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Third meeting on the development of a European network of 3Rs centers and 3Rs societies in Prague.

The purpose of this network is to bring European 3Rs centers and societies together to share best practices, enhance communication, support the exchange of information, and prepare the ground for common initiatives.

On June 10, 2019 representatives of 3Rs centers met during the FELASA Congress 2019 in Prague to discuss the results of the working groups that were formed after the second meeting in Berlin in March. Winfried Neuhaus, President of EUSAAT, served as coordinator of the meeting. The chairs of the groups "Dissemination of 3Rs", "Assessment/ Quality of the Implementation of 3Rs", "Education", "Scientific Translatability" and "Ethics" presented their concepts and progress.

In addition, representatives from the European Commission--Directorate General Environment and the Joint Research Centre's EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM), joined the meeting. They talked about ongoing relevant projects with the aim to ensure coordination of the current efforts and to prevent duplication of work. Topics discussed included a feasibility study on establishing indicators on the uptake of alternatives to animal testing, a 3Rs teaching strategy and material for high schools, universities and post-graduates, and the future development and expansion of the ETPLAS platform with novel eLearning tools.

Funding options for the network of 3Rs Centers from the EU Commission were discussed, such as the COST (CO-operation in Science and Technology) Action Program. COST is a pan-European intergovernmental framework dedicated to networking activities for European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all scientific disciplines. The COST program promotes and spreads excellence, fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science and empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators. COST has contributed to closing the gap between science, policy-makers and society throughout Europe and beyond since its creation in 1971. Since the scientific approach at 3Rs centers is interdisciplinary and focuses on the training of young scientists, building a European network of 3Rs Centers fits the aims of the COST program perfectly.

It was also very encouraging to listen to new participants of the 3Rs network, who gave short presentations to introduce themselves, their 3Rs aims, work and needs.

The network of 3Rs Centers has continued to grow steadily, and now consists of over 50 participants from 22 countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). The Norwegian 3R Centre Norecopa has constructed an overview of European 3R Centres: https://norecopa.no/3REuropeOverview

Since EUSAAT serves as a platform for disseminating information on the 3Rs, the building of the European 3Rs centres network will be one of the main topics at the EUSAAT 2019 Congress on October 10-13, 2019 in Linz, Austria.

Current coordinator: Winfried Neuhaus (winfried.neuhaus@ait.ac.at)

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Title Annotation:European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing
Publication:ALTEX: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Jun 22, 2019
Words:457
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