A growing number of research methods that do not involve animal testing are under development. But it often takes a long time for the scientific world and international regulatory bodies to recognise them. The Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of animals (TPI) therefore seeks to encourage the application of knowledge about human biology and physiology to animal-free research and testing. To accomplish this, a new benchmark needs to be developed.
Recognition of an animal-free benchmark
With the establishment of this new benchmark, more and more animal tests could be made obsolete. But this would involve changing the entire system: an expensive and time-consuming process. The TPI programme is therefore working on specific aspects including:
- cultural change, for instance through events on animal-free innovations;
- education, by encouraging animal-free educational models;
- new guidelines, which prohibit the use of animal testing if unnecessary.
Through TPI, the government aims to accelerate the transition to animal-free methods. One way of achieving this is by granting subsidies to assess the efficacy and safety of drugs without animal testing. Alternatives to animal testing include:
- organ-on-a-chip technology;
- lung models based on mini-organs;
- artificial intelligence;
- 3D culture of human cells.
Innovative animal-free activities
New approaches to research and safety testing have reduced and in some cases eliminated the need for laboratory animals. Innovative animal-free activities run by TPI partners include:
- sharing experiences and conducting a dialogue;
- researching and applying breakthroughs in animal-free developments;
- conducting measurements using human models instead of animal models;
- combining artificial intelligence with other animal-testing-free research;
- devising a model for safety evaluations using human data;
- formulating goals for animal-testing-free education and research;
- creating a yardstick (index) for animal-free objectives at research institutes.
Read more about the TPI programme activities.
Cooperation among TPI partners
Several partners collaborate within TPI:
- six government ministries;
- organisations from civil society, trade and industry, and science.
The TPI programme is led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The ministry organises regular consultations between the partners to ensure that they align their activities and maintain the same clear and consistent approach.
Read more about the TPI partners.