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Scientific conference - Towards replacement of animals for scientific purposes

The scientific conference “Towards replacement of animals for scientific purposes” will take place online on 2 and 3 February 2021. Organised by the European Commission, the conference aims to accelerate the move away from using animals in science and testing.

The conference will be of interest to all those working with animal models or alternative approaches, or both, in any field of basic or applied science. We look forward to welcoming a wide and diverse audience.

Join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #NonAnimalScience. 

Find out more about EU policy on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

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  • Animal experimentation
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Scientific conference
Scientific conference - Towards replacement of animals for scientific purposes

The main objectives of the conference are

  • To provide an update on the Commission’s strategic work towards the ultimate goal of replacing animals in science by advancing non-animal alternatives.
  • To illustrate how increased transparency on current animal use can help speed up the transition to non-animal approaches.
  • To showcase the most recent scientific advances in replacing animal models.  

The conference will be a fully virtual event in which participants are able to engage in discussion during moderated sessions. Online networking opportunities will be provided ahead of and during the conference.

The 2-day conference will be organised in 4 sessions:

Topic 1: How transparency can accelerate transition to non-animal science  

The publication of the 2020 reports on the implementation of the Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, and on animal use statistics, made the EU a world leader in terms of transparency. And the Commission is committed to taking transparency even further. Information on non-technical project summaries will soon be accessible on a public EU database. Also, the Commission’s platform of  research funding programmes includes new open access features. Under Topic 1 we will also discuss new transparency in communication about animal research as well as the benefits from pre-registering research projects.

Topic 2: Education & Training with focus on non-animal approaches and implementation of the Directive

Under this topic, which will include three break-out sessions, participants will be able to get hands-on experience with a broad range of education and training tools that aim to accelerate the move to non-animal approaches. They cover training needs of high school or university students as well as a varied audience of vocational trainees.

Topic 3: Cutting edge science: latest scientific advances to improve research and testing toolbox

Session 3 offers a selection of the most recent testing models or approaches and how they are being employed to address research needs that previously relied on animal models.

Topic 4: Gaining trust in using new alternative approaches

The last session intends to showcase how industry and other organisations across different sectors gained trust in using the new approaches.


This is the second conference that the European Commission has organised on this topic. The first conference took place in December 2016.