[{"id":5,"title":"Press Release: DHS S&T Announces Finalists in $250K Escape Respirator Challenge","date":"Aug 01, 2019","author":"DHS","category":"News","image":"image/news/dhs2.jpeg","description":"S&T issued the Challenge seeking new concepts for a compact, discreetly-carried escape respirator that can be donned quickly for safe egress from smoke-filled, oxygen-deficient, and chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) environments.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\t\t

Washington D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced three finalists for the first stage of the $250,000 Escape Respirator Challenge.

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S&T issued the Challenge seeking new concepts for a compact, discreetly-carried escape respirator that can be donned quickly for safe egress from smoke-filled, oxygen-deficient, and chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) environments.

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“One of DHS S&T’s key priorities is to equip our first responders with technologies that allow them to do their jobs safely and effectively against all hazards,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “I am eager to see the innovative ideas from these finalists developed into technologies that can help first responders evacuate from toxic or smoke-filled environments.”

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Although commercial solutions for escape hoods or respirators exist, most currently-available models lack an oxygen delivery mechanism for respiratory protection when worn in an oxygen-deficient environment, such as a smoke-filled room. They also do not have the small form factor, in packaging or weight reduction, sought through this Challenge. Visit the Escape Respirator Challenge website for more details about DHS S&T’s technology design specifications.

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The first stage of the Challenge called upon the innovation community to submit relevant, useable, effective and feasible concepts that provide oxygen and protect the user against aerosolized CBR hazards. Each finalist will receive $50,000 to expand their concepts and develop working prototypes and advance to Stage II where they will demonstrate their prototypes and compete for a final cash prize of $100,000.

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The finalists are:

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Learn more about the finalists and see videos of their innovative ideas on the “Meet the Finalists” page of the Escape Respirator Challenge website.

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DHS S&T’s prize competitions are designed to tap into innovators both within and outside of government to solve to challenges faced by the Homeland Security Enterprise. DHS S&T’s prize competitions are driven by the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Reauthorization Act of 2010. To learn more, visit DHS S&T’s prize competition website.

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\n\t\n"},{"id":4,"title":"View Our Recent Participant Q&A Webinar","date":"May 01, 2019","author":"DHS","category":"News","image":"img/parallax/genericTopcard.jpg","description":"Participants joined our webinar to get answers from the Respirator Challenge team!","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

Respirator Challenge: Participant Q&A Webinar #2   \n
\n Thur, May 16, 2019

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View the recorded webinar here:    
https://youtu.be/_ffJayg4zRE

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If you have any further questions about the challenge,  
please email questions@respiratorchallenge.org

\n\n\t\n"},{"id":3,"title":"Enter the Escape Respirator Prize Challenge","date":"Jan 29, 2019","author":"DHS","category":"News","image":"image/news/dhs3.jpg","description":"In recent years, prize challenges have become a great way for government agencies to find solutions to some of the toughest hurdles facing our nation. Crowdsourcing multiple perspectives and ideas means we’re more likely to get results that are both impactful and cost-effective, and participants can learn from each other and the official feedback they receive.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\t\t

In recent years, prize challenges have become a great way for government agencies to find solutions to some of the toughest hurdles facing our nation. Crowdsourcing multiple perspectives and ideas means we’re more likely to get results that are both impactful and cost-effective, and participants can learn from each other and the official feedback they receive. It’s in this spirit of friendly innovative competition that I invite you to submit your ideas for a prize challenge from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T): The Escape Respirator Challenge.

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Like our previous competitions, this challenge addresses safety and operational problems affecting homeland security officials. The Escape Respirator Challenge aims to improve escape respirators or hoods, which are personal protective equipment used to help the wearer quickly and safely evacuate from areas affected by aerosolized chemical, biological and radiological hazards. Based on feedback from DHS officials in the field, S&T has determined  two main shortcomings with escape hoods currently on the market.

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Lack of compact design, so the escape respirator is heavy and can’t be carried in small space, like a suit coat inner pocket.

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Lack of oxygen delivery, which makes them less effective in oxygen-deficient environments.

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Currently available escape hoods address one of these issues, but users need both features, a compact design and oxygen delivery system, to be better protected from threats.

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I know what many of you are wondering – how much can I win? S&T will award a total cash prize pool of $250,000 for the Escape Respirator Challenge, which will be distributed over two phases. In Phase I, each of the three finalists will receive $50,000. At the end of Phase II, one winner will be awarded $100,000.

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If you’re interested in participating, you’ll need to register for the challenge by Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5 PM EST. Once you’re registered, applications are due by Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:00pm EST. For full details about this competition and to complete your registration, visit the Escape Respirator website.

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This is a great opportunity to see if your escape hood prototype is up to the test, and I encourage you to join the competition if you think your product can address the current design shortcomings. We’ll share updates about the finalists and winner in the months following the May deadline, so be sure to follow S&T on our social media channels: LinkedInTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr.

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I also encourage you to check the S&T website for information on new prize challenges as they’re announced. We keep a list of Current Competitions in one place to make it easy for you to find the challenge that’s right for you. Best of luck to all the participants!

\n\t\n"},{"id":2,"title":"DHS S&T Challenges Inventors to Help First Responders Breathe Easier","date":"Dec 13, 2018","author":"DHS","category":"News","image":"image/news/dhs1.jpg","description":"The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has launched a competition for new respirator technology to help first responders and evacuators cleanly breathe during chemical, biological, radiological and other hazardous situations. ","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

Homeland Security Today reports:

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has launched a competition for new respirator technology to help first responders and evacuators cleanly breathe during chemical, biological, radiological and other hazardous situations. The winner of the Escape Respirator Challenge will receive a $100,000 prize, plus $50,000 to build a functional model of their design. Second- and third-place winners will also win $50,000 to build their models. 

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DHS found that the current escape hoods and respirators are bulky, do not provide oxygen and are heavy.

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“Through this challenge, we are reaching out to the scientific community for innovative compact design solutions that will eventually help people evacuate from toxic or smoke-filled environments,” said William N. Bryan, acting DHS under secretary for Science and Technology. “This challenge will allow S&T the opportunity to equip first responders and others with essential protective gear.”

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The equipment must be compact, lightweight and provide oxygen.

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“While some current designs have incorporated solutions for one of these shortcomings, none have been found to meet all requirements,” S&T Program Manager Dr. Donald Bansleben said.

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The deadline for registration is 5 p.m. EST on April 11, 2019, and submissions are due at 5 p.m. on May 30. The submissions will go through two rounds of scoring by an expert evaluation panel and finalists will participate in a demonstration panel with a selection committee.

\n\n\t\n"},{"id":1,"title":"DHS S&T Launches $250K Challenge to Develop Concepts for Escape Respirator","date":"Dec 13, 2018","author":"Author","category":"News","image":"img/sample-news-image7.jpg","description":"Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) launched the Escape Respirator Challenge, a $250,000 prize competition that seeks new concepts for an escape respirator solution.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

Washington D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) launched the Escape Respirator Challenge, a $250,000 prize competition that seeks new concepts for an escape respirator solution. This challenge invites the innovation community to submit relevant, useable, effective, and feasible concepts that protects the user against aerosolized chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) hazards and provides oxygen. 

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“Through this challenge, we are reaching out to the scientific community for innovative compact design solutions that will eventually help people evacuate from toxic or smoke-filled environments,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “This Challenge will allow S&T the opportunity to equip first responders and others with essential protective gear.”

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This call for concepts is the first of a two-phase competition with a total cash prize pool of $250,000. At the conclusion of Phase I, up to three finalists will each receive $50,000 from the cash prize pool to build a functioning prototype according to their submitted proposals. Phase I finalists will then participate in a presentation event during Phase II where they will demonstrate their prototypes to compete for a cash grand prize purse of $100,000.

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The overall goal of this challenge is to develop a working prototype for a compact, discreetly carried escape respirator that is capable of being donned rapidly while providing oxygen for safe egress from smoke-filled, oxygen-deficient, and CBR environments. Although commercial solutions exist, they do not have the small form factor, packaging, or weight reduction sought through this challenge.

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Currently available escape hoods or respirators have several shortcomings for all-hazards protection. One shortcoming is an inability of current designs to be packaged compactly such that it can be carried discreetly, such as fitting (conveniently within the inner pocket of a suit coat). A second shortcoming for many current designs is lack of an oxygen delivery mechanism for respiratory protection when worn in an oxygen-deficient environment, such as a smoke-filled room. The third shortcoming is that currently available escape hoods are not as lightweight as desired in the required form factor. “While some current designs have incorporated solutions for one of these shortcomings, none have been found to meet all requirements,” said Dr. Donald Bansleben, S&T Program Manager.

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Those interested in participating in the Escape Respirator Challenge should register no later than Thursday, April 11, 2019, at 5:00 PM Eastern and submit an application no later than Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 5:00 PM Eastern.

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For more information about the Escape Respirator Challenge, visit http://www.respiratorchallenge.org/

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