Program Name: The Mobility Unlimited Challenge
Program Funding and Details:
The Toyota Mobility Foundation has, with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, launched the inaugural Mobility Unlimited Challenge. The international $4 million challenge is designed to change the daily lives of people with lower-limb paralysis through innovative personal mobility devices incorporating intelligent systems.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge aims to harness creative thinking from across the world to accelerate innovation and encourage collaboration with end-users, resulting in devices that will integrate seamlessly into users’ lives and environments, enabling greater independence and increased participation in daily life.
The challenge is looking for teams with engineering, software, design and data science expertise. But more importantly, teams who put end-users at the heart of everything they do. That means engaging people with lower-limb paralysis from the outset to develop devices that best meet their needs.
Devices might incorporate Artificial Intelligence that will help predict user intent. Or long-life, fast charging batteries that will give people the freedom to move for days or weeks at a time without worrying about power. Or a re-engineered exoskeleton that will redefine assistive mobility. Or something the world hasn’t even realized is possible.
- Challenge Launch – November 16, 2017
- Deadline to Apply – February 7, 2018
- 10 Discovery Awards announced, $50K to develop finalist product – April 11, 2018
- Deadline to apply to become a finalist – August 15, 2018
- 5 finalist teams announced, $500K grant to continue developing product – January 14, 2019
- Winner announced, $1M prize awarded – September 2020
- Be innovative – give us the next generation of devices rather than marginal optimizations of existing devices.
- Co-create your device with people with lower-limb paralysis – take a user-centred approach to everything you do and target a defined market.
- Prioritize safety – combine innovation with safety, ensure your device does no harm.
- Create a business plan for your device – you don’t need to be a profit-seeking organization, but by the end of the Challenge, have a commercially sustainable plan to bring your device to market.
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