Applications are open for the 2021 CRACK IT Challenges

Posted on: 07/12/2021

A ‘CRACK IT Challenge’ is a challenge-led competition coordinated by NC3Rs 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’.

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 small to medium enterprise sectors.

The 2021 competition includes two Challenges which cover key areas of animal use in toxicology and environmental risk assessment. Both Challenges have been developed jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors.

  1. Challenge 40 Virtual Second Species’ is a Three-Phase (Mega) Challenge which aims to develop a suite of virtual dog tissues and organs to model toxicological endpoints for New Chemical Entities by applying advanced computational and mathematical modelling approaches such as Machine Learning, systems biology, systems toxicology and multi-scale modelling. The model developed will provide a tool to start moving towards replacing the use of the dog as a second species in drug development. The briefing webinar will be published soon.

During the first phase of this challenge, a maximum of three selected projects will receive a 9 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 £1.6 million. The entry into third phase will depend on the successful completion of the second phase. If granted, the project will receive an additional two years budget of up to £1 million. Learn more about Three-Phase Challenges here.

  1. Challenge 41 ‘SAFE’ is a Two-Phase Challenge aiming to develop a suite of scalable bioassays for key Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) in order to replace in vivo fish studies in chemical safety screening and regulatory environmental risk assessment. Delivery of a reliable, in vitro platform to address chemical safety in fish will reduce the number of in vivo fish studies carried out in early-stage Environmental risk assessment and in the longer term, providing the opportunity to fully replace in vivo animal studies for regulatory purposes. The briefing webinar is available here.

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 £700k. 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 28th October 2021. 

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

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