and information, and Sfr. 62,000 on administrative expenses. Total expenditure was therefore around Sfr. 644,000. The amount spent on research for current projects (Sfr. 496,000) was thus approximately Sfr. 50,000 below budget. This is mainly due to deferred payments in connection with final reports, the 5% reserve not yet having been paid out. Expenditure for project supervision, information and administration totalled Sfr. 148,000 and was thus approximately Sfr. 12,000 below budget.
On the income side, the equal financial commitment of the federal authorities and Interpharma constitutes the basis for the Foundation's activities. Each body donated a total of Sfr. 435,000 to 3R.
Income totalled around Sfr. 874,000 (federal authorities and Interpharma together Sfr. 870,000, interest on bank account Sfr. 4,000) while total expenditure amounted to Sfr. 644,000, which gives a positive balance of approximately Sfr. 230,000. The balance of unused research funds therefore rose from around Sfr. 290,000 at the end of 1999 to roughly Sfr. 520,000 at the end of 2000.
The budget for the year 2001 includes a sum of around Sfr. 792,000 for current projects and a maximum of Sfr. 300,000 for new projects.
Overview of grants awarded between 1987 and 2000
By the end of 2000 a total of Sfr. 10,398,861.70 had been granted for projects and other subsidies, of which a total of Sfr. 9,450,635.20 has been paid out so far. Together the federal authorities and Interpharma have contributed Sfr. 10,996,000 to the Foundation since 1987.
7. Financial statements
Münsingen, , 23rd April 2001
3R RESEARCH FOUNDATION
8. Auditors' report to the Administrative Board
As 3R Research Foundation's auditors we have examined the books and the annual financial statements (balance sheet and profit and loss account) for the year ending 31st December 2000.
The Administrative Board is responsible for drawing up the financial statements while our task is to check and assess them. We hereby confirm that we are duly qualified to do this and that we have no vested interest in the Foundation.
We have checked the accounts and statements according to the generally accepted principles of accounting, by which this task must be planned and carried out in such a way that important errors in the financial statements are reasonably certain to be identified. We checked the entries and information in the statements in an analytical and investigative way using random samples. Furthermore, we assessed the implementation of standard accounting principles, the main evaluations and the presentation of the accounts as a whole. We are of the opinion that our examination provides a solid basis for our assessment of the accounts and statements of 3R.
In our opinion, the accounts have been kept and the financial statements have been drawn up according to the relevant laws and the statutes and regulations of the Foundation.
We therefore recommend that they be approved.
Gümligen, 23rd April 2001