The state of the transition has been explored

What joint action framework is available for the broad TPI network with its various actions and initiatives? In 2020, the Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT) of Erasmus University helped the TPI partners to find an answer to this question. The partners from the TPI core group shared their insights on the transition to animal-free innovation. Innovators from the TPI network and a number of ‘fresh thinkers’ from outside tested and enriched their insights.

Promising transition paths

This TPI network can see major opportunities in technological developments and digitalisation. Together, they are leading to the development of medicines tailored to each individual (personalised medicine) and to the development of models in glass cultures (in vitro) and computers (in silico), by means of which effects, side effects and safety can often be assessed at least as well as in animal experiments. The question remains as to how the scientific world and regulators will achieve acceptance of methods without laboratory animals that provide good predictions of effects, side effects and safety. When this happens, animal studies will become increasingly superfluous.

Although this is not possible in all domains, much is already technologically possible in many areas. In education and regulation, however, the transition still needs to progress further. Education and the use of the scope provided by law in the EU are therefore important at this point. The fact that the transition to animal-free innovation is in a phase of pre-development and will take generations can be read in the report of the webinar of 14 May (in Dutch), in which DRIFT presented its analysis. In an interview in June 2020 (in Dutch), professor and transition expert Jan Rotmans reveals what he has noticed about our transition.

Deepening, broadening and embedding

In their actions for the coming years, the TPI partners wish to achieve the following:

  • deepening animal-free innovation practices
  • broadening the network and conducting dialogue with professionals from science, the industry and regulators
  • embedding in policy and rules what is already possible without testing on laboratory animals.