The European Commission answers written question on non-animal methods in projects approved under Horizon 2020
To the following question:
"On the Commission’s website, it is stated that ‘the EU is strongly committed to phasing out animal testing tests in Europe’ and its approach towards this objective is established in EC law in Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
Recital 46 states that: ‘The availability of alternative methods is highly dependent on the progress of the research into the development of alternatives. The Community Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development provided increasing funding for projects which aim to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in procedures. In order to increase competitiveness of research and industry in the Union and to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in procedures, the Commission and the Member States should contribute through research and by other means to the development and validation of alternative approaches’.
Given these objectives, could the Commission provide its estimate for the value of research into non-animal methods (NAMs) in projects approved under Horizon 2020 in Years 1-6 (EU budget years 2014-2019) of the current MFF?"
The European Commission replied that it heavily supports the development of non-animal alternative methods through its Research and Innovation programmes. Over the last two decades, the Commission has supported more than 200 projects in this domain, with a total funding of over EUR 700 million.
The average annual budget for this activity increased from the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) to FP7, and has then remained stable over Horizon 2020, the current Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
In Horizon 2020, more than EUR 45 million are estimated to be committed each year to research projects on the development of non-animal alternative methods — more than EUR 270 million for the period 2014-2019.
The annual budget for this activity in Horizon 2020 is 1.5 times higher than in FP6 and 4 times higher than in FP5.