BARDA DRIVe, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), seeks to understand the barriers and challenges associated with the next generation of innovative mask designs. The Mask Innovation Challenge is an initiative that aims to support the development of innovative masks that can protect Americans from respiratory pathogens. Through the following Request for Information, BARDA and NIOSH are soliciting input on judging criteria and testing methodology for the Mask Innovation Challenge, as well as identify potential stakeholders that are interested in supporting the challenge.

Interested parties should read the solicitation in full and prepare a response to be submitted to DRIVeComments@hhs.gov by 5:00PM EST on 01/15/2021 for consideration.





Overview

BARDA DRIVe is seeking to understand and develop tools such as challenges and prize competitions that the Federal government and others can use to engage a broad range of stakeholders, including the general public, in developing solutions to difficult problems. Challenges and prize competitions rely on competitive structures to drive innovation among participants and usually offer rewards (financial and/or other) to winners and/or finalists. BARDA may use the information submitted from interested parties to develop challenges and prize competitions to address key respiratory device-related issues. BARDA DRIVe is not soliciting input on BARDA’s broader R&D efforts on COVID-19 or other programs.


The Mask Innovation Challenge is brought to you by:

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Download RFI

Updated on December 17th, 2020




Challenge Rules & Eligibility

Submission Requirements: This part is in development.

Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition: To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—

  1. Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules promulgated by HHS
  2. Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section
  3. In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; Note: Non-U.S. citizens and nonpermanent residents can participate as a member of a team that otherwise satisfies the eligibility criteria but will not be eligible to win a monetary prize (in whole or in part); however, their participation as part of a winning team, if applicable, may be recognized when results are announced
  4. May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment (all non-HHS federal employees must consult with their agency Ethics Official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a COMPETES Act prize)
  5. Shall not be an HHS employee
  6. Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop submissions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award
  7. Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission.
  8. Participants must include a publicly-shareable abstract summary (no more than 200 words) of the prototype solution. By submitting an entry, Phase 2 participants automatically agree to allow this abstract to be published on the BARDA challenge site. Phase 1 winners that wish to participate in Phase 2 must submit a separate Phase 2 application.

Judging Criteria

Phase 1:

A judging panel will consider each submission’s alignment with each of these criteria and will recommend their selection as a semi-finalist. Feasibility – Submission demonstrates a reasonable rationale for the design of the mask, intuitive design that can be used without fitting or prior training, and contains components that are easily accessible.

Innovation:

Submission advances the state of the art in filtration efficacy, comfort, and utility of masks used by the general public.

Barriers:

Submission addresses barriers and limitations of currently available masks and proposed innovations are based on scientific and technical merit.

Design and Desirability:

Submission demonstrates how the proposed solution meets the needs of the challenge.

Phase 2 Criteria:

Will be announced with future updates to this notice.



Process

1. Design (2 months) – Respondents will be asked to submit their concepts for a redesigned mask according to the published criteria. 1-3 regional winners (with 3 – 5 regions) will be selected to move on to the second phase of the challenge, and will be awarded up to $5K each to create a prototype of their concept. Special emphasis will be provided to concepts that utilize sustainable materials or focus on a sustainable, multi-use design. a. Innovation Tracks: i. Cloth Facemasks: Designs in this track focus on improving upon already existing designs for cloth facemasks. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH and ASTM. ii. Other Technologies: Designs in this track incorporate new technologies that have not yet been included in the mask designs. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH for surgical masks at a minimum.

FAQ

1. Design (2 months) – Respondents will be asked to submit their concepts for a redesigned mask according to the published criteria. 1-3 regional winners (with 3 – 5 regions) will be selected to move on to the second phase of the challenge, and will be awarded up to $5K each to create a prototype of their concept. Special emphasis will be provided to concepts that utilize sustainable materials or focus on a sustainable, multi-use design. a. Innovation Tracks: i. Cloth Facemasks: Designs in this track focus on improving upon already existing designs for cloth facemasks. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH and ASTM. ii. Other Technologies: Designs in this track incorporate new technologies that have not yet been included in the mask designs. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH for surgical masks at a minimum.

Resources for Competition Partners

1. Design (2 months) – Respondents will be asked to submit their concepts for a redesigned mask according to the published criteria. 1-3 regional winners (with 3 – 5 regions) will be selected to move on to the second phase of the challenge, and will be awarded up to $5K each to create a prototype of their concept. Special emphasis will be provided to concepts that utilize sustainable materials or focus on a sustainable, multi-use design.
a. Innovation Tracks:
i. Cloth Facemasks: Designs in this track focus on improving upon already existing designs for cloth facemasks. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH and ASTM.
ii. Other Technologies: Designs in this track incorporate new technologies that have not yet been included in the mask designs. Designs in this track should aim to meet the standards set forth by NIOSH for surgical masks at a minimum.


IP Rights

Intellectual Property (IP) Rights:

  • Participants are free to discuss their submission and the ideas or technologies that it contains with other parties, are encouraged to share ideas/technologies publicly, are encouraged to collaborate or combine with other teams to strengthen their solutions, and are free to contract with any third parties. Participants should be aware that any agreement signed or obligation undertaken in regard to their participation in this prize competition that conflicts with the prize competition rules, terms, and conditions may result in disqualification of the participant’s submission.
  • By participating in this prize competition, each participant (whether participating singly or in a group) warrants that he or she is the sole author or owner of, or has the right to use, any copyrightable works that the submission comprises, that the works are wholly original with the participant (or is an improved version of an existing work that the participant has sufficient rights to use and improve), and that the submission does not infringe any copyright or any other rights of any third party of which participant is aware. In addition, each participant (whether participating singly or in a group) and each entity grants to HHS an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty-free nonexclusive worldwide license to reproduce, publish, post, link to, share, and display publicly (e.g., on websites) the abstracts on the web or elsewhere. Each participant will retain all other intellectual property rights in their submissions, as applicable. To participate in the prize competition, each participant must warrant that there are no legal obstacles to providing the above-referenced nonexclusive licenses of participant rights to the federal government. To receive an award, winners will retain ownership of their intellectual property rights in the solution, but must grant to the federal government the nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid up license to practice, or have practiced for or on its behalf, the solution throughout the world for federal purposes. Each participant also warrants that the work is free of security threats and/or malware.
  • Each participant must clearly delineate any Intellectual Property (IP) and/or confidential commercial information contained in a submission that the participant wishes to protect as proprietary data.
  • All materials submitted to HHS as part of a submission become HHS agency records. Any confidential commercial or financial information contained in a submission must be clearly designated at the time of submission.
  • If the submission includes any third party works (such as third party content or open source code), the participant must be able to provide, upon request, documentation of all appropriate licenses and releases for use of such third party works. If the participant cannot provide documentation of all required licenses and releases, HHS reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify the submission.