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Prize Competition Promotes Innovation in Food Pathogen Detection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for potential breakthrough ideas on how to find disease-causing organisms in food – especially Salmonella in fresh produce. The FDA is most interested in concepts that explore the acceleration or elimination of sample preparation and/or enrichment in the testing process, and/or those that employ novel or revolutionary techniques to achieve pathogen detection.

The 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge was developed under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which grants all federal agencies broad authority to conduct prize competitions to spur innovation, solve tough problems, and advance their core missions. This challenge offers a total prize pool of $500,000.

Concepts must be able specifically to address the detection of Salmonella in minimally processed fresh produce, but the ability of a solution to address testing for other microbial pathogens and in other foods is encouraged.

Food safety experts such as scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and innovators, as well as those new to the field, are encouraged to participate in the challenge, which launched on September 23. A panel of food safety and pathogen detection experts from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will judge the submissions, determine finalists, and select a winner or winners.

Those interested in participating should submit concepts to the FDA by Nov. 9, 2014. Up to five submitters will be selected to advance as finalists. Finalists will be awarded $20,000 and will have the opportunity to be coached by FDA subject matter experts who will help them mature their ideas before they present their refined concepts to the judges.

For a complete list of challenge rules and how to submit a concept, visit www.foodsafetychallenge.com.

     
Tags: Salmonella

Date Published: September 26, 2014

Source article link: FDA
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