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Implementing Solutions

The Horizon Prize: 2023

How can we decrease the environmental impact of the rare disease health care space and alleviate burdens for rare disease families?

Submissions are Closed

Challenge Overview

Roughly 85% of biomedical research funding is wasted due to inefficiencies, highlighting the opportunity to decrease waste and redundancies while increasing the impact of research and development investments. For the 10% of people affected by rare disease – a population with notably inefficient and expensive diagnostic journeys – increased sustainability could shorten diagnostic timelines, decrease carbon emissions, and allow research funding to go further – resulting in more treatments for patients. As a result, we need solutions that lead to better rare disease R&D outcomes while also decreasing environmental costs.

US and European regulators are increasing emissions reporting requirements for companies, including Scope 3 emissions, which create new market opportunities for solutions. These solutions could improve physical access to specialists and research trial centers or disrupt the prevalence of single-use plastics by introducing supply chain interventions like circularity or alternative packaging. Data-sharing, proper incentives, and patient involvement in research could also reduce redundancies and their associated environmental costs.

The 2023 Horizon Prize, powered by MIT Solve, seeks technology-based solutions that decrease carbon footprints in the rare disease healthcare space, while centering patient priorities. To that end, the Prize seeks a wide variety of solutions that:

  • Improve the rare disease patient diagnostic journey – reducing the time, cost, resources, and duplicative travel and testing for patients and caregivers

  • Enhance efficiencies in clinical trials and research, including data collection and sharing

  • Reduce single-use products, unnecessary plastics, and medical/hazardous waste throughout research and manufacturing

  • Create and promote alternative packaging that may be reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable without compromising sterility or safety

  • Optimize transportation of supplies and treatments by addressing shipping inefficiencies, cold storage, and last-mile delivery

$150,000 in prize funding is available for one winning solution team for the 2023 Horizon Prize.


Accepting Solutions

  • Challenge Opens
  • EXTENDED Deadline to Submit: 11:59 AM (noon) EDT

Evaluating Solutions

  • Winners Announced
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