$10,000 Prize in DoD First Responder Kit Contest

The entry deadline is Aug. 15, so inventors have little time if they haven't already begun.

The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Challenge (HADR-C) began July 6. Entrants have until Aug. 15 to submit a kit suitable for humanitarian assistant and disaster relief use via the Defense Department's Challenge.gov platform, and the winner will get a $10,000 prize.

The National Defense University and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy announced the challenge under the America Competes Reauthorization Act, a 2010 law giving agencies authority to conduct prize competitions as called for in President Obama's 2010 Strategy for American Innovation. The contests are intended to spur innovation, solve tough problems, and advance those agencies' core mission.

The National Defense University and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy announced the challenge under the America Competes Reauthorization Act.This particular challenge stems from a 2010 project by the secretary of Defense to develop a kit serving the essential needs of first responders during a crisis event. The project developed an integrated kit that provides reliable power from primarily renewable sources to power system components, potable water from local sources, local and global voice, data, and images communications, and local situational awareness and information sharing. "The kit satisfies all operational requirements as defined by DoD, and delivers more capability than is required by other user organizations. However, the JCTD kit is bigger, heavier and more costly than some user organizations can accommodate," according to the challenge's online description.

It invites individuals and organizations to design a kit suitable for initial HA/DR response activities by U.S. government departments and agencies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign governments. The kit and all its components must not be subject to export control restrictions and should, if possible, cost no more than $50,000.

The design parameters are listed on the challenge website. Among them:

  • Weigh less than 500 pounds (excluding container)
  • Include physical protection for components
  • Components capable of operating simultaneously using only the kit power supply
  • Comply with OSHA safety requirements
  • Generate all power from renewable sources and provide a constant 1KW for 24/7 operations
  • Filter fresh and brackish water up to 15,000 ppm TDS
  • Produce 1,000 gallons per day of potable water
  • Product water must comply with EPA standards for safe drinking water
  • Independent communication system for up to 20 users within a two-mile radius
  • Capable of linking to local cell phone networks, if available, and to the Internet
  • Capable of transmitting text, voice, photos, and short/limited video

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