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Lush drives change in cruelty-free cosmetics with £250,000 prize fund

The latest Lush Prize has rewarded big data projects aimed at ending animal tests

Lush drives change in cruelty-free cosmetics with £250,000 prize fund

Every year, it’s estimated that over 115 million animals are used in testing laboratories around the world.

Inspired by a desire to rid the industry of unnecessary animal testing, high-street beauty brand Lush founded the Lush Prize in an effort to increase awareness and implement changes. Celebrating the eighth edition, the brand has revealed the winners for the 2020 prize, which for the first time has included people that are working on big data projects as a potential to replace animal tests.

This year’s £250,000 Lush Prize has been awarded to nine winners, three of which were using computer databases to predict the toxicity of chemicals for humans in an effort to omit animal tests. The three computational winners include The MIE Atlas Team from Cambridge University (pictured, below); Edoardo Carnesecchi from Utrecht University; and Domenico Gadaleta from a Milan Research Institute.

Speaking about this year’s winners, Lush Prize director Rob Harrison said: “The judges were particularly excited by the fact that this year’s shortlist contained a new wave of projects which were modelling the cellular pathways of toxic molecules in their datasets. This combination of 21st century technologies showed perhaps the greatest promise yet for a widespread replacement of older and less reliable animal models on a global scale.”

The Lush Prize was founded in 2012 with the aim of bringing forward the date in which no further product safety testing on animals will be required. Collaborating with campaign research group, Ethical Consumer, the £250,000 fund is the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector, and is billed as the only one that focuses solely on the complete replacement of animal testing.

This year’s prize categories included Science, aimed at the development of replacement non-animal tests; Public Awareness for increasing understanding of on-going testing; and Young Researcher, awarded to under-35-year-olds specialising in animal replacement research.

For a full list of this year’s winner or to find out more about the Lush Prize, visit