NEWS: XPRIZE Offers $5M to Develop a Rapid, Affordable COVID-19 Test

XPRIZE, an LA nonprofit, is offering a $5 million prize for a company that can develop a rapid COVID-19 test.

It’s a six-month competition to develop faster, cheaper and easier to use COVID-19 testing, at scale.

According to the founders of XPRIZE, COVID-19 testing is “not equal, and it needs to be.”

“Many communities across the world have limited or no access to regular testing,” according to the XPRIZE website.

XPRIZE intends for anyone, anywhere to receive a COVID-19 test and get results within hours. Some of that is already happening, especially in San Diego, with Helix’s mega testing lab. See related article here.

The goal of the XPRIZE competition is to develop innovative, scalable COVID-19 testing.

The winning teams will develop COVID-19 tests that are “radically affordable,” compared to what’s currently available on the market.

The contest is looking for tests that will be equal to (or better than) commercial offerings at measuring sensitivity, specificity, and limit of detection, with a maximum turnaround time of 12 hours.

The winning teams will also be able to successfully provide and conduct a minimum of 500 tests per week, at a live testing site within 60 days, and have the potential to scale their solutions to thousands of tests per week.

XPRIZE teams can enter from anywhere in the world, in every shape and size. Teams can be comprised of university groups, high school students, startups and innovators, small to midsize companies, families or individuals.

Because of the complex, technical nature of this competition, along with its rapid timeline, XPRIZE expects most entrants will already be working on testing.

However, XPRIZE encourages any and all interested parties to apply. Registering to create or join a team is the first step.

Register here.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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