New Global Prize to Award Millions to Technologies Helping People with Dementia Stay Independent
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Longitude Prize on Dementia to award $4.95m (£4.34m) in grants and prizes to technologies that help people with dementia stay independent for longer.
A new multi-million dollar competition has been launched to find cutting-edge technologies that can help people with dementia live independently at home for longer. Alzheimer’s Society, Innovate UK and Challenge Works have launched the $4.95m (£4.34m) Longitude Prize on Dementia. The prize is supported by AARP in the United States and AGE-WELL and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) in Canada.
It calls on global innovators to use artificial intelligence to create breakthrough technologies that learn from a person living with dementia, adapting and compensating for their condition as it progresses.
The technologies should help people living with dementia maintain their independence and lead a fulfilling life doing things they enjoy.
AARP, AGE-WELL and CABHI will be supporting successful innovators in the US and Canada to develop their solutions in partnership with people living with the condition.
The entry period is open until January 26, 2023. 23 successful teams will receive $90k Discovery Award grants (£80k) to develop their concepts. From these, five teams will receive $342k grants (£300k) to turn concepts into working products, with the winning team receiving a $1.14m first prize (£1m).
50 million people live with dementia globally, with around 7 million in the US and over 500,000 in Canada - and it is set to rise dramatically. The condition devastates lives, causing people to lose memories, relationships and their identity. It could affect 153 million around the world by 2050.
Although there is currently no cure for dementia, people with the condition can live well for years. Assistive technology could help people stay safe, happy and more independent in their home for longer.
Launching the prize, Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer’s Society said: “Most existing technology for people with dementia is designed to keep them safe or give their carers peace of mind. There is huge opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology to help fill in the gaps in their brain and thinking as their condition progresses. It already exists in the apps and smart technology we use every day. We could repurpose the software of TikTok and WhatsApp to help people put a name to a face or remember a word. The new Longitude Prize on Dementia will open up huge possibilities in this area making technology work for people living with dementia and their families.”
In the US, competitors may be invited to join the AARP Innovation Labs’ accelerator program. It offers companies the opportunity to gain insight into the 50-plus market.
“AARP works every day to empower people to choose how they live as they age, and people living with dementia should also have that opportunity,” said Sarah Lenz Lock, AARP senior vice president of policy and executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health. “The Longitude Prize on Dementia challenged the world’s innovators to help improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.”
In Canada, CABHI, powered by Baycrest, helps innovators develop, disseminate, scale, and promote adoption of promising innovations.
“The Longitude Prize on Dementia is a tremendous opportunity for innovators to develop cutting-edge solutions to help people living with dementia maintain their independence and age in the setting of their choice. CABHI is proud to support award recipients through innovative services that will help develop and accelerate the spread, scale, and adoption of these solutions,” says Dr. Allison Sekuler, President & Chief Scientist, CABHI.
AGE-WELL, with its long track record of supporting the development of innovations and technologies for healthy aging, will be an essential partner in delivering tailored support to Canadian innovators.
“Over half a million Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. New technologies in the areas of artificial Intelligence and machine learning offer an unprecedented opportunity to help those living with dementia to maintain their independence and remain longer in their own homes,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director and CEO of AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network.
To enter the Longitude Prize on Dementia, visit dementia.longitudeprize.org.