We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
From 31 May to 1 June 2016, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre hosted a second meeting of European 3Rs Centres at the JRC site in Ispra (Italy). These European centres focus on a variety of innovative ways for achieving impact in the 3Rs – the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of the use of animals used for scientific purposes.
Following up on some of the priorities identified at the last meeting, experts from countries across Europe met to update on their activities and to identify opportunities to address animal use in biomedical research, education and training (e.g. medical procedures), and regulatory safety and efficacy testing. Topics discussed included how best to communicate and disseminate knowledge and information on the 3Rs; education and training in the 3Rs at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels; standardisation and validation of methods intended for regulatory use; and how to stimulate innovation and growth in a variety of sectors by promoting non-animal models as enabling biotechnology.
This second meeting allowed each of the centres to outline their specific strengths and priorities and to explore ways in which they could complement each other's competences in each of the three Rs. It was felt that networking the wealth of expertise available within these pan-European organisations could potentially amplify 3Rs impact in many key areas. The potential for more concrete foundations for such a network was discussed and several ideas were put forward for further targeted collaboration to increase the international reach to replace, reduce and refine the use of animal procedures in science.