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The CRACK IT Challenges Competition

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CRACK IT is a challenge-led competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific Challenges which will deliver 3Rs benefits, either by improving business processes or developing a commercial product. Depending on the Challenge, contracts of up to £1M for up to three years are available.

CRACK IT has announced four new Challenges for 2023 to develop products and services that will deliver scientific and 3Rs benefits.  

CRACK IT funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific Challenges related to the 3Rs 

This year’s Challenges encompass new approach methodologies for toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals and chemicals and systems to provide a step change in the behavioural and welfare assessment of mice. 

The competition is open to any UK, European Union, European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association body public or private. 

Each 2023 Challenge had  a launch webinar between Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 September. The webinars provide an opportunity to learn more about the Challenges and application process and ask the Sponsors questions.

Find out more about each Challenge here.  

All Challenges were open for applications on Monday 11 September.


The four open challenges were: 


Challenge 44: SensOoChip  

Increasing the reproducibility and predictive power of organ-on-chips through multiparametric real-time monitoring and data modelling 

Sponsors: AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Merck Healthcare KGaA and Novartis.


Challenge 45: CrossDART 

Multi species in vitro developmental toxicity testing 

Sponsors: AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim, LEO Pharma A/S, Merck Healthcare KGaA, MMV Medicines for Malaria Venture, Novartis and Roche. 


Challenge 46: FET4Thyroid 

A Fish Eleutheroembryo Test for Thyroid Activity 

Environmental Risk Assessment relies on animal testing to assess toxicological properties of chemicals, including endocrine disruption (ED). Currently, amphibians and fish are used in the assessment of ED properties of chemicals. 

This Challenge aims to develop an assay using non-protected life-stages of fish to detect thyroid-active chemicals that is designed to meet OECD principles for use in a regulatory context. 

Sponsors: Bayer AG and BASF SE. 
Co-funder: Bayer AG


Challenge 47: aTRACKtive 

Improved in vivo identification system for real-time, early-life individualised tracking and behavioural and welfare analysis in mice 

Sponsors: MRC Harwell and the National Mouse Genetics Network members Cardiff University and King’s College London. 



Further information about the CRACK IT Challenges competition process can be found on the CRACK IT Challenges-Website.


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