The XPRIZE Foundation Next-Gen Mask Challenge is a contest to create and innovate a new generation of personal protective masks (PPM) to stop spreading pandemics like COVID-19 and future ones.
The contest is looking for masks with a more ergonomic and comfortable design. They are looking for an alternative face mask that is readily accessible and affordable, functional for our everyday lives, fit a wide variety of wearers, and are effective in protecting the wearer and the community.
Why this challenge? Masks are effective in slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, but not all of us have adopted this preventive measure. Some masks are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, not breathable, and the most effective masks are often unavailable or expensive.
How to win? The winning team will design a face mask that achieves the filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask and overcomes the top five barriers to mask-wearing as defined by an XPRIZE-conducted survey. The winning team will design a face mask that gives solution to the top five issues to mask use, as defined in a survey conducted by XPRIZE. The winning mask design must also meet the filtration requirements equivalent to a surgical mask. Also, the competing teams will retain the intellectual rights to their designs and technology.
There is a first prize of $500,000 (USD) for the winner and a two runners-up of $250,000 (USD) in different categories defined by the judges.
How to register? The Next-Gen Mask Challenge teams will be composed of the next generation of innovators ages 15-24 from all around the world. Registering to create or join a team is one of the first steps you can take to help create a better future for all.
In addition to the submission criteria outlined in the Website Rules, all teams must provide a letter of support. The supporter’s relationship with the challenge team may be that of a high school teacher, college professor, or industry professional over the age of 18. By providing a letter of support with the presentation of the challenge, both the competitors and the supporter understand that the presentation must be the original work of the team and must comply with all the requirements described in the rules and regulations of the challenge.
When? The Next-Gen Mask Challenge takes place for approximately 8 months. Registration is open from July 13, 2020. Qualified teams will be tentatively announced in November 2020, and mask testing is expected to take place in January 2021. The winning teams will currently be announced in February 2021.
Apply at https://www.xprize.org/challenge/nextgenmask and good luck!