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Advancing the development and application of non-animal technologies

Call status: Closed
Next application deadline: TBC 


This feasibility study will invest of up to £4M into how non-animal technologies can be further developed and applied to improve product development across a range of industries.


Scientific objectives

To support further development of non-animal technologies to improve product development across a range of industries. These technologies could revolutionise the way in which new drugs and chemicals are assured for effectiveness and safety.

The funding will allow companies, such as pharmaceutical, chemical and personal care businesses, and contract research organisations, to collaborate with each other and with researchers to explore better ways of predicting the effects of new drugs and chemicals on humans, animals and the environment.


To enable project participants to explore the commercial feasibility of developing non-animal technologies and testing systems that better predict human and animal responses to, and the environmental effects of, chemicals and new molecular entities.

Not only to replace animal models with equivalent in vitro models; it is to produce better tests and systems that more accurately predict efficacy, safety and environmental effects. The range of technologies that might need to be developed or integrated to meet this challenge could include, but is not limited to, the following:

Biological, tissue engineering and imaging-related

  • stem cell technologies/tissue engineering
  • cell-line technologies
  • cell culture – single-cell-type/3D/mixed-cell type/dynamic
  • organ-on-a-chip/whole-organ models/connected-cell-type technologies
  • next-generation sequencing and 'omics' – genomics, epigenomics, proteomics
  • technologies for identifying and measuring in vitro biomarkers
  • cell/molecule-level imaging and sensing – positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, optical, in vitro/ex vivo, high-contrast
  • stratified (personalised) medicine approaches use of lower organisms or plants


  • high-throughput technologies/combinatorial chemistry
  • micro-structured surfaces and micro-fluidics
  • automation and control

Information and communication technology-related

  • computer simulation and in silico modelling
  • structure-activity relationships and computational chemistry
  • data-mining and analysis of large complex (including historical) data sets


To harness recent advances in non-animal technologies to generate new technologies with improved predictive capacity, or to extend existing technologies to new application areas. For more information see the competition brief in the external links section above.


Projects must be collaborative and business-led. We expect to fund feasibility studies (mainly pre-industrial research projects) in which a business partner will attract up to 65% public funding of their project costs (75% for SMEs).

We expect projects to last from 12 to 18 months, and to range in size up to £250k.


A briefing event for potential applicants will be held on 11 February 2014, and networking events to highlight the main features of the competition and facilitate consortia-building will be held in Manchester, Cardiff, London, and Edinburgh.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

See the 'Application process' on the competition page at: www.innovateuk.org/competition-display-page/-/asset_publisher/RqEt2AKmEBhi/content/advancing-the-development-and-application-of-non-animal-technologies.


Lee Beniston

tel: 01793 413341