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The XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge ($1M Total Prize)

Deadline: September 15, 2020

The XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge will aid in the fight against COVID-19 by enhancing an effective solution: face masks. The next generation of masks will redefine the norm of mask-wearing behaviour and help sustain crucial preventive health measures.

The $1M Next-Gen Mask Challenge aims to reimagine protective face masks used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by making them more comfortable, functional, accessible, and even stylish. 


Masks are effective in slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, but not all of us have adopted this preventive measure. Some masks are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, not breathable, and the most effective masks are often unavailable or expensive.

We need an alternative—face masks that are readily accessible and affordable, functional for our everyday lives, fit a wide variety of wearers, and are effective in protecting the wearer and the community.

$1M Prize Purse

  • USD $500,000 Grand Prize

  • USD $500,000 split between two bonus prizes per judges discretion


The Next-Gen Mask Challenge teams will be composed of the next generation of innovators ages 15-24 from all around the world.

Judging Criteria

Masks will be judged on the following criteria:

● Must achieve filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask.

● Must address at least 5 of the 10 top reasons people do not wear masks, as

determined by an XPRIZE survey

● X-Factor of style that will promote positive mask-wearing behaviour.

● The XPRIZE Judging Panel will consist of subject matter experts for lab testing, as

well as a panel of cultural ambassadors to vote on the X-Factor


  • Too hot on my face

  • Fog my glasses

  • Difficult to breathe in

  • Uncomfortable

  • Difficult to have a conversation

  • Can’t exercise in them

  • They hurt my face / Don’t fit my face properly

  • Can’t eat or drink while wearing them

  • People can’t see my facial expressions

  • Difficult to acquire


The winning team will design a face mask that achieves the filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask and overcomes the top five barriers to mask-wearing as defined by an XPRIZE-conducted survey.

Registering to create or join a team is one of the first steps you can take to help create a better future for all.




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