Chile-based Ennomotive recently launched an online competition to develop a new, reusable mask model that helps people breathe in their effort-intensive jobs. The challenge is open worldwide to any professional, student or academia. The company offers €16,000 for building prototypes of the best solutions and a cash prize for the winner. The Ennomotive challenge aims to find new more efficient and reusable face masks that comply with the specifications of the N95, FFP2 or FFP3 models. They need to be efficient against the COVID-19 and helpful for effort-intensive jobs.
And, if the solution is patentable, the winner will keep 30 per cent of the patent rights, according to a company press release. Although there are available masks with different levels of protection according to filtration characteristics, these are very uncomfortable to wear since they make breathing difficult and are too warm. Besides, they do not offer complete protection since the virus is very small. Another problem is that most of the masks are disposable, which generates a great amount of waste. The reason is that the material of the masks (non-woven fabric) cannot be disinfected at 60 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes as it negatively affects the mask fitting. The last date for submitting solutions is June 9.