Ohio Seeks Technologies to Address Opioid Epidemic

Ohio is one step closer to finding new solutions in the battle against drug abuse and addiction. The second phase of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge will accelerate the development of technology in four innovation Challenges. The goal is that these technology-based discoveries will help prevent and treat addiction and overdoses.

“We were thrilled by the outpouring of ideas we received in the first phase of the Technology Challenge,” said Director David Goodman, chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. “We’re eager to move forward with this next step in developing new solutions and saving lives.”

At the request of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich, the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge leverages $8 million of a $20 million commitment to advance new ideas in the battle against drug abuse and addiction. The Challenge is a multi-phase prize competition with escalating prize amounts associated with progress toward developing solutions. The Idea Phase, which concluded in December 2017, collected bold and creative ideas from hundreds of researchers, caregivers, service providers, and citizens from across Ohio, the U.S., and the world.

The Challenge Phase will tap the expertise of the worldwide business and innovation community to advance technical solutions in the following areas:

1) Diagnose: Technologies to rapidly identify individuals at high risk of addiction or overdose. Solutions are expected to come from a variety of disciplines including IT, artificial intelligence, and biological or genetic diagnostics.

2) Prevent: Technologies to eliminate or reduce urges, cravings or symptoms of withdrawal. Solutions are likely to be pharmaceuticals or medical devices that specifically address addictive responses but may also come from other behavior modification innovations.

3) Connect: Technologies to provide immediate and extended access to help for relapse or overdose intervention. Expected solutions are likely to include communication or social media technologies that immediately connect individuals, including those in remote and rural areas, to needed resources.

4) Protect: Technologies to protect first responders and medical professionals from inadvertent exposure to toxic opioid levels. Expected solutions are likely to include ambient detection of opioid residue, medical prophylactics, or protective equipment.

Responses for the Challenge Phase of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge may be submitted at www.opioidtechchallenge.com and are due by July 11, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. US EDT. For the Challenge Phase, up to 12 prize recipients will be announced in September 2018 and will receive $200,000 to advance their solutions. These semi-finalists will be eligible to compete in the final phase of the program, the Product Phase, to further develop their technology for market entry. 

 
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