Innovators: Apply Your Technology to Address the Opioid Problem in the U.S.

Ohio rewards entrepreneurs who offer technology solutions to address drug abuse and addiction

With $8 million allocated towards addressing the nation’s devastating struggle with opioid abuse and addiction, Ohio is putting its money where its mouth is. Through a three-phase initiative, the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, the innovation and entrepreneurial community is being called upon to apply technology in new and creative ways to advance solutions and address a widespread problem that’s affecting communities across the nation. And now we’re down to one month left to get involved and make a difference.

The first phase of the challenge, the Idea Phase, launched in October 2017 and collected bold and creative ideas to accelerate solutions around the opioid issue from hundreds of researchers, caregivers, service providers and citizens from across Ohio, the U.S. and the world. Now in the second phase, the Challenge Phase, the state is turning to the innovation community—YOU—to leverage existing technologies to 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.”

The current phase needs your participation. With more than $8 million in total committed to the Opioid Technology Challenge and $200,000 being pledged to the best proposals in this second phase, your technology could help move solutions forward in this fight against drug addiction and abuse.

Submissions are being accepted around the four following areas of impact:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

To be eligible for a $200,000 reward for helping move this important initiative forward, proposals must be submitted by July 11, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. US EDT. Up to 12 prize recipients will be announced in September 2018 and be eligible to compete in the final phase of the program, the Product Phase, which will see even more resources allocated to help advance these technologies towards market entry.

Read more about the Challenge Phase and submit your proposals at

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