The idea for Swiss competence center dealing solely with the 3Rs was conceived in July 2015 when the Federal Council published a report on the subject of the 3Rs, in which it proposed various measures for further promotion of the 3Rs. As a follow up to this report, in the spring of 2016, the federal government commissioned swissuniversities to come up with a structure and mission to achieve these ambitious goals and the 3Rs competence center (3RCC) was conceptualised with an aim to promote the 3Rs on a sustainable basis in collaboration with industry,universities, government and animal welfare associations in order to provide services for enforcement agencies, industry and universities in the field of 3Rs training and continuing education and to improve international scientific networking on the topic.
Now 2018 is here things are moving rapidly; the center had its founding meeting at Bern University on March 27th 2018 and is looking to be fully operational within the next few months. In attendance at the meeting were eleven universities and higher education institutions, the Swiss association of pharmaceutical industry (Interpharma), the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), Swiss Animal Protection and President of the 3RCC, Dr. Kathy Riklin, member of the National Council. The center aims to subsidise 3Rs related projects and a first call for project proposals is foreseen by the end of 2018. In addition, the center will focus on education and a communication strategy to provide easy access to up-to-date information on alternatives to animal testing. The centre will also monitor and help to improve, where possible, the implementation of the principles of 3Rs in Switzerland and it will offer its services to authorities, teaching bodies and interested parties who would like to know more about the 3Rs principles and alternative methods to animal experimentation.
Finally, we are very pleased to announce that Dr. Chantra Eskes has been appointed director of the 3RCC and will bring with her over 20 years of experience within and outside of Switzerland in the development, optimisation, validation, peer-review and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing. Her activities contributed to the formal validation, international acceptance and development of a number of international test guidelines. Chantra Eskes acts amongst others as the chair of the EURL-ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) and as a Nominated Expert for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).