Sciensano is a research institute and the national public health institute of Belgium. It is a so-called federal scientific institution that operates under the authority of the federal minister of Public Health and the federal minister of Agriculture of Belgium. Sciensano's core business is scientific research in the fields of public health, animal health and food safety. Sciensano arose in 2017 from the merger of the former Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre and the former Scientific Institute of Public Health. Both institutions were merged because of their complementary activities and to be able to provide a comprehensive answer to the health challenges of the future. More particularly, the merger was based on the One Health principle that states that the areas of human health, animal health and the environment are inherently connected with each other. The merger became official on April 1, 2018.