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Please read all of the application requirements before completing each section. All applications must be submitted in English. Portions of your application, including the Proposal Title, Technical Abstract, and Video, may be published on this website; the remainder of your application will only be viewed by prize administrators and judges.

Be sure to review your application as the judges will see it, and confirm your changes have been saved. When you have completed all of the requirements, a message will be displayed on the screen. At that point, you can submit your final application. Once you have submitted the application, you will no longer be able to make changes.

You must submit your application no later than Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 5:00 PM Eastern.


Please provide a title for your proposal. This title may be displayed on the competition website post-submission so please be descriptive.


Provide a brief summary description of the technology you are proposing to either adapt or create to protect an end user against aerosolized chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) hazards and provide delivery of oxygen. Your Technical Abstract should be contained in a single paragraph. Focus on delivering a compelling overview so that the Evaluation Panel members assigned to score your application will want to read more. Therefore, the paragraph should not require any other context to explain clearly your proposed technology. This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression, so make every word count.


Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology. Provide the estimated technology readiness level for the technology behind your proposal. We anticipate that most of the proposals submitted will be at TRL 1, TRL 2, or TRL 3.


Describe why you selected the Technology Readiness Level in the previous section. Provide supporting statements that back-up your selection.


The following information is required to capture a basic understanding of the leadership, structure, vision, and capabilities of the people working on this project. Individuals, teams of individuals, and organizations may apply. While government agencies cannot register or apply, individuals affiliated with government agencies can be recognized as part of a team so long as no governmental resources are used to develop the submission or perform actual work leading to prototype.

CAPABILITIES (250 words)

Describe your or your team’s skills, capacity, and experience to deliver the proposed solution. Be sure to include core competencies and how they apply to your solution, any relevant past projects or experience, and any other additional details that support your ability to deliver a prototype of your solution.


Here’s your opportunity to provide the details of your proposed technology for the Escape Respirator Challenge. Be sure to emphasize how your proposed solution aligns with the four criteria that will be used to assess each valid application (see Scoring Rubric).

Each solution must demonstrate a clear understanding of the problem currently holding back progress on this type of technology and how your approach unlocks the solution. To achieve a deeper understanding of your idea, convince those reviewing your application that you understand the greater context of limited visibility, oxygen-deficient, and CBR environments in which your technology may be used.


Describe the technology that you plan to prototype. How does it meet the goals of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to protect the end user against aerosolized chemical, biological and radiological hazards? How does it meet the need of being donned rapidly while providing delivery of oxygen for safe egress? Focus on how your technology will meet the Design Guidelines that the Department of Homeland Security Security Science and Technology Directorate dhas identified. If you plan to build on an existing product or technology, describe the baseline and specific changes you intend to make. If you are creating a new technology, provide an explanation for that decision and a summary of the principles of operation.


Build on the overview of your technology, and offer a complementary description of how your technology is suitable for use in limited visibility, oxygen-deficient, and CBR environments. How might end users use your technology to safely egress an environment? Explain your understanding of the necessary operations or tactics critical to overcoming any local implementation challenges.

USABILITY (150 words)

Describe one or more scenarios of how an end user will use your solution. How quickly would she be able to put on the solution in a low/no light setting? Is there any training that an end user would need in order to use your solution? What does the end user need to do to activity oxygen flow? Be sure to include a description of how your solution will protect a wearer’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

FORM FACTOR (150 words)

Describe the form factor for your technology. List the packaged and unpackaged size and weight of your solution. What materials will you use to create your solution? How do they meet the heat-resistance and transparency Design Guidelines? Are the materials water resistant? Will the solution be transportable on a commercial aircraft?

PROTECTION (150 words)

Indicate what types of hazards your technology will protect against. We recognize that it may be challenging to deliver a solution that protects against all three types of hazards (chemical, biological, radiation). If there are one or more types of hazards for which your solution is better suited, please describe which ones they are. How does the end user check if the devise is put on properly (e.g., fit test)?


Describe the oxygen delivery system for your solution. Why did you choose this method of delivery? What is the maximum amount of breathable air your solution provides and how long will the air last? Please provide two estimates: one assuming that the end user is an active or stressed state and one assuming the end user is in a resting state.

DURABILITY (150 words)

One of the intended uses of this technology is for end users to carry it with them. As a result, the solution may not be used for some period of time. What is the estimated shelf life of your technology? What range of temperature and humidity will the solution be able to function in? Eventually, we intend for the successful solution to meet National Institute of Occupational Standards and Health (NIOSH) standards with further test and evaluation after challenge completion. How will you plan for meeting these standards?


Explain who owns the intellectual property of your proposed technology. If you are building on existing or off-the-shelf technology, detail the permissions you have to use that technology. If you are part of a team, indicate which team members own the intellectual property.


Describe the commercial viability and manufacturability of your proposed technology. What is the projected production cost per unit, with rationale, for a quantity of 10 units and a quantity of 150 and 1,000 units?


If your solution does not meet some of the requirements in the Design Guidelines, please describe why you’ve made the choices you did in proposing your solution. This is also your opportunity to describe any outstanding issues that you could not explain in any other sections. What makes your solution unique?


If your team is named a Finalist, you will have six months to build your prototype. In chronological order, identify the milestones for those six months. If you have existing technology that you are augmenting, describe the initial state as well as milestones.


Describe the milestones and timeline needed to build your prototype if your team is named a Finalist.


Please offer a general overview for how you would use the award if you are named as a Finalist. This Budget Narrative should complement your project plan.


You are required to submit a video presentation that captures your own pitch for why your approach should be funded. You will upload a short digital film using YouTube. Set the Privacy Settings on your video to Public or Unlisted; do not set them to Private. Your video may be extracted from your submission and made available to the public.

Your video should comply with the following guidelines. If it does not, your submission may be invalid and no longer eligible for an award.

Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch: 

Hone your content:


If you are named as a Finalist and awarded $50,000, please note the following: