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The US authorities announced an award of $ 500 thousand for the development of an innovative mask

During the coronavirus pandemic, masks are an important way to protect against the spread of infection. But there are drawbacks to wearing traditional masks. To eliminate these and accelerate the development of innovative next-generation masks, the Mask Innovation Challenge was coined. This is reported on the official government website Total prize pool - $ 500

Photo: Shutterstock

Problems with mask use may include contact dermatitis from prolonged wear, physical discomfort, fogging of glasses, and difficulty communicating. In addition, many of the masks currently available advertise unconfirmed protective capabilities, but lack the scientific evidence base.

Therefore, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services (BARDA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have teamed up to launch the Mask Innovation Challenge: Creating the Mask of Tomorrow.

What is this competition for

The objective of the competition is to improve the comfort, usefulness and protective properties of the masks. This competition aims to support the development of innovative and effective designs for mass-producing low-cost products that ordinary people will wear to provide protection against respiratory pathogens. In addition, people should be able to don and wear them without complicated procedures or user instructions.

On the subject: Scientists have created masks only for the nose: you can drink and eat with them

Competition stages

The competition will last at least 6 months and will be divided into two stages, possibly followed by a third. All respondents are eligible to participate in Stage 1. Participation in Stage 2 is independent of participation in the first; however, Stage 1 winners will be eligible for additional points for consideration in the final Stage XNUMX judging process.

Stage 1. Design. Participants will be asked to submit their innovative mask concepts as required. First, 40 winners from 4 regions will be selected, then 10 finalists will be selected, who will receive a prize of up to $ 10 for the creation of the concept and prototype.

Stage 2: Proof of Concept. Participants will be asked to submit their solutions according to the scenario. Finalists will be asked to submit prototypes for proof of concept at NIOSH Laboratories and other partner laboratories. The total prize pool of $ 400 will be split among the 000 winners.

Prize distribution will be at the sole discretion of BARDA.

There will be non-cash prizes as well. Participants may be eligible for stakeholder mentoring.

Who can participate

To be eligible to win a prize in this Competition, an individual or entity must:

  • register for the competition in accordance with the rules published by HHS;
  • meet all the requirements of this section;
  • the organization must be registered and maintain a principal place of business in the United States, and the individual (alone or in groups) must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  • cannot be a federal agency or federal employee acting within the framework of his office;
  • Must not be an HHS employee
  • recipients of federal grants cannot use federal funds to develop applications if this is not consistent with the purpose of the grant;
  • federal contractors cannot use federal contract funds to develop bids.

Applications for participation in Stage 1 must be sent at this link by April 21, 2021, no later than 17:00 pm ET. Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered.

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Approximately the first 250 applications will be reviewed, with BARDA reserves the right to review additional applications at its discretion.

Each application must be no more than 7 pages long and meet the requirements indicated on the official competition web page... One participant can submit only one application.

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Miscellaneous In the U.S. competition protective masks face masks
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