Watch the new VetBioNet videos on YouTube!

VetBioNet has a new YouTube channel and has now released two short videos (more…)

New 3Rs Centres in Europe and Canada

A European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) Science for Policy Report published in 2016[1], aimed at assessing the current situation regarding the sharing of 3Rs knowledge, identified that 3Rs centres have an important role in supporting and disseminating 3Rs approaches and creating valuable networks of different stakeholders to work towards alternatives to animal testing. In recent months, several new centres focused on the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) have been established in Europe and Canada.

The Government in Sweden has initially funded the Swedish 3Rs Centre for the period 2017-2020. This centre has been established as a response to the Swedish government review of how to most effectively progress the 3Rs in Sweden as part of the functions of the acting body of the Swedish National Committee for the Protection of Animals used for Scientific Purposes, which was founded as a requirement of Directive 2010/63/EU. The Swedish 3Rs Centre is not the only organisation involved in 3Rs activities in the country: as an example, the Swedish Fund for Research Without Animals (established in 1964) began providing research grants in 1971. Moreover, the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Swetox) is one of the first research centres which based their work on the 3Ms (Mechanisms, Models and Markers) and 3Rs principles, and it established a unique collaboration between eleven Swedish universities.

In Belgium the Free University of Brussels has built upon its In Vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology Department’s (IVTD’s) 25-year history of developing in vitro approaches to open the Innovation Centre 3Rs (IC-3Rs). The new Belgian centre’s goal is to increase the visibility of alternative methods by enhancing communication, building local networks and supporting the development of in vitro methodologies nationally and throughout Europe. IC-3Rs will compliment other 3Rs groups and initiatives based in Belgium such as: the International Society for In Vitro Methods (INVITROM), the  Eurogroup for Animals, the European consensus-platform for alternatives (ecopa) and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA).

With the aim of promoting the principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal experiments in scientific environments, the Italian Centro 3R was launched in December 2017. The centre is a collaboration between the University of Pisa and the University of Genoa and is the first European inter-university centre dedicated to promoting 3Rs principles in teaching and research. Membership of Centro 3R is open to all Italian universities and agreements for twinning across Europe and other countries are being pursued. At the inauguration EURL-ECVAM, also based in Italy, endorsed the centre and support was given by the IPAM – Italian platform for alternative methods, which was founded in May 8, 2003, by fourteen founding members belonging to four areas of interest: Government Institutions, Industry, Scientific World, Animal-centred Organisations and Animal Welfare. The aim of IPAM is promoting and spreading the culture of 3Rs, in its theoretical-applicative aspects, in scientific experimentation and in the regulatory field.

Outside of Europe, the University of Windsor has created Canada’s first ever institution dedicated to alternatives to testing on animals. The Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) and its subsidiary the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (CaCVAM) wish to “serve as the Canadian leader and nexus to promote alternatives through integrative human-centred initiatives. By developing transformative partnerships with academic, industry, government, and public sectors to develop, validate, and promote alternatives, we seek to transition the medical research, education, and toxicity testing communities away from the use of animals”. CCAAM is in addition to the 3Rs resources and information provided by a specialist section – the 3Rs Microsite – of the Canadian Council for Animal Care (CCAC) website. In Canada the CCAC is responsible for the oversight of scientific animal use.

These new establishments in conjunction with existing centres will provide increasing opportunities to effectively progress the 3Rs goals on a European and global scale.

All of the new centres have information websites:

[1] Holley T, Bowe G, Campia I et al (2016) Accelerating progress in the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal testing through better knowledge sharing, EUR 28234 EN, doi:10.2788/243531.

Research infrastructure grant assigned to Erasmus MC by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

The NWO executive board has awarded funding to ten proposals in the National Roadmap 2017/2018 for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure (read more here). The total amount granted is 138 million euros. Yesterday the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, presented the ten roadmap certificates at Utrecht Science Park. Funds for the National Roadmap Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure make it possible to build or modernise top research facilities with an international allure.

Among the projects who were awarded funding under the Roadmap 2017/2018, there is “BSL3: safe solutions for research into global threats by infectious diseases” presented by Erasmus MC, a VetBioNet partner. You can read more about all the selected projects here.

Erasmus MC opens a new laboratory for the safe conduct of infectious diseases research

Last Friday Erasmus MC – partner of the VetBioNet consortium – officially opened its new BSL3 laboratory for infectious diseases research. Martje Fentener van Vlissingen, Head of the Erasmus MC animal research facility, highlighted that “the new facility is compliant with all most recent requirements and recommendations regarding biosafety and biosecurity that apply for the safe handling of hazardous infectious agents. The provisions include special air handling systems that maintain underpressure, airlocks and systems for decontamination and sterilization”. Further information on the new BSL3 laboratory are available on Erasmus MC website.


Vacancy Notice: Junior Immunologist at INRA

INRA Val de Loire Center is looking for a permanent junior immunologist  (more…)

VetBioNet at XXIII National Congress of SIPI (Società Italiana di Patologia Ittica)

At the beginning of October, the project partner IZSVe presented a poster about VetBioNet aims and main activities during the XXIII National Congress of SIPI, the Italian fish pathologists association. (more…)

First VetBioNet Stakeholders’ Meeting

To achieve its goals and maximise its impact, VetBioNet aims at identifying potential stakeholders and develop mechanisms for exchanging knowledge with them. To this end, the VetBioNet consortium held a Stakeholders’ Meeting on 27th and 28th November at COPA-COGECA in Brussels. (more…)

VetBioNet poster available for download!

The VetBioNet poster is now available in the Communication Package section of the website. Feel free to download it and disseminate it among your network contacts!

VetBioNet website is online!

The VetBioNet consortium is proud to announce the launch of its website! Please consult it frequently to be updated on VetBioNet activities, results, events and opportunities for free-of-charge access to the BSL3 facilities and technical resources of the consortium.

VetBioNet Kick-off Meeting in Tours, France

The VetBioNet Kick-off Meeting (KoM) took place at the Oceania Hotel, in Tours, France. Attendance to the KoM was open to the consortium partners and the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) members.

The KoM aimed at:

  • Officially stating the beginning of the project;
  • Outlining the project goals as well as the individual roles and responsibilities of the consortium members;
  • Clarifying the expectations of all parties;
  • Creating a commitment by all the project’s participants.

The meeting was organised as follows:

3rd April 2017:

The meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCom) was held. The main topics addressed were: 1) the role, composition, meetings and functioning of the ExCom and roles of the ExCom members during the KoM; 2) management issues and roles of the European project manager; 3) role and composition of the governing bodies of the project; 4) dissemination and communication issues; and 5) organisation of the next project meetings.

4th April 2017:

  • The day started with a welcome introduction by Catherine Beaumont (president of the INRA centre in Val de Loire).
  • Then the coordinator Frédéric Lantier and the leader of WP10 Sascha Trapp presented the overall project and INRA Transfert (IT) presented the governance structure of the project.
  • These talks were followed by an overview of the objectives of each WP. WP1 to 9 leaders presented the objectives, approaches, expected outcomes and work done so far for each WP.
  • During the afternoon WP1 leader and IT presented the Transnational access (TNA) way of functioning, administrative and financial aspects. Then, IT, on behalf of the Department of intellectual property (DPTI) of INRA, presented intellectual property issues and IT presented project management and financial issues.
  • The rest of the afternoon was devoted to interactive workshops, for WP7, in a plenary session, and for WP1, WP3 and WP6 in parallel sessions.

5th April 2017:

  • The morning was devoted to interactive workshops in parallel sessions for WP2 and WP4 and, WP8 and WP9.
  • In the afternoon, the leader of WP5 presented the dissemination plan, training, data management and technology transfer issues.
  • Then, each WP leader presented a wrap-up of what discussed during the interactive sessions.
  • The last session was devoted to discussing with the SAB member who presented his feedback to the consortium.