NC3Rs 2018 CRACK IT Challenges and launch event announced

The NC3Rs is launching the 2018 CRACK IT Challenges* competition at an event in central London on 6 September 2018.

The 2018 CRACK IT Challenges competition consists of three Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors. There are four Sponsors: Galvani Bioelectronics, GSK, MRC Harwell Institute and Sanofi Pasteur EU.

The Challenges:

This year there are three Challenges:

  • Challenge 29: “ImmuLiver”: An immunologically-competent liver model to assess attenuation of yellow fever vaccines. (Two Phase Challenge Sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur EU).
  • Challenge 30: “RaTS”: Raman Transmission Spectroscopy for objective monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression in rodent models. (Two Phase Challenge Sponsored by Galvani Bioelectronics and GSK and co-funded by EPSRC).
  • Challenge 31: “Moshers”: Mouse Smart Hoppers. (Single Phase Challenge Sponsored by MRC Harwell Institute).


Full Challenge briefs describing the challenge, deliverables, in-kind contributions from the Sponsors and budget are available to view on the CRACK IT website.  

The total budget available across the three Challenges is £2.75 million.

Each of the Challenges offers:

  • Funding.
  • A research contract.
  • In-kind contributions such as data, compounds and expertise from Sponsors.

The Competition:

CRACK IT Challenges is a milestone-driven funding competition from the NC3Rs which is designed to:

  • Minimise the use of animals in research.
  • Support the development of marketable products and/or improved business processes.

Launch Event:

We are hosting an event to launch the competition in central London on 6 September 2018, providing access to potential new partners and to the Challenge Sponsors to begin the discussions necessary to put together a winning application.

This event is free to attend but registration is essential. The deadline for registration is 31 August 2018


The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is an independent scientific organisation, tasked by Government with supporting the UK science base through the application of the 3Rs.

The biosciences sector faces significant scientific, industrial and regulatory challenges relating to the use of animals. This provides new opportunities to engage the scientific community in developing solutions to current challenges which not only minimise animal use but also stimulate innovation. CRACK IT is a collaborative programme to support the development of marketable products that have an impact on science, business and the 3Rs.

CRACK IT includes two challenge-led funding competitions which are funded by the NC3Rs with in-kind contributions and/or co-funding from industrial or academic Sponsors:

  • CRACK IT Two Phase Challenges: require a significant amount of funding to solve and may include research, development and validation of new prototypes and methods.
  • CRACK IT Single Phase Challenges: require less research and development costs and primarily focus on validation of new technologies, prototypes and methods, which are closer to market.