US Government offers 1 million dollars for protective suit against Ebola


An Internet crowdsourcing initiative from the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) offers $1 million for the best, novel design for an anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers fighting the Ebola outbreak.

Ebola is a disease that can spread rapidly through bodily fluids. According to the World Health Organization the most infectious fluids are blood, faeces and vomit, although the virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. The virus can also be transmitted indirectly, through contact contaminated objects and surfaces.

More and more workers are getting infected, despite the strict measures. That is why the Usaid started the initiative called ‘’Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development.’ Usaid is searching for the best anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers who are fighting the Ebola outbreak. They are also looking for suits that provide cooling shields given the humid conditions in Africa and suits that are designed to be reusable. Each successful design accepted by the agency is capable of being awarded $1 million, ahead of any production run.

Many of the personal protection suits are usable one-time only and when they are thrown away without proper care, they increase the risk of accidental contamination.

Today (25 October 2014) there are more than then thousand people infected with Ebola all around the world. Already 4.992 people died, because of this virus. Especially Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are heavily affected. There is still no medication against the virus, it is therefore important that the virus does not spread further.

Do you think crowdsourcing is a good idea to find the best anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers fighting the Ebola outbreak?



3 thoughts on “US Government offers 1 million dollars for protective suit against Ebola

  1. I think it is a really good idea to use crowdsourcing to create an anti-contamination suit. Ebola is all over the news, so by now most people have heard of it. And they keep hearing about it because they haven’t been able to successfully stop the spreading. People are starting to become fearful that ebola may spread to other parts of the world and there is even talks to stop flights from coming out of ebola stricken areas. So this idea of using crowdsourcing for the suit is very relevant and plays to the emotions of many people. I think people are more willing to contribute in crowdsourcing if they will benefit from it somehow whether it be for recognition or money. In this case I think it is probably both because the monetary reward is very high and I can imagine that the creator of this suit will become fairly well-known just like how ebola is very well known. With this kind of reward money, Hazmat companies may be more likely to participate because testing the suit will surely be expensive so they need to make sure their costs are covered and $1 million would help pay for some or all of the costs.

    As I mentioned, because many people know what ebola is and how badly it is effecting west africa, there is a very big pool of potential contributors. If the USAID was asking people to create a suit for a virus that is not very well known, they would first have to make a campaign telling people how serious the virus is, and then they would have to convince them to contribute to their crowdsourcing initiative. But with Ebola, a lot of that has already been done. Now all they need to do is campaign this initiative and not spend as many resources explaining why people should contribute to this initiative.

    • I really think that that crowdsouricing should be used as Ebola is a hot topic nowadays. This is a benefit since people will know about what you are talking about. I would be more likely to donate money for a project like this than any other as it feels like donating to an innovative charity.

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