The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) has awarded 12 prizes to winners of the Proof Challenge, a chembio suit design contest that called on the public to submit designs and ideas for a new suit for warfighters. Finalists came from a variety of fields and ranged from students to engineers. A total of $250,000 was awarded to 12 participants/teams.
The Proof Challenge sourced innovative ideas for solutions to increase mobility, dexterity and tactility, allowing the Warfighter to complete all relevant tasks quickly and in comfort. Additionally, ideas for heat management were also invited.
“We were excited to use the Proof Challenge to reach out to the general public, beyond our military resources and experts, to source ideas and solutions for innovation,” says LeRoy Garey, Proof Challenge product manager. “The thinking, attention to detail and fresh ideas were astounding, exceeding what we expected.
Challenge finalists included the “Increase Dexterity & Tactility ChemBio Suit” by a team of six designers; the “JSLIST Rapid Cooling System (RCS) & Integrated Cooling Ensemble” by a five-member team; and “SPIDER® Suit Grey Matter” with a team of five designers.
Semifinalists/runners-up awards went to the “ChemBio Duck Combat Duck Boot,” “A More Fitted Hood,” and the “Hybrid Glove Concept.” Semifinalists/second runners-up awards were given for “Improved Glove Fit,” “Custom Articulated Garments for Optimal Dexterity,” and “AgileWear.”
Also recognized with the “Game Changer” award was the “Pulse Electric Textile for ChemBio Protection,” and the “Influencer” award for Grey Matter.
Winners will work with JPEO-CBD on the next steps in developing their designs and creating the products. “This type of public collaboration is something we look forward to tapping into in the future – joining forces with the Americans we serve to help protect this country and our Warfighters,” Garey says.
The JPEO-CBD, an office of the U.S. Military, is the Joint Services focal point for research, development, acquisition, fielding and life-cycle support of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense equipment and medical countermeasures.