Ohio has launched the second phase of a technology challenge aimed at solving the opioid crisis. The goal is that these technology-based discoveries will help prevent and treat addiction and overdoses.
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.
5 projects were funded during the Idea Phase. Three projects focused on using virtual reality and traditional addiction protocols to help people quit using opioids. The other two projects looked at how to assess risk factors for addiction and prevent addiction in teenagers. Ohio awarded each project $10,000 to build on their ideas.
The second phase calls on developers to focus on four key areas – diagnosis, prevention, protection and connecting individuals with recovery resources. Submissions will need to be ready or nearly ready to try pilot implementations. 12 winners will be awarded $200,000 each 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.
Full details on the project including the five ideas challenge winners can be found here.