What are non-animal technologies?

Non-animal technologies (NATs) are technologies or approaches which enable scientists to address their research questions or develop novel products without using animals. The potential range of applications is considerable, including understanding human and animal health and disease, developing safe and effective human and veterinary medicines, and developing consumer and personal care products.

The aim is not to replace animal models with equivalent non-animal approaches, but to develop more predictive, integrated testing systems based on the latest technological advances and knowledge of human or animal biology.

The range of technologies or approaches that can be integrated to meet this challenge includes, but is not limited to:

Automation and control

Organ on chip


Tissue engineering

Molecular cell imaging

Lower organisms

Structure activity relationships


NATs is a multidisciplinary field involving biology, medicine, and engineering and is likely to revolutionise our understanding of basic biology and the way we assess drugs, chemicals and consumer products for safety and efficacy. This would have a substantial impact on the bioscience sector in reducing drug and chemical attrition rates, reducing costs, improving efficiency and increasing productivity, and providing new opportunities for economic growth in the UK.

To find out more about NATs applications visit the ‘Applications and opportunities' page.

To benefit from automatic notification of funding opportunities, events and NAT-news.

If you would like to know more about the NAT programme, or to contribute to the SIG, please contact natenquiries@nc3rs.org.uk.

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