Submit a new Challenge


The NC3Rs is now inviting submissions from Sponsors for new CRACK IT Challenges for the 2019 competition. If you have an idea for a CRACK IT Challenge for 2019 further information on how to submit your idea and the role of a Sponsor can be found below.

The deadline for new Challenge submissions is 1 March 2019.

As Sponsor of a Challenge you will gain early end user input to the development of new technologies that will deliver 3Rs, scientific and business impacts.

Challenges can come from industry or academia. As a Sponsor you must be able to provide in-kind contributions to support your Challenge. Contributions can include access to compound libraries, expertise, in-house studies for validation of prototypes and co-funding. See current Challenges for examples of in-kind contributions provided in previous competitions.

Guide to Challenge Development | How to submit your Challenge | Assessment Process | Dates and Deadlines | Related documents

Guide to Challenge Development

A Challenge should be a call for a product, technology or process that:

  • Will have a significant impact on the 3Rs.
  • Is innovative and breaks new ground in areas where technologies would improve science and business.
  • Adds value or accelerates the availability of technologies.
  • Brings in new audiences/technologies.
  • Has wide applicability/leads to step change.
  • Ideally has significant commercial potential.
  • Is focused on developing and leveraging new technologies into broader use across the bioscience sector.
  • Is clearly defined so that the scope and endpoints are understood.
  • Has defined deliverables so that applicants and assessors are clear as to what is expected from the Sponsors.
  • Has scope for Sponsor in-kind contribution that brings genuine added value to the collaboration.

If your Challenge proposal is selected:

NC3Rs will Your organisation will
Work together to develop the Challenge brief
Support the Launch event Be expected to attend Challenge surgeries at the Launch event and interact with potential applicants
Administer the application and funding process Be involved in the assessment process to decide the winning team
Project manage the funded teams Provide in-kind contributions to, and work with, the winning team
Work together to promote uptake of the Challenge product to maximise the 3Rs impact and improve science and business

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How to submit your Challenge

  1. Download and complete the 'Sponsor a Challenge' form
  2. Email the completed form to

If you need any assistance with the form please contact us at the above email.

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Assessment process

Challenge submissions are considered by both independent scientific experts and the CRACK IT Advisory Panel, who will take the following criteria into consideration prior to making their final recommendations:

  • Level of 3Rs impact.
  • Scientific quality.
  • Commercial potential/potential for broad uptake of the technology.
  • Level of Sponsor input (e.g. co-funding, in-kind contributions).
  • Alignment with current NC3Rs portfolio and external activities.
  • Low risk of Challenge not being solved.
  • Time to impact.

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Dates and Deadlines

Event Date
Notification of Challenge selection  End of March 2019
Deadline for Challenge Brief completion 29 June 2019
Challenges Launch event September 2019
  Two Phase Challenges Single Phase Challenges
Phase 1 application deadline 6 November 2019  
Single Phase application deadline   13 November 2019
Phase 1 Review Panel meeting Nov/Dec 2019  
Single Phase Virtual Review Panel   December 2019
Single Phase Challenge Panel   January 2020
Phase 2 application deadline  18 June 2020  
Phase 2 Challenge Panel meeting July 2020  

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Related documents

Latest Challenges

Get in touch

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020 7611 2233
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