HHS Launches Mask Design Improvement Contest

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a contest to develop “the next generation of masks” and the winning entry receives a cash prize of $ 500,000.

The competition, “Mask Innovation Challenge: Building Tomorrow’s Mask,” is a partnership between HHS ‘Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

In it advertisement, HHS notes that many health authorities around the world are encouraging people to wear masks to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases, but masks often present some challenges such as: “contact dermatitis with prolonged wear, physical discomfort, fogging of glasses and difficulty communicating. “

“The Mask Innovation Challenge seeks to develop innovative and effective designs for mass-produced, low-cost-per-use devices for use by the general public to provide protection against respiratory disease pathogens,” said HHS in the description of the competition. .

The submitted designs will be judged by four criteria: technological feasibility; innovation; whether or not they address existing mask barriers; and the overall design.

The competition will be divided into two different phases and will last for six months.

Phase 1 will involve participants submitting their designs to BARDA. The submission time for mask design began Wednesday, March 31, and will end on April 21, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET. Shipments can be entered here. In Phase 1, up to 10 winners will receive up to $ 10,000 each to create a prototype of their skins.

In Phase 2 of the competition, challenge participants will be asked to submit their proof of concept in response to a scenario. A prize of $ 400,000 will be divided among the five winners from Phase 2. More information on Phase 2 will be shared in the future as the competition progresses.

You can find more details of the competition here.


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