NIOSH Announces Winner of the Counterfeit N95 Challenge
The contest focused on improving the detection of counterfeit N95 respirators.
- By Robert Yaniz Jr.
- Dec 01, 2023
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has named the winner of the NIOSH Counterfeit N95 Challenge, a collaborative effort with NASA Tournament Lab and HeroX to improve the detection of counterfeit N95® respirators and ensure the safety of end users.
According to a release dated Nov. 30, the winning entry by Essayon Engineering is a dual-platform approach, featuring both a phone app and a website that cross-references respirators with a NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL). The app also includes a visual tool for users to compare pictures from manufacturers’ websites with the respirators, adding extra verification.
Although Essayon Engineering receives a $35,000 grand prize, three other teams received honorable mentions. Their contributions include a decentralized title recording system using QR codes to verify ownership, a cloud-based platform offering immediate authentication, and a registry where manufacturers can share compliance data to verify authenticity.
The three teams selected as honorable mentions will not receive monetary prizes but are invited to upcoming NIOSH partner activities to promote and share their solutions. HeroX, NIOSH and the winners will host a webinar on Dec. 7, 2023, to discuss these innovations.
Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.