Innovators wanted: FDA issues $500K challenge for better food pathogen detection
- The 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge is open to any participant to address the challenge of effectively testing for Salmonella and other microbial pathogens.
- The funding is available as a results of the COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which grants federal agencies the authority to initiate competitions to spur innovation and advance their agencies’ missions.
- Roughly one in six American gets sick from a foodborne illness each year, resulting in 3,000 deaths, according to CDC statistics.
This competition, which was announced September 23, is open to any participant. But the most likely contestants will include food safety experts, including scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
The entries will be judged by a panel of food safety and pathogen detection experts from the FDA, the CDC, and the USDA. The FDA's main priority is to enhance Salmonella detection -- unsurprising considering that the virus is the leading cause of death related to foodborne illnesses. Salmonella poisoning leads to 19,000 hospitalizations each year and 380 deaths.
Concepts are due to the FDA by November 9. While the winner will receive the grand prize, finalists will receive $20,000 each. For more information, you can visit the challenge website here.
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