Bureau of Reclamation launches prize competition seeking improved methods for monitoring pathogens to facilitate water reuse

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As water reuse increases in the country, improvements are needed to reduce pathogen sampling time and improve measurement accuracy and sensitivity

Pathogens Prize Competition

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize competition that is seeking improved methods to sample and monitor for pathogens, specifically viruses, in order to help with indirect and direct reuse of wastewater. Solutions sought through this prize competition must improve on the current state of the technology for virus monitoring.

This is stage one of a planned two-stage challenge. This competition is a theoretical challenge where participants will be asked to submit ideas, along with detailed descriptions, specifications, supporting data or literature, and requirements necessary to bring the idea closer to becoming a product. Up to five prizes may be awarded for a total prize award pool of $80,000. To be successful in this competition, the solution must accelerate the development of either direct or indirect virus monitoring methods for water reuse applications.

If stage one demonstrates that a second stage is beneficial, stage two will launch as a subsequent competition. In the second stage of the competition, participants will be asked to present their technology and submit a working prototype that puts their idea into practice. Stage two anticipates having a larger prize purse. You will not have to participate stage one of the prize competition to participate in stage two.

Reclamation is the seeker on this competition and Xylem, Inc. is a co-sponsor, contributing to all aspects, including the prize purse. The Environmental Protection Agency and The Water Reuse Foundation are collaborating on various aspects of this competition.

To learn more, please visit the challenge website at: https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/pathogen.html.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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