Welcome to the WC11 Virtual Congress - We are Live!

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the 11th edition of the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences! Originally, in a pre-COVID19 era (can you still remember?), foreseen to be held in the city of Maastricht in The Netherlands, but – since the virus is still raging on across the world – now presented to you via the World Wide Web. This, of course, is rather unfortunate because we cannot offer you the great hospitality our city is famous for, and having spontaneous conversations digitally is not that obvious either. But we, as the Local Organizing Committee, took these potential downsides as a challenge to bring to you an innovative platform that should go beyond a generic series of online PowerPoint presentations. I believe we managed to develop great graphics to create a virtual, but realistic congress environment. We have added a few features (such as 3 talk shows) where lively discussions can be initiated, and due to the advances of IT technology, allow interactions across the globe. We hope that you will appreciate it.

As an overarching theme for designing the scientific program, we have chosen: “3Rs in transition: from development to application”. This has been inspired by the observation that in the last decade tremendous progress has been made in a wide range to technologies (stem cells, organ-on-a-chip, genomics, micro-engineering, …) all supportive for realizing non-animal test models of the highest grade and boosting scientific research in the 3Rs, and in particular Replacement, to a yet unmet level, whilst acceptance of such new-generation models by the various application domains is still quite low. We aim to explore this seeming discrepancy, not only in the field of chemical safety testing, but also in vaccine development, and certainly also in creating relevant human disease models. We hope that you will find this inspiring for your own efforts in the 3Rs.

Again, a warm welcome to the virtual congress and we hope you enjoy, get inspired and connected!

Jos Kleinjans,
Chair - Local Organizing Committee WC11

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