A review of national public funding programmes in European countries

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Tonia Devolder
Kirsty Reid
Vera Rogiers
Simon Webb
David Wilkins

Abstract

A survey of publicly funded research specifically targeting alternatives to animal testing was conducted over 2006/2007. Responses were received from 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). The responses were compiled by national agencies or national consensus platforms. The current annual total across the 16 countries was estimated as € 17 million. The largest contribution came from Germany with € 4.6 million (27% of the total). Also collated was information on the existence of a national strategy on alternatives research, the focus of any such strategies, the research priority setting process, stakeholder consultation in that process, project funding preferences or limits, coordination mechanisms and the separation of responsibilities of competent authorities (i.e. for research support, laboratory animal welfare and chemicals management). Countries with national strategies (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) are skewed towards the higher end of the spending distribution. These 6 countries account for over € 12 million, i.e. >70% of the overall total of national spending identified. Most countries have national consensus platforms. These should help to both stimulate stakeholder consultation and further national spending on alternatives research. The situation regarding the separation of responsibilities of competent authorities (i.e. for research support, laboratory animal welfare and chemicals management) is mixed. A degree of overlap exists in many cases. A research strategy that is receptive to and reflects regulatory developments – such as REACh with its marked resultant increase in animal use – is an obvious need that is as yet unmet in many of the countries surveyed. The need for a mechanism to collate details of active research projects within Europe as a whole was also identified.

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How to Cite
Devolder, T., Reid, K., Rogiers, V., Webb, S. and Wilkins, D. (2008) “A review of national public funding programmes in European countries”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 25(3), pp. 233-242. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/676 (Accessed: 10August2020).
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