2019 CRACK IT Challenges


CRACK IT Challenges are designed to accelerate the development of new technologies which minimise animal use or improve animal welfare. The focus is on research and innovation which leads to marketable products or improvements in business processes.

The 2019 CRACK IT Challenges competition consists of three Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors who provide in-kind contributions such as data, compounds or equipment.

The Challenges and Sponsors for 2019 are:

  • Challenge 32 Transgene Track: Development of a sensitive, absolute quantification method for tracking AAV gene therapies and CAR-T cells in vivo. (Two-Phase Challenge Sponsored by GSK and Novartis).
  • Challenge 33 CleanCut: Animal-free tumourigenicity assessment of genome-edited human haematopoietic stem cells. (Two-Phase Challenge Sponsored by Novartis, Bayer and Takeda).
  • Challenge 34 Sharp and to the Point: Developing needles for high throughput and critical compound administration in mice. (Single Phase Challenge Sponsored by AstraZeneca, GSK, The University of Sheffield and The Royal Veterinary College). 

The Challenge briefs describing the Challenges, deliverables, in-kind contributions from the Sponsors and budgets is available now on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform



  • Each of the Two-Phase Challenges offers up to £1 million funding and a research contract for up to three years.
  • The Single Phase Challenge offers up to £100k funding and a research contract for up to one year.  

Launch Event

To find out more about the Challenges, meet the Sponsors and potential collaborators, and find out what makes a good application, you should attend the CRACK IT Challenges 2019 launch event on 11 September 2019 in central London. The launch event is free to attend but registration is essential.  

To register, please download and complete the registration form on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform. The deadline for registration is 4 September.  
Furthermore, to have the opportunity to give a Lightning Talk on the Challenge of interest at the launch event, please let us know by Wednesday, 28 August. More information can be found on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform


12 September 2019

2019 CRACK IT Challenges competition opens

6 November 2019

Two Phase Challenges application deadline (12 noon)

13 November 2019

Single Phase Challenge application deadline (12 noon)

The competition

CRACK IT Challenges is a research competition to solve scientific and business problems identified by the bioscience sector. The Challenges are designed to reduce the reliance on animal models and/or improve animal welfare and lead to the development of marketable products. The CRACK IT Two Phase Challenges competition is run using the SBRI process which is supported by Innovate UK and Challenges are sponsored by companies who provide in-kind contributions such as data, validation and expertise.