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3R-Schooling for Methodological Approaches to Reduce Animal Tests (3R-SMART)


This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research programme on alternatives to animal experiments

BMBF grant number: 031L0113C

Project homepage:

Project description:

The Directive 2010/63/EU firmly strengthens the adoption of the 3R principle throughout all uses of animals for scientific and educational purposes, resulting in increased research efforts in this field. The requested joint project of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo) and the Philipps-University Marburg wants to support these 3R-research activities and to enhance transparency and visibility in this field by establishing an open access platform providing teaching in methods to replace, to reduce and to refine animal experimentation. The platform is named 3R-Schooling for Methodological Approaches to Reduce Animal Tests (3R-SMART), and is competence-oriented tailored to the needs of scientists and technical staff of universities, public institutions, and industry. To ensure broad acceptance in this target groups the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), the German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) at the BfR, the Society for Laboratory Animal Science (GV-SOLAS), the Universities of Marburg and Konstanz, the FU Berlin with the Berlin-Brandenburg research platform BB3R, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, and BASF are integrated into the contentual creation of the platform.

To guarantee high visibility right from the start it is planned to integrate 3R-SMART into the established teaching-platform for laboratory animal science (LAS interactive), driven by the Philipps University Marburg. This concept also allows using already existing LAS interactive-structures and -contents for the 3R-SMART. LAS interactive is focused on application-oriented online-contributions supporting refinement of animal experiments. These courses will form the initial basis for the refinement module of 3R-SMART. This allows focusing the developmental work of 3R-SMART on courses for approaches to replace and to reduce animal studies.

According to the European standards the transfer of knowledge about the 3R-principle is essential in courses to acquire expertise in lab animal science. 3R-SMART will therefore also be used to work out a curriculum for a certificate to prove 3R-competencies. This task will be performed in strong collaboration with the GV-SOLAS, which certifies courses in laboratory animal science according to the European standards.

After the project timeline of three years it is intended to increase the degree of dissemination to the European level by integration of 3R-SMART into the EU-platform “Education and Training in Laboratory Animal Science” (ETPLAS). The joint research project will provide significant and sustainable support for a wider implementation of 3R-methods. This will consequently result in a decreased number of animals used for scientific and educational purposes.

BfR parts of the project:

In the first year of the project 3R-SMART, a video-based online guide to creat the Non-Technical Project Summary (NTP) for animal experimentation, will be developed and made available to the 3R-SMART training platform. Corresponding explanatory videos (clips) are produced by screencasts, which include scribble videos. The BfR assumes responsibility for the scientific, conceptual and content-related implementation of the subproject.

Project partners:

  • University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany (coordination)
  • Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
  • FU Berlin, Germany
  • University Konstanz, Germany
  • EU Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
  • Society for Laboratory Animal Science (GV-SOLAS), Germany
  • Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, Germany
  • BASF SE, Germany


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