CRACK IT challenge 44: SensOoChip

This Challenge aims to improve the utility and reproducibility of connected organ-on-a-chip (OoC) devices by integrating real-time multiparametric monitoring.

Opportunity Details


Registration Opens


Registration Closes



Phase 1: up to £100k funding available for up to 9 months. Phase 2: up to £1.6m funding available for up to 3 years. Phase 3 contracts are up to two years with funding of up to £1 million.



Share this opportunity

NC3RS is the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (the “3 Rs”) of the use of animals in scientific research.

Funding of £4M is available through their 2023 CRACK IT Challenges competition to solve four Challenges, providing academics and SMEs based in the UK and Europe with the opportunity to deliver scientific and 3Rs benefits through the development and commercialisation of 3Rs products and services that are tailored to end-user needs.

Challenge 44 – SensOoChip: Increasing the reproducibility and predictive power of organ-on-chips through multiparametric real-time monitoring and data modelling.

Background: The organ-on-a-chip (OoC) field is rapidly growing, delivering improved tools for disease modelling, safety and efficacy testing. Despite progress, there are barriers to overcome. The ability to incorporate longitudinal, non-invasive monitoring capabilities through the application of advanced engineering would overcome current limitations and encourage wider uptake.

Challenge aim: To improve the utility and reproducibility of connected OoC devices by integrating real-time multiparametric monitoring.

3Rs benefits: This Challenge has the potential to deliver 3Rs benefits in the pharmaceutical industry through improving the earlier identification of drugs with toxicity, preventing these from progressing into animal studies and ensuring drugs that do progress have less potential for toxicity.

This Challenge is sponsored by AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Merck Healthcare KGaA and Novartis. Applicants from the same organisation(s) as the Sponsors are not eligible to apply.

The competition is open to any UK or European body, public or private. Applications can be from single organisations or investigators or from consortia. The lead applicant must be UK or European based (country in EU, EEA or EFTA).

Funding structure

Challenge 44 is a “Mega Challenge”, a large scale R&D project for which there is a three-phase application process.

  • Applicants apply to solve a Mega Challenge by submitting a Phase 1 application form to by the application deadline. Phase 1 applications are assessed by a Review Panel which recommends funding up to three projects for nine month proof-of-concept studies funded by the NC3Rs (up to £100k funding available).
  • At the end of Phase 1, candidates are invited to submit a Phase 2 application and attend an interview with the Challenge Panel. Up to one project is awarded a contract of up to three years to deliver the full Challenge (up to £1.6m funding available).
  • Following successful delivery of a Phase 2 report, the Challenge Panel can recommend continued support into Phase 3 to address the full Challenge requirements. Entry into Phase 3 is dependent on successful completion of Phase 2. Contracts are up to two years with funding of up to £1 million.

Read further background details on the challenge, including the full brief and technical requirements.

Register for the SensOoChip launch webinar on Tuesday 5 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.15 (BST)

Related Opportunities

CRACK IT challenge 45: CrossDART

Opens: 11/08/2023 Closes: 26/10/2023

This Challenge aims to reliably predict early or surrogate indicators of teratogenicity of pharmaceutical drug candidates in vitro.

More Information

CRACK IT challenge 46: FET4Thyroid

Opens: 11/08/2023 Closes: 02/11/2023

This Challenge aims to develop an assay using non-protected life-stages of fish to detect thyroid-active chemicals and meet OECD principles.

More Information

CRACK IT challenge 47: aTRACKtive

Opens: 11/08/2023 Closes: 02/11/2023

This Challenge aims to develop non-invasive, non-toxic methods for mouse identification from birth that can be automatically tracked and monitored in home cages.

More Information

Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.