Solving The Biggest Problems In Animal Research

Published: Jan 24, 2014

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January 24, 2014 -- The NC3Rs is on the look-out for the latest research challenges for submission to this year’s CRACK IT Challenges competition – an open innovation competition to replace, reduce and refine (3Rs) the use of animals in research and testing. CRACK IT tackles global 3Rs challenges by improving business processes and/or developing marketable products. To date we have committed over £7 million towards contracts in the academic and SME sectors to address the challenges put forward by research companies and organisations such as AstraZeneca, Syngenta and the MRC.

What does a CRACK IT Challenge look like?

Challenges are funded by the NC3Rs with in-kind contributions from challenge sponsors in the pharmaceutical, chemical and consumer product industries. In the past three years CRACK IT has awarded 15 Challenges, connecting SMEs, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative products and address bioscience needs. Awarded challenges include:

- Cognition: Wireless recording of the electrophysiology of cognition in psychiatric disease models
- Rodent Big Brother: automated recording of rodent activity and temperature in the home cage
- PREDART: Prediction of human developmental and reproductive toxicity through non-mammalian assays
- InPulse: an iPS cell cardiomyocyte platform to assess drug-induced contractility liabilities.

Further information about these can be found at

How to take part:

If you have an idea for a 3Rs Challenge and can provide in-kind contributions such as data, compounds or equipment to help solve your challenge then please get in touch with the CRACK IT team:, 020 7611 2233. Ideas from the academic and industrial sectors are welcome.

For further information on the role of challenge sponsors please see Challenges must be discussed first with the CRACK IT team and subsequently submitted by 15 March 2014. CRACK IT is an open innovation programme from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

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