The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a different year for the Danish 3R-Center, as it has certainly done for everyone else as well. One of our most important purposes is to disseminate knowledge of the 3Rs to the wider world of interested stakeholders. Previously, we have successfully done this at our two annual events: the international 3R symposium and the annual meeting of animal welfare bodies. Both events were cancelled in 2020 due to the infection risk of COVID-19. As a result, dissemination in 2020 was largely based on our website and a series of online events.
Despite having to cancel the symposium, we managed to award the year’s 3R Prize to Dorte Bratbo Sørensen, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen. We, the members of the board, are deeply impressed by her presence in a profusion of laboratory-animal forums, by her activities for disseminating knowledge of laboratory animals and, obviously, by her research that benefits laboratory animals. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dorte on the prize once again.
Another recurring event is the annual allocation of research funding for the 3Rs area where we always look forward to reading the host of applications we receive. The applications manifest the applicants’ dedication to the field and give funding recipients an opportunity to present their research at our symposium and website, raising awareness of the projects beyond what they would have achieved otherwise.
Three new research projects were granted support by the 3R-Center again in 2020. Our website lists all the projects granted subsidy since the 3R-Center was founded in 2013, as well as an overview of the publications and knowledge generated by the projects.
In keeping with the past five years, we have invited an external institution to give an account of their 3R efforts in our annual report. This year you can read about the 3R activities at Lundbeck.
I wish to express my gratitude to the Danish Animal Welfare Society, DOSO, LEO Pharma, Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries for supporting the Danish 3R-Center in 2020. We experience excellent support from our financial backers during the year, which greatly benefits the centre. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude once again to my dedicated colleagues on the board and to the expert, conscientious secretariat for their brilliant efforts during 2020. It has been a pleasure working with you.
Drawing conclusions about 2020 inevitably looks forward to 2021, when we hope to host open in-person events once again for the benefit of both networking and knowledge sharing. 2021 will also be a decisive year for the future of the Danish 3R-Center, as the Ministry and the above-mentioned supporters of the centre must decide whether they also want to continue supporting the centre going forward. If so, a new board must be appointed, effective on 1 November 2021. I would like to urge everyone with expertise within at least one of the 3Rs to consider participating in this interesting, rewarding work.
Personally, I am bowing out as chairwoman at the end of 2020 due to many other tasks, but I will continue as a board member under the chairmanship of Professor Axel Kornerup Hansen. In 2021, we will also publish a memorandum about the centre’s activities and successes during the centre’s almost eight years of existence, which the next board can choose to be inspired by. I look forward to this.
Christine Nellemann, Chairwoman, The Danish 3R-Center (2013–2021)
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