The first entries to the £10 million Longitude Prize have been submitted by competitors from around the world, moving us one step closer to tackling antibiotic resistance.

So far 75 teams across the globe have registered to compete and are already working to win the Longitude Prize. The first few submissions from these teams have been made and will be tested and evaluated over the next 18 months.

(Click the image to view the registered teams around the world)

34 registered teams in the UK

Competitors not yet registered still have time to compete, with submission dates every four months over the five-year life of the Prize (the next is in September 2015). However, the winner of the Longitude Prize could be selected at any stage throughout the five-year period.

Over the last six months since the Longitude Prize opened, universities, individuals and companies have worked towards finding a solution to show when antibiotics are needed and, if they are, which ones to use.

Those that have submitted entries will now be assessed by the Prize Advisory Panel  - a global group of experts in antimicrobial resistance, diagnostic developments and global healthcare. Entries that successfully pass testing, will go forward to the Longitude Committee chaired by Lord Martin Rees and including Dame Sally Davies, Professor Peter Piot, Professor Jeremy Farrar and Professor Alice Roberts.

A solution that meets the prize criteria will not only help conserve antibiotics for future generations but also revolutionise the delivery of global healthcare. The point of care test must:

  • provide a result within 30 minutes
  • be affordable to everyone who needs it
  • be accurate, to inform treatment decisions
  • be easy to use in any location, anywhere in the world

Professor Peter Piot, Longitude Prize Committee member and Director and Professor of Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said:

“We're delighted to see entries coming in for the Prize from a number of countries at this first submission date. The Prize is a tough challenge but it's absolutely crucial to modern medicine, providing us with a ground-breaking tool which would save millions of lives through better treatment of infections. We need entrants with a broad range of skills and experiences across science and technology, and across the world, to create truly novel entries. The race has started and the Prize can be won at any point in the next five years, so I encourage people to join in as soon as they can”.

Zahid Latif, Head of Health and Care at Innovate UK said:

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the largest challenges facing the world today. If it is not suitably addressed, diseases that we think nothing of at the moment, will start becoming serious, potentially life threatening problems. This grand challenge needs radical thinking to find a solution. That’s what the Longitude Prize is about, and why we have provided significant funding for the prize.

“The greatest asset of start-ups and small businesses is their new ideas, and their entrepreneurial spirit, which is exactly what’s needed to solving a problem like this, and Innovate UK can help provide those businesses with the support and connections they need to make their ideas a reality".

At the end of June 2014, the British public voted for antibiotics to be the focus of the £10 million Longitude Prize. Since November 2014, individuals and teams from around the world have been working to solve the Prize and the first window to submit entries was on 31 May 2015.

Longitude Prize forms part of a wider global movement tackling antibiotic resistance which is taking shape to galvanise action. The UK Government has added the issue to its global risk register, developed a UK strategy and established the AMR Review which has shown the potential cost of antibiotic resistance to be 300 million deaths and $100 trillion by 2050. The Wellcome Trust has brought partners together to form the £175m Fleming Fund to build capacity and improve surveillance in low and middle income countries. And last week the World Health Assembly ratified the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. 

The Longitude Prize was developed and is being run by Nesta. It was launched by the Prime Minister at G8 in 2013, and through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is being supported by Innovate UK, the new name for the Technology Strategy Board, as funding partner. 

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