Covid 19 - Challenge

COVID-19 Challenge

Covid 19 - Challenge

Vale launched a challenge in Brazil - in collaboration with Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein and Mater Dei Health Network - that will provide USD 1 million to expand solutions against COVID-19 including Risk Monitoring and Prevention, Classification and Diagnosis, Patient Monitoring and Intensive Care. In addition, there is a “Open Challenge” category which covers other themes.

To ensure greater access for the population, companies, startups, institutions, government, universities, and professionals that have low or zero-cost solutions that can be deployed to the end-user within 15 (fifteen) days from the approval date are welcome to participate.

We want to accelerate solutions that minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on our society

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein and Hospital Mater Dei play a leading role in defining medical-scientific challenges and criteria for the technical evaluation of the proposals received, in addition to supporting healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators who will gain financial support to streamline their solutions.

Learn more about the winning solutions

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Collaborative Initiative

We are seeking other companies, universities, institutions and others to help us build the challenges, optimize solutions, and co-invest in large-scale production. Sign up here if you are not a proponent and want to collaborate with the challenge.

Know the challenges available

Risk Monitoring and Prevention
Classification/Diagnosis
Patient Monitoring
Intensive Care
Open Challenge

Risk Monitoring and Prevention

It is possible to stem the spread of the disease through educational and preventive measures. This includes identifying areas of risk, educating the population, preventing new infections, and providing care for the citizens involved in essential services. A strong approach to education and prevention is one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the disease.

We are seeking solutions for the following:

  • Enable access to reliable information;
  • Use existing data to improve data quality;
  • Provide prompt protection to citizens involved in essential services;
  • Ensure the supply of protective equipment;
  • Provide needy populations access to basic sanitation and hygiene conditions;
  • Georeference people infected with coronavirus;
  • Identify risk areas;
  • Improve isolation areas

Selection Criteria

The solutions submitted must meet the following requirements:

  • Adherence to the challenges presented
  • Solution maturity and development stage.
  • Not expose users to health hazards
  • Investment volume compatible with the Bid
  • It must be accessible by the general population, that is, free-of-charge or at a low-cost
  • Relevant impact on the community
  • Scalability potential and readiness
  • Entrepreneurial and Technical Capacity of the Team – multidisciplinarity and complementarity

Winning solutions



Mass Testing (Neoprospecta)

Company location: Santa Catarina, Brazil

Neoprospecta submitted a coronavirus mass testing solution that allows several people to be tested simultaneously. This method is similar to the regular PCR* (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test. The difference is that it allows 16 people to be tested at once by increasing the sampling rate, reducing costs, and maintaining accuracy of the results.

With the funding provided by Vale, the company will be able to scale up its testing capacity from 40,000 to 54,000 people/day. 1,500 tests will be donated to the public sector in the states of Ceará and Santa Catarina. These tests will cover 24,000 people.

* Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a method widely used in molecular biology to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.

Click here to access company´s website

Face Shield (Compass 3D)

Company location: Minas Gerais, Brazil

Compass 3D is using industrial 3D printers to produce face masks to protect health care professionals against the coronavirus The masks produced have already been approved by the medical staff at Rede Master Dei de Saúde.

With the funding provided by Vale, the company will be able to scale up its testing capacity from 2,300 to 9,200 units/day. 10% of the units sold will be donated to the public sector for two months, benefitting at least 2,000 health care professionals in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Click here to access company´s website

Air and Mask Disinfecting Devices (Biolambda)

Company location: São Paulo, Brasil

Biolambda submitted a solution to produce masks and recirculating air disinfectant devices for hospital use. The solution consists of a container that disinfects masks and air through air recirculation in a recommended area of ​​up to 150 m². This system uses the UV sterilization method.

With the funding, the company will increase its UVMask (mask disinfecting device) and UVAir (air disinfecting device) production capacity from 200 to 300 units per day. A total of 25 UVMasks and 10 UVAir will be donated to the public sector over the course of five weeks.

Click here to access company´s website

Production of Face Shields (IFCE)

Company location: Ceará, Brazil

The Federal University of Amazonas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas, UFAM) will increase its current production of face shields by 20 times and alcohol gel by five times.

The 6,500 face shields that will be produced over the next 16 weeks, in addition to alcohol-based sanitizers, will be fully donated to health care units in cities in the state of Amazonas.

Click here to access the website

Production of Face Shields (Delfino)

Company location: Minas Gerais, Brazil

Delfino’s solution uses 3D printing to produce face shields. The funding will enable the company to increase its production capacity from 500 to 800 units/day. A total of 40,000 face shields will be donated to public hospitals over the course of 16 weeks.

Production of face shields and acrylic boxes (Faceshield4Life)

Company location: Bahia, Brazil

Faceshield4Life is an initiative developed by prototyping laboratories in Bahia. The proposed solution comprises production of 40,000 face shields and 200 acrylic boxes to be used by health care professionals over the next six weeks.

With the funding, the company will be able to increase its production of face shields from 200 to 300 units/day and acrylic boxes from 10 to 50 units/day. All items will be donated to public hospitals.

Click here to access the website

Ethanol purification kits (UFRJ)

Company location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) proposed the development of six ethanol purification systems for production of 70% alcohol solutions. The systems will be donated to six partnering institutions. UFRJ has processed more than 2,000 liters of ethanol using a simplified version of the proposed system – the content has been analyzed and considered suitable for use in hospitals. The entire alcohol volume produced from these kits will be distributed to health centers.

The funding will enable the production and donation of six systems to different institutions, allowing a total production of approximately 150,000 liters of alcohol monthly.

Production of Face Shields and Alcohol-Based Sanitizers (UFAM)

Company location: Manaus, Brazil

The Federal University of Amazonas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas, UFAM) will increase its current production of face shields by 20 times and alcohol gel by five times. The 6,500 face shields that will be produced over the next 16 weeks, in addition to alcohol-based sanitizers, will be fully donated to health care units in cities in the state of Amazonas.

Remote Vital Signs Monitoring Technology – Binah

Company location: São Paulo, Brazil

The proposal presented by Binah – a Tel Aviv company based in São Paulo – consists of licensing the use of technology for remote monitoring of vital signs (such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiration, and Heart Rate Variability) through any device with a camera. The proposal includes combining this technology with the telemedicine platform of Unimed BH – the partner that will provide assistance and monitor the inhabitants of Belo Horizonte and the metropolitan region in partnership with the city government of Belo Horizonte.

Vale's funding will cover the costs for donation of 39 thousand licenses. Each license will enable the monitoring of a person for three months.

Click here to go to the website

Online Therapy Platform (OrienteMe) 

Company location: São Paulo, Brazil 

The solution submitted by OrienteMe, a company based in São Paulo, consists of a platform that offers online therapy services via video call or messaging. The platform is dedicated for health care professionals and others working on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic, who find themselves in situations of stress and vulnerability.

The funds will be used to hire more psychologists and staff to expand both the assistance capacity and the infrastructure. This target audience will have access to 33,000 subscriptions (each subscription includes a 30-minute session) and these licenses will cover the region for approximately five months.

Click here to access the website

Sterilizing Boxes (First Team 1305)

Location: Ontario, Canada

First Team 1305 is a student robotics team that competes in the FIRST Championship, the world’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students. Their proposal consists of creating a UV sterilizer box that can be built by health centers (the kit with the equipment and instructions is bought and assembled in the unit). The use of an open source (unpatented) technology combined with the concept of "do it yourself" makes the solution accessible.

The funding will enable the production of 50 kits, which will be donated to small and medium medical clinics in Canada.

Click here to access the website

Hemodynamic Monitoring (FloSonics)

Location: Ontario, Canada

FloSonics Medical is a start-up that develops and supplies wearable sensors that improve the clinical management of critically ill patients both inside and outside the hospital. The proposal consists of the production and donation of single-use, wireless and wearable hemodynamic monitors that provide physicians simple access to information about the cardiovascular status of a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, transmitted via Bluetooth to an iPad or iPhone.

With the funding provided, the company will be able to scale up the production capacity from 100 to 1,000 devices per week. The monitors will be donated directly to hospitals in Canada and possibly to Brazil.

Click here to access the website

The initiative received 1,858 proposed solutions. Learn more.

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Phases of the Challenge

03/28/2020
1
Call for challenge
04/05/2020
2
Deadline for registration 
04/17/2020
3
Deadline for evaluating solutions
05/08/2020
4
Winners announcement on Vale's website
SUBMITTING THE PROPOSAL

Proponents must submit their proposals on the Challenge website. Proposal submissions will be open from March 28th onwards.

SELECTION AND DISCLOSURE OF PROPOSALS

The proposals will be selected by the bid’s technical evaluation committee, on a continuous flow according to the criteria set out in this regulation, and announced on the Challenge website on a weekly basis.

TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO PROPONENTS

The funds approved for each proposal will be transferred to the proponent upon documentary and legal validation and signature of the cooperation agreement, within 48 hours.

IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULT FOLLOW-UP

Those whose solutions have been approved solutions and have received funds – financial or other resources –, as described in this regulation, undertake to provide proof of application of funds and results as intended in the respective cooperation agreement.

Benefits

  • Up to US$ 200,000
    (at the evaluation committee’s discretion)
  • Access to other partners
  • Access to Vale’s AIC (Artificial Intelligence Center)

How to participate?

I want to submit my solution

Access the challenge call Registrations closed

I don´t have a solution but I want to collaborate with this initiative

Registrations to collaborate with this initiative are closed

Questions?

Check out the main questions about the challenge

Is it necessary to have a business entity to submit the challenge proposal?

Yes. Only registered companies with a valid business entity number are allowed to submit their proposals. Private and public companies that comply with item 2.2 of this call out are welcome to apply. Individuals, associated or not with other organizations, other associations that don’t have a valid business entity number won’t be considered in this call.

Is it possible to submit more than one project with the same business entity number?

Yes. If the applicant submits more than one project, they need to bring different projects/initiatives. If one or more projects are selected in this call, it will not be allowed to transfer funds from one project to another. If the applicant submits the same project more than once, all projects will be disqualified. Projects from different business entities that are considerably similar and with identical submissions will be disqualified.

My project fits multiple challenges in this program, and I can’t select multiple options. What should I do?

Select one of the challenges that you believe your project fits the most. You can add in the observation field of the application all the other challenges that you think your project might fit.

Is it possible to change the submission form after submission?

No, it is not. It is not recommended to submit another form with the exact same solution, as duplications and very similar – almost identical – submissions will be disqualified.

Is my project / solution adequate for the challenge?

The team will not pre-evaluate your submission by any means. We recommend that you submit your project and let the committees, partners and its representatives evaluate it during the process of the program. Each submitted project will be evaluated. Vale and its partners will not be giving feedback to the applicants.

Is there a limit of length on the submission form?

No, there is no limit of characters. Please be as clear, direct and complete as possible, in order to help us evaluate you.

How mature does my solution / project need to be?

It is a requirement that the solution be able to be implemented up to 15 days after signing the contract with Vale. If the project requires any governmental certification or any other authorization to be deployed, its approval could be impacted.

Are there any restrictions on how to use the money?

Yes. It is required that the money be spent on the development of the submitted solution. It is forbidden to fund any kind of administrative expenditures with the amount donated by Vale. The evaluating committee will require details on how the money will be spent in order to deliberate the amount that will be made available to the finalist solutions. The submitted project will be audited and the company that submitted it will need to store and share the related expenses records with Vale. If any expense is not evidenced, the corresponding amount should be returned to Vale.

Can I submit my project on April 5th?

Yes. You’re allowed to submit your project up to 11:59pm of the deadline date.

Does Vale require exclusivity?

No. There are no Exclusivity or Intellectual Property agreements in this program. Any previous or subsequent IP owned by the project submitter will remain the property of the project submitter. Vale requires only that the submitting company prove its impact and development, as agreed on items 1.4, 7.5a and 7.5c of the program.

Do you have any questions about the process, challenge objectives or whether your solution fits the required profile?

Send an e-mail to info@valecovid19challenge.com.

Click here to learn more about all Vale's initiatives regarding Coronavirus