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Mask Competition Seeks New Designs with up to $500,000 in Prizes
Calling all mask designers! As the temperatures and humidity start to increase, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have partnered together to issue a new mask design challenge. The goal of the challenge is to identify new low-cost mask designs for daily use that are more comfortable in all weather, including the hot and humid summer months, without compromising durability or efficacy.

Despite the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, many global health authorities still advise the use of masks in public areas. However, there has been some resistance to continual mask wearing due to factors such as contact dermatitis with prolonged wear, physical discomfort, fogging of eyeglasses, and difficulty communicating. To combat these challenges, BARDA and NIOSH are offering up to $500,000 in prizes for new mask designs that protect against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. 

The competition will be held in three phases. All Phase 1 applications must be submitted by April 21, 2021 at 5:00pm EDT. For additional information and to submit a design, click here: 


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