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Gaining experience and confidence in New Approach Methodologies (NAM) for regulatory safety and efficacy testing – coordinated training and experience exchange for regulators
Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 6: Maintaining an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive health industry
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several expected impacts of destination 6 “Maintaining an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive health industry”. The proposals should focus on alternatives to the use of animals for regulatory safety and efficacy testing.
There is increasing scientific evidence pointing to the limitations of animal testing for safety and efficacy assessment of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Europe is also experiencing a strong societal demand to move away from animal testing. Scientific progress of the past two decades has produced a number of animal-free New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) that have the potential to be used instead of the animal models that are currently employed for such testing. However, knowledge, experience and confidence on how results from the NAM assays could be used is still lacking among regulators, which could limit the industry’s use of NAMs because of lack of legal certainty when generating safety and health data requested by EU legislation.
Applicants should propose activities that bring together NAM developers and NAM users with European regulators responsible for the safe use of chemicals (e.g. industrial chemicals, pesticides, biocides and cosmetics) and pharmaceuticals in order to inform on NAM solutions available and to encourage the building of a framework on how these NAMs could be most effectively used in the different decision-making contexts. For NAMs applicable to chemical risk assessment, collaboration with existing initiatives such as the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) and the ASPIS cluster of projects (Animal-free Safety Assessment of chemicals: Project cluster for Implementation of novel Strategies) is encouraged.
To build such a framework the proposals should address all of the following:
- develop technical and regulatory readiness criteria
- reflect on how to provide mechanisms to support technology transfer, i.e. bringing promising NAMs to the market (including optimisation and transferability assessment)
- discuss how to standardise NAMs and NAM-based strategies via OECD, CEN, ISO, ICH, VICH and other international organisations, as applicable
- provide technical training for Contract Research Organisations (CROs) applying NAMs for regulatory purposes
- promote dialogue (involving companies, regulatory bodies on EU level, including ECHA, EMA and EFSA and Member States authorities) on how to integrate and interpret data from NAMs and facilitate their uptake for safety and efficacy testing of chemicals (including pesticides) and pharmaceuticals, while addressing the lack of reliability and shortcomings of the current tools based on animal procedures
- identify obstacles in EU legislation for the regulatory use of NAMs and propose options/changes in the EU regulatory framework which address these obstacles and facilitate the uptake and use of NAMs
Proposals should consider involving the JRC to take advantage of its expertise and relevant activities in bridging research and regulatory communities and facilitating uptake of NAMs for regulatory application. In that respect, the JRC is open to collaborate with any successful proposal after its approval.
Proposals under this topic should aim to deliver results that are directed, tailored towards and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:
- European regulators gain state-of-the-art knowledge on different NAMs that are being proposed for the assessment of the safety and efficacy of chemicals and pharmaceuticals;
- European regulators understand better the shortcomings of the current tools based on animal procedures for the assessment of chemicals and pharmaceuticals;
- European regulators collaborate on a framework on how to assess the safety of chemicals based on NAM-data and how to classify the hazardous properties based on such data;
- European regulators collaborate on a similar framework for assessment of safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals based on NAM-data;
- Citizens benefit from the supply and use of chemicals and pharmaceuticals that have been assessed through NAMs that are better predicting potential effects in humans than the current assessment methods;
- Industry has an improved competitive position with the availability of harmonised and standardised NAM-based assessment tools that are faster and more flexible;
- European Commission and Member States regulators are responding to the societal demand to move away from animal testing.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
In recognition of the opening of the US National Institutes of Health’s programmes to European researchers, legal entities established in the United States of America may exceptionally participate as a beneficiary or affiliated entity, and are eligible to receive Union funding.
Coordinators of projects must be legal entities established in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 30 pages.
The award criteria are described in General Annex D. The following exceptions apply: The thresholds for each criterion will be 4 (Excellence), 4 (Impact) and 3 (Implementation). The cumulative threshold will be 12.