NWA-beeld-Alternatieven voor dierproeven-web_credits Ivar Pel

Animal-free assessment models: acceptance and implementation (NWA)

This thematic programme of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) focuses on the acceptance and implementation of existing animal-free models in the assessment of the safety of substances for humans.

  • Aim and objectives

    People are exposed to numerous chemical substances on a daily basis, such as those found in medicines, cosmetics and the environment. In order to protect them against the possible dangers of these substances, a decent safety assessment is necessary.

    To date, laboratory animals are often used for this purpose. However, this use of laboratory animals is increasingly being criticised, both from a societal and scientific point of view. Think of animal welfare and the translatability of results from animals to people.

    Several parties are committed to a transition to an animal-free assessment and there are countless animal-free models. Despite this, these models have just been implemented to a very limited extent.

    This programme focuses on the acceptance and implementation of existing animal-free models in the safety assessment of substances for humans with associated legislation and regulations. Consortia contribute to this in a multidisciplinary, integrated manner.

  • Budget and duration

    The call for proposals will be launched in the summer of 2021. A budget of €2,865,000 is available for this call. Three applications of a maximum of €955,000 - with a maximum duration of five years - can be funded.

  • Partners

    The initiators of this programme are the Dutch Ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W), Public Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), and Defense (Def).

  • Committees

    NWA thematic programmes have two committees: a supervisory committee and an assessment committee.

    Supervisory committee

    An advising supervisory committee is composed for each NWA thematic programme. This committee is responsible for the supervision of the programme as a whole and its projects. It monitors the potential synergy between the various projects, their progress and the results achieved in relation to knowledge utilisation. The supervisory committee can also play a role in stimulating productive interactions between consortia, policy and practice.

    The participating government authorities are represented in the supervisory committee, together with a delegation from the research and societal partners. Important stakeholders can also participate in the supervisory committee, for instance because they represent the field of expertise and/or can stimulate knowledge exchange and knowledge sharing with practitioners.

    Assessment Committee

    An independent committee assesses the pre-proposals and the full proposals. Following the NWA approach, the assessment committee has a broad composition. This means that not only scientists but also representatives from the entire knowledge chain and societal stakeholders can become a member of the assessment committee. The participating government authorities are not represented in the assessment committee, but are allowed to be present as observers during meetings.

  • Initiatives


Bas de Waard

Bas de Waard MSc - NWA
Programme Officer

+31 70 349 5081

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