3R Research Foundation Switzerland - Front page

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.

4. Personnel

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.

5. 3R-Info-Bulletin

So far the following 3R Information Bulletins have been published in English:

1June 1994Foundation Research 3R
2Sept. 1994mAbs without mice?
3Dec. 1994Gerhard Zbinden and 3R
4April 1995Predicting human drug metabolism
5August 1995Human recombinant antibodies
6Sept. 1995Call for 3R-Research Proposals
7March 1996The three 'R's of Russel & Burch, 1959
8August 1996Regulation of digestion in cell culture
9October 1996Permanent fish cell cultures as novel tools in environmental toxicology
10August 1997Ten years 3R Research Foundation
11March 1999Immunization of laboratory animals
12Sept. 1999Leishmaniasis: Development of an in vitro assay for drug screening
13January 2000Identification of neurotoxic chemicals in cell cultures
14May 2000Transgenic protozoa as an alternative to transgenic animals
15Sept. 2000Aggregating brain cell cultures: Investigation of stroke related brain damage
16January 2001Housing and husbandry conditions affect stereotypic behaviour in laboratory gerbils

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.

10-year overview

7. Financial statements

Profit and loss account 2000ExpenditureIncome
Federal contribution 435 000.00
Contribution from Interpharma 435 000.00
Other contributions 0.00
Total contributions 870 000.00
Interest on bank account 4 039.80
Extraordinary income item 24.05
Research funds repaid 1 0.00
Total income 874 063.85

Research grants496 043.90
Various 3R activities0.00
Other sponsorship0.00
Project supervision and information86 006.85
Administrative expenses61 789.87
Total expenditure643 840.62
Excess income over expenditure230 223.23 
 874 063.85 
Balance as per 31st December 2000AssetsLiabilities
Bank 548 504.78
Withholding tax 1 413.95
Balance social security 0.00
Accounting apportionment assets 0.00

Accounting apportionment liabilities  28 353.35
Unused research funds
  Carried forward 1. 1. 2000290 342.15
  Excess income over expend230 223.23 520 565.38
Capital of the Foundation  1 000.00
549 918.73  549 918.73

Contingent liabilities
Approved research grants not yet paid out   948 226.50

Münsingen, , 23rd April 2001

President: signed Dr. Hugo Wick
Secretary: signed E. Diener

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
KPMG Fides Peat
signed Markus Gasser, Cert. Auditor
signed p.p. Ursula Waber