Life Sciences Prize Group

The goal of the Life Sciences Prize Group is to stimulate innovative breakthroughs in molecular biology, stem cell research, bionics, organogenesis, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence in order to improve health care and extend healthy living. XPRIZE looks to accelerate the real-world impact of science, technology, and information related to the worldwide optimization of health and the elimination of illness and disease.


Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE

The dire need to improve healthcare and health in the U.S. is a problem whose solution has evaded the brightest minds. The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a $10 million competition to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies, making definitive health assessment available directly to “health consumers.” These technologies on a consumer’s mobile device will be presented in an appealing, engaging way that brings a desire to be incorporated into daily life. Advances in fields such as artificial intelligence, wireless sensing, imaging diagnostics, lab-on-a-chip, and molecular biology will enable better choices in when, where, and how individuals receive care, thus making healthcare more convenient, affordable, and accessible. The winner will be the team that most accurately diagnoses a set of diseases independent of a healthcare professional or facility and that provides the best consumer user experience. Visit the competition website to learn more.

This prize is made possible by a generous grant from the Qualcomm Foundation.

TRICORDER is a trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. Used under license.

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Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE

The Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE is a $2.25 million global competition to stimulate the development of health sensors and sensing technology. The competition will enable new technologies and bring about entirely new ways to monitor, access, and improve health and well-being. For example, continuous monitoring through sensors and sensing technologies can significantly contribute to the reduction of healthcare costs by keeping people healthier, avoiding unnecessary hospitalization, and ensuring that those who need urgent care can get it sooner. Radical innovation in health sensor and sensing technology will thus pave the way to smarter, more connected and intelligent digital health solutions. So we can all be connected to better healthcare. Visit the competition website to learn more.

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Archon Genomics XPRIZE

In 2006 XPRIZE announced the Archon Genomics XPRIZE, offering $10 million to the first team that could rapidly and accurately sequence 100 whole human genomes to a standard never before achieved at a cost of $10,000 or less per genome. After careful consideration, we decided that the competition was not incentivizing the technological changes that our prize chair, Dr. Craig Venter, our sponsors Stewart and Marilyn Blusson, and the XPRIZE board had intended. What we realized is that genome sequencing technology is plummeting in cost and increasing in speed independent of our competition, moving moving quickly towards the goals we set for the prize. For this reason, we decided to cancel an XPRIZE for the first time ever. Visit the competition website to learn more.

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Concepts Under Consideration

Brain-Machine XPRIZE

Understanding the functioning of the brain is an ongoing Grand Challenge in life sciences. The objective of this XPRIZE is to develop a reliable, non-harmful interface between the digital world and the human cortex. These capabilities, at a minimum, will be beneficial to those with various neuromuscular diseases (ALS, MS, spinal cord injuries), but in its most impactful future would allow the co-evolution of humanity and the digital world.

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Cryopreservation XPRIZE

This competition offers two benefits to humanity. First, the ability to increase the number and availability of transplantable organs for patients with organ failure; and second, the ability to move forward the science of human cryopreservation which offers the ability to preserve patients with incurable diseases until a time when medical science has sufficiently progressed to be able to treat the disease.
The potential value for organ cryopreservation is immense on several levels. First, the technology could have potential for the preservation of internal organs that currently have only a brief window of viability after being removed from a donor.

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Jurassic Park XPRIZE

Given the march of technology and the expansion of humanity over the surface of Earth, we are living during one of the highest rates of species extinction in the history of this planet. The goal of this XPRIZE is to find a safe, repeatable, and reliable fashion to bring back extinct species to rebuild a population.

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Lie Detector XPRIZE

The ability to determine with 100 percent accuracy whether a person is telling the truth would transform our legal system, and potentially liberate many individuals incarcerated incorrectly in our prison systems. Today, there is no system able to accomplish this. Breakthroughs in brain computer interface and brain imaging systems could provide a viable solution.

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Organogenesis XPRIZE

Today, there is a shortage of available transplantable organs. More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are on a waiting list for an organ and nearly 10,000 patients die while on long waiting lists for compatible organs. Even for those that do receive transplants, the toll of immunosuppressive drugs is also high because the majority of them act non-selectively. With this prize, the solid organ transplant wait list can be eliminated and the number of lives saved by organ/tissue replacement can be increased.

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Rare Disease XPRIZE

Rare diseases, defined as those diseases affecting less than 200,000 people, are often ignored in traditional life sciences R&D, leaving many unknowns in regard to their causality and development. An important mechanism to unlocking this area lies with first understanding the genetic sequence of a population of patients with the rare (or orphan) diseases. With this XPRIZE, it is possible for rare diseases to be more easily studied and the genetic basis of their diseases determined. Once the genetic basis for rare or orphan diseases is illuminated, it will open up opportunities for research teams to finally develop treatments.

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Bionics XPRIZE

There are nearly six million people living without the use of their legs from paralysis or loss due to infection, injury, disease, post-operative complications, or trauma. Today, their only alternative for mobility is a wheelchair or a walker. There are tens of millions of aged adults whose functional mobility are greatly reduced and may be driven to institutional care as a result.

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Robotic Home Helper XPRIZE

In the U.S., the number of elderly has increased by a factor of 11 in the past century, while the population under 65 years old has only tripled. As a result, there are more and more elderly, but fewer younger adults available to care for them. Assistive technology is crucial for baby boomers who are searching for solutions to help them care for aging parents. With this XPRIZE, robots become accepted as standard members of households, eventually developing into indispensable helpers.

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