Deadline: 2020-06-09 Award: 16,000 EUR Open to: Everyone*
Summary of the Reusable Face Masks Challenge
Apart from the healthcare sector, there are other working environments with potential risks associated with the inhalation of damaging elements like dust in construction or mining, or spray paint in the industry, etc.
In today’s market, there are available masks with different levels of protection according to their filtration characteristics. FFP2 and FFP3 are the mask models that offer a higher degree of protection against COVID-19 although not completely (the virus is too small). However, these are very uncomfortable to wear since they make breathing difficult and are too warm. For this reason, some workers end up not using the masks all the time or, even worse, not using them at all.
Another problem is that most of the masks are disposable, which generates a great amount of waste. The reason is that the material of the masks (nonwoven fabric) cannot be disinfected at 60ºC for 30 minutes since it negatively affects the mask fitting.
What we are looking for
We are looking for new more efficient and reusable face masks that comply with the specifications of the N95, FFP2, or FFP3 models. It needs to be efficient against the COVID-19 and helpful for effort-intensive jobs. In this sense, the mask may generate a small overpressure during inspiration while filtering or decontaminating the exhaled air. It is also very important that the reusable face mask is comfortable to wear; bear in mind its size, weight, fitting, interior temperature, etc.
The submissions will be positively evaluated if they include some extra characteristics:
Reusable, washable or disinfectable mask to reduce or eliminate the need for replacement.
The mask should warm up the inhaled air when it is too cold.
Other smart functionalities like the measurement of breaths per minute, body temperature, etc.
The solutions will be evaluated according to the following evaluation criteria, (in this order of importance):
Air quality: the ability to filter out or kill the virus when the air comes in or out.
Comfort: size, weight, simplicity, interior temperature.
Fitting: The mask should have a very good fit for the face and eliminate the risk of untreated air coming in.
Easy to clean/sterilize to be reused.
Duration per use, without replacements or recharges (in case there is a device involved).
This is a one-round challenge with the following deadlines:
4 weeks for submitting solutions (9th of June) + 6 weeks for evaluation (21st of July)
There will be 3,000 € for the building of a first prototype for a maximum of 2 solutions and a 10,000 € prize for the winner (once testing is successfully completed).
If the solution is patentable, the winner will keep 30% of the patent rights.