The Army has asked “innovators across the nation” to come forward with concept prototype ventilators, as part of the effort to thwart the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
The Army Acquisition Executive would award $5,000 to innovators whose ideas are deemed worthy. These innovators then would have the chance to present their ideas to the xTech COVID-19 panel for evaluation. Ultimately, winners could receive prizes of $100,000, to use in development of a concept prototype. Should technologies warrant it, the Army could award additional contracts for production and deployment of the devices.
“The Army seeks a low-cost, readily manufacturable emergency ventilator to quickly augment ventilator capacity in the exigent COVID-19 epidemic,” the service said in a special notice. “The technology solution must provide a rapid-response breathing apparatus capable of short-term, rugged field operation.”
The device would have to be easy to maintain and service, have a small footprint, require minimal components and be suitable for mass production. It would be used in field hospitals as they are ramping up infrastructure, to include generators, power supply and pressurized oxygen.
The submission process took place during the first half of this month. The Army promised to consider all submissions as “privileged information,” assuring innovators that the service remains a “strong proponent of deliberate intellectual property rights and management.”