Knowledge Agenda on the Transition to Non-Animal Innovations

The Knowledge Agenda on the Transition to Non-Animal Innovations is aimed at identifying the obstacles in the field of (bio)medical research that are slowing down the development and introduction of non-animal innovations. The agenda also lists solutions and specific recommendations for overcoming these obstacles and encouraging the transition.

The start of a multiyear knowledge and innovation programme

With the Knowledge Agenda on the Transition to Non-Animal Innovations, we wish to encourage discussion in the field. The knowledge agenda is also the starting point for an ambitious, multiyear knowledge and innovation programme in which we can work together to implement solutions and recommendations in practice. We hope that this knowledge agenda will mark a turning point in the transition to non-animal innovation, and will sound the start of a new period with more valuable human-relevant research with as little possible laboratory animal testing as possible.

If you have questions about the knowledge agenda or see opportunities for contributing to implementing the recommendations, please contact Martijn Nolte.

Cover of Knowledge Agenda
Download the PDF (click image)


The eight key recommendations from the Knowledge agenda

Based on the consultation sessions and the additional discussions with experts, we have produced a large number of recommendations. The 8 most important recommendations are summarised below:

Infographic of 8 points

How was the knowledge agenda developed?

More than 60 researchers, entrepreneurs, regulators, bridgebuilders, funding bodies, students and lecturers from various Dutch universities and institutions with considerable experience with laboratory animal testing and/or the development of or working with non-animal innovation were consulted, for this knowledge agenda. Together with these researchers, we prepared an inventory of obstacles for the implementation of existing non-animal models and identified the demand for (further) development of new models and techniques. This information forms the basis of the Knowledge Agenda on the Transition to Non-Animal Innovations.


Our health is becoming increasingly interwoven with broader societal topics. Questions are being raised regarding the quality, accessibility, affordability and staffing of health, healthcare and welfare and the related ethical aspects. Because non-animal research is more commonly delivering results that can be better translated to humans than experiments involving laboratory animals, wherever possible we are striving to make less use of animal testing. Where not possible, our focus is on the more effective use of the results of animal testing.

The aim of ZonMw is to bring together people and organisations who in combination can contribute to relevant societal and scientific issues, in the field of research, medical care and health. We therefore view this knowledge agenda as an important and broadly supported initiative for mapping out where the quality of scientific research can be fostered, without the use of laboratory animals.

More Knowledge with Fewer Animals

The research programme ‘More Knowledge with Fewer Animals’ (MKMD) is our effort to promote the development of new non-animal models and to encourage the acceptance and implementation of existing non-animal research methods.