CRACK IT accelerates the availability of technologies which will deliver i) measurable 3Rs impacts, ii) new marketable products and iii) more efficient business processes. It is the NC3Rs response to the changing environment in the biosciences and exploits the sector's willingness to embrace open innovation approaches to solve business and scientific problems relating to the use of animals.

The pharmaceutical, chemical and consumer products industries are increasingly outsourcing research, collaborating pre-competitively to reduce attrition and open to novel approaches to reduce animal use. Greater knowledge of the limitations of the animal models (for example, the lack of translation of findings in animals to humans), and the scientific benefits of improved animal welfare have led to an urgent need for more predictive, human-relevant systems for efficacy and safety research, and more humane research models, respectively. Often, industry seeks solutions to these challenges from the academic and smalll to medium enterprise (SME) sectors.

CRACK IT has been developed with two parts to maximise both scientific and commercial benefits of new and emerging technologies:

  • CRACK IT Challenges: A competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve scientific and business challenges involving animals. There are benefits for all participants; industry gets access to scientific and technological innovations emerging from the science base and an end product which meets their needs; academics have a pathway for exploiting their research; and SMEs are provided with a ready-made market.
  • CRACK IT Solutions: A technology partnering hub to accelerate the translation of technologies with potential 3Rs impacts (referred to as 'Solutions') out of the science base and into application to maximise the scientific and commercial benefits. The hub showcases Solutions helping to identify new partners and customers to use, develop and validate the technology.

Meet the CRACK IT team

Dr Kate Harris
Programme Manager- Challenge-led Innovation

Kate manages the CRACK IT Challenges programme. She has responsibility for project managing funded projects within the Challenges portfolio, ensuring delivery against milestones, maintaining consortia relations, delivering projects to time and collating impacts arising from these.



Dr Anthony Holmes
Director of Science and Technology

Ant leads the CRACK IT programme. He works with industry stakeholders and potential co-funders to encourage their participation in CRACK IT, and provides oversight of the CRACK IT process, including downstream exploitation of 3Rs products and services. He also has responsibility for links between the science and technology developed through NC3Rs grant funding and CRACK IT.




Dr Cathy Vickers
Head of Innovation

Cathy leads the CRACK IT Challenges programme and has oversight of the strategy and long-term sustainability of the scheme. She works with industry Sponsors to identify and work up potential new Challenges and is responsible for delivering impacts from funded projects. Cathy also leads on the Business Growth Scheme.