Health Canada is putting their money where its mouth is, asking for help with a drug checking technology challenge. Most of us are aware of the opioid crisis here in Canada and around the world. For more information, please check out the detailed article in the link above. It describes the challenge to discover or modify the technology involved in detecting lethal, potent drugs like Fentanyl as well as other toxic substances. The article also contains additional links for those wishing to increase their knowledge of the crisis we are facing as well as one for substance abusers too.
Drug checking technology is out there, it just needs to be improved for increased reliability, accuracy, adaptability, ease of use as well as affordability. Any innovative (for or not-for-profit) Canadian post-secondary institution, company, research, or industry association is eligible to apply, although only the selected semi-finalists will be able to compete for the pilot phase and grand prize.
This challenge was launched on October 2nd, 2018 and the deadline for application is February 1, 2019. That means there is no time to waste! Semi-finalists will be announced in February, finalists in June, and grand prize winners in January 2020. Oh, and the prize is a cool million dollars.
It must be my thirty years of laboratory work; this challenge certainly piqued my interest.
Update: We Have a Winner in the Drug Checking Technology Challenge!
We now have a winner of this challenge. Congratulations to Alexander Boukin and Ari Forman of Skatr in Ontario. Read all about it in the link above.