UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Announcing $5M Competition to Increase COVID-19 Testing Capabilities

Section 1

July 31, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 has presented our world with unique challenges that UCI researchers are tackling at warp speed, from testing and prevention to patient care and treatment of SARS-CoV-2. 

As part of our collaborative response to the pandemic, UCI is a partner in the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance, a vast network of the world’s clinicians, researchers, data scientists, institutions, and experts for collaboration, data sharing, and innovation.

With support from its founding member, Anthem and sponsor Illumina, a new project has been launched - XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing (XRCT), a $5 million, 6-month competition that aims to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities 100-times past our current standard, the level of increase needed to more safely return to everyday activities. 

To advance in the competition, teams will need to develop COVID-19 tests for screening that are radically affordable compared to what is currently available on the market, that are comparable to commercial offerings at measuring sensitivity, specificity and limit of detection, with a maximum turnaround time of 12 hours from sample to result. Teams must also successfully deploy and conduct a minimum of 500 tests per week at a live testing site for 60 days.

How do I compete?

Potential competitors, whether a team or an individual looking for a team, should visit xprize.org/covidtesting to register, access all the resources available and read the competition guidelines. Registration ends August 31, 2020.

Partnerships, like the Pandemic Alliance, provide opportunities for researchers globally to share data, insights and innovation to address COVID-19 testing challenges. If you know anyone already working on a testing solution who would be a strong competitor, please reach out to them directly and encourage them to apply.

Steve A. N. Goldstein, MA, MD, PhD, FAAP 
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Distinguished Professor

Tom Andriola, MS, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Information, Technology & Data and Chief Data Officer

Pramod Khargonekar, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor