A poor testing situation may hamper to the full-back into the usual rhythm of life after the COVID-19 pandemic's quarantine. The problem lies in the small number of tests and other issues, such as the low speed of processing the results. It can interfere with maintaining a safe environment in schools and offices.
XPrize has partnered with OpenCovidScreen to launch a new $5 million Rapid COVID Testing competition to solve this problem. Teams can compete in the At Home, Point-of-Care, Distributed Lab, or High-Throughout Lab categories. Each of them refers to a specific testing location. The organizers hope to get as many possible solutions as possible because they encourage the use of various technologies. Participants will be judged on "overall innovation of solution, appropriate performance, turnaround time, scaling properties and frequency enabled, ease-of-use and cost of the solution."
Researchers and scientists from all over the world will be able to take part in the competition. As planned by the organizers, five winning teams will be selected in the end, each of which will receive a prize of $1 million. The winners will receive half of the funds after their idea is approved. Then they will be tasked with implementing pilot projects. The winners will get the other half of the award after the successful completion of the pilot projects. The overall timeline is flexible, but XPrize hopes to speed up some of the projects as much as possible so they can get useful solutions by early 2021.
In addition to this prize pool, XPrize and OpenCovidScreen have also announced a $50 million COVID Apollo Project joint fund supported by various science investors and companies. The goal of this fund is to accelerate the use of the best technologies and ideas that emerge from the XPrize Rapid COVID Testing competition, to scale them up and bring them to market.