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UK: Call for 2012 CRACK IT Challenges

Winners of the 2011 CRACK ITChallenges competition were announced by the NC3Rs at its Annual Science Review meeting on February 28, 2012. The Challenges are funded by NC3Rs with in-kind contributions from industry sponsors AstraZeneca, Huntingdon Life Sciences, Lilly, Syngenta, and Unilever. The 2011 Challenges and winning group leaders were:
– Wireless recording of the electrophysiology of cognition in psychiatric disease models – Dr E. Rodriguez-Villegas, Imperial College and Ervitech (£0.5 million)
– Rodent Big Brother: automated recording of rodent activity and temperature in the home cage – Prof. D. Armstrong from Actual Analytics and Prof. J. Pratt, University of Strathclyde (£0.5 million)
– Improving the predictive capacity of in vitro cytokine release assays to reduce animal use and drug attrition (£0.5 million)
– Improved in vitro to in vivo extrapolation in chemical safety risk assessment of human systemic toxicity – Prof. M. Glennie, University of Southampton (£1 million)
– BADIPS: Generating human induced pluripotent stem cells to study bipolar affective disorder – Dr D. Williams, University of Liverpool (£1 million)

The NC3Rs is now calling for the submission of new challenges and mini-challenges (under £50,000) for the 2012 competition by May 11. These challenges will be ideas or problems that if solved would reduce the use of animals or improve animal welfare. 

If you have a challenge involving the use of animals and can offer expertise, in-kind contributions and/or co-funding, and a true collaboration with the winner of your Challenge contact the CRACK IT team at or +44 20 7611 2233 or submit your Challenge through the form on the CRACK IT website ( The CRACK IT team will offer a range of support, from defining your Challenge so that it engages the global 3Rs brain to publicity to connect diverse ‘crackers’ from different disciplines and sectors.

Adapted from NC3Rs press release
March 1, 2012

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