The US authorities is providing $500,000 (£360,000) in prize cash for folks to design a brand new era of face masks.
The Division of Well being and Human Companies has launched the competitors – obtainable to Individuals solely – which is known as Masks Innovation Problem: Constructing Tomorrow’s Masks.
In a post announcing the challenge, officers stated that pores and skin irritation can happen when masks are worn for extended durations of time, glasses can get steamed up, and folks can have issue speaking.
It’s hoped the problem will “enhance the consolation, utility, and protecting capabilities of merchandise which might be worn throughout day-to-day actions by most people when bodily distancing just isn’t potential”.
One other situation that the competitors is searching for to treatment is the truth that not many masks on sale now have been examined to indicate how efficient they’re.
The prospectus stated: “As well as, many masks which might be presently obtainable tout unconfirmed protecting capabilities that lack scientific proof to assist such claims.
“General, there’s a have to develop higher designs, supplies, and applied sciences which might be extra acceptable to wearers and that guarantee quantified measures of efficiency.”
An preliminary design competitors will see as much as 10 entrants obtain $10,000 (£7,232) every with the intention to develop prototypes.
A second spherical will then happen which can be a proof of idea primarily based contest.
It will see $400,000 (£289,310) break up between 5 winners.
Within the problem’s description, it says the intention is “to develop progressive and efficient designs for mass-producible, low-cost-per-use gadgets to be worn by most people with the intention to present safety from respiratory illness pathogens”.
It provides: “Moreover, customers of those gadgets ought to be capable of put them on and put on them with out in depth becoming procedures or sophisticated consumer directions.”
The deadline to enter the competitors is 21 April.
The necessities for entrants states: “Within the case of a personal entity, shall be included in and keep a main office in america, and within the case of a person, whether or not taking part singly or in a gaggle, shall be a citizen or everlasting resident of america.”