Since the pandemic for more than a year, we have seen all kinds of face masks, from completely unsafe fashions to RGB nightmares, not to mention numerous other fashion choices. However, if you think you might have an idea of a better mask and hope that more people want to wear it, the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) has announced a project aimed at designing “next-generation masks.” Competition, this potential is great. A total prize of $500,000 awaits the winners.
The Face Mask Innovation Challenge was created in cooperation with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, an organization under CDOS).
It aims to solve some common complaints about face masks. For example, they will atomize glasses, irritate the skin, and become uncomfortable. Obstruct communication and may allow COVID-19 particles to enter from the side.
The competition is divided into two stages. The first stage focuses on “design” and is divided into two stages. One stage considers the redesign of existing face masks, and the other stage focuses on new technologies and new materials.
The submission should include the actual schematic diagram of the proposed mask, and NIOSH stated that it may also be tested in the future. Up to 10 winners will be produced in the first stage, and each winner will receive US$10,000 to help them make mask prototypes.
The second “proof of concept” stage will require contestants to respond to hypothetical scenarios with brand-new face mask designs, rather than based on any existing masks.
Participants in the second stage will submit physical prototypes of their masks for NIOSH testing. Up to five winners in the second stage will share the total prize pool of $400,000. NIOSH and BARDA said that more details about the second phase will be provided in the future.
Holding a design competition to find “better” masks may produce some practical solutions, but apart from that, I think this reflects that even if most people are vaccinated, masks may be more effective in our lives. The bigger the role.
This is not to say that the masks you may already have are not valid; they are. There are indeed many problems with the use of masks. Solving complaints about mask design is one direction, but another big issue is usability. Mask manufacturers have not been able to consistently meet demand.
For example, it is not as easy to obtain N95 and KN95 (the two frequently recommended masks can increase the penetration of fabric varieties). There are also many activities here.
The long-term impact of offshore medical supplies manufacturing has affected supply, but so has the shortage of major mask manufacturing materials such as meltblown textiles.
There is also the problem of forged masks. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 60% of KN95 in the United States is not as effective in filtering COVID-19 particles as indicated on its label.
The Biden administration has made plans to force people to create more necessary pandemic supplies and alleviate some of these problems, but it is important to remember that building better masks is only one aspect of a larger strategy.
There is no guarantee that more people will wear award-winning masks because they will not fog their glasses.