Participate to the CRACK IT Challenges

Posted on: 12/05/2021

A ‘CRACK IT Challenge’ is a challenge-led competition coordinated by NC3Rs that aims to ‘develop technologies with potential 3Rs benefits into new products and methodologies for the biosciences research community’.

The Challenges are targeted at unravelling both scientific and business challenges which require the use of animals. They are often sponsored by pharmaceutical, chemical and consumer products industries, and intend to facilitate collaborations between industry, academics and smalll to medium enterprise sectors.

There are two types of challenges: ‘Two Phase Challenges’ vs ‘Single Phase Challenges’. In a Two Phase Challenge, a significant amount of funding is required and this can include research, development and validation of new technologies, prototypes and methods. As indicated by the name, it is a two-step application process. A ‘Single Phase Challenge’ is focused on the validation of new technologies, prototypes and methods that are closer to market or require less research and lower development cost. In this year’s edition there are three Two Phase Challenges and two Single Phase Challenges.


Three Two-Phase Challenges to develop replacement and reduction methods

  • Challenge 35 ‘In vitro TDAR: to develop a human in vitro T-cell dependent antibody response (TDAR) assay to assess the immune enhancement properties of immunomodulatory therapeutics during development.
  • Challenge 36 ‘Animal free in vitro: to adapt established OECD TG in vitro assays so that they are free from animal-derived products, delivering a robust, human-relevant (and preferably chemically-defined) version of the assays that demonstrates improved data quality and reproducibility.
  • Challenge 37 ‘STRATIS: to produce a human-relevant and high throughput in vitro or ex vivo platform that recapitulates the complex structures of skeletal muscle and the pathology of significant injury to them. It should also offer a model for novel wound therapeutics and approaches to restore form and function after significant soft tissue injury.

During the first phase of this challenge, a maximum of three selected projects will receive a six months budget of up to £100k to deliver proof-of-concept studies. In the second phase, only one project will be selected for a three years budget of up to £1 million. Important note: Phase Two contracts are expected to be signed with commercial enterprises and not academic institutions. Learn more about Two-Phase Challenges here.


Do you want to solve a Challenge?

The competition is open to any European Union body, public or private. Applications can be from single organisations or from consortia, nevertheless, the lead applicant must be EU-based. The application deadline for Phase 1 is on the 5th of November 2020. 

Find more details on how to apply here and read the Guide For Participants.