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