AGE-WELL is joining forces with Challenge Works in the UK and the AARP in the US to encourage innovators across North America to apply to win the new Longitude Prize on Dementia.
The Longitude Prize on Dementia will reward innovators developing assistive technologies using AI and Machine Learning for people living with dementia. In Canada, over half a million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, while in the United States the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is 5.8 million.
$6.4 MILLION PROGRAM
The £4.1 million ($6.4 million CAD) prize program will award £3.1 million ($4.8 million CAD) in seed funding and grants to the most promising innovators, with a £1 million ($1.6 million CAD) prize awarded to the winner in early 2026. Innovations should support people to remain independent in their own homes as long as possible – one of the best ways to slow the advance of the disease.
Funded by Alzheimer’s Society – the UK’s leading dementia charity – and Innovate UK – the UK government’s innovation agency – the Longitude Prize on Dementia is delivered by global challenge prize experts, Challenge Works.
Opening for entries this September, and championed by AGE-WELL in Canada and the AARP in the United States, innovators are invited to develop technologies that learn about the lives and routines of people living with early stage dementia, employing assistive technology and machine learning to adapt as their condition progresses.
SUPPORT FOR CANADA’S INNOVATORS
Wider support has been funded to provide innovators with crucial insight and expertise, facilitating whatever they need to bring their ideas to life. AGE-WELL’s long track record of supporting the development of innovations and technologies for healthy aging, will be an essential partner in delivering tailored support to the innovators named semi-finalists in the prize in early 2023.
“New technologies in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning offer an unprecedented opportunity to help people 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. “We are really pleased to lend our support to this important new prize, which will tap into the spirit of innovation that abounds in the AgeTech sector.”
TECH THAT BECOMES EXTENSION TO THE WORKING BRAIN
“We know that there are treatments around the corner but we want to change the way people are living with dementia now,” said Kate Lee, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society. “Current technologies supporting dementia care focus on monitoring people and alerting their carers but there are real opportunities for innovation which will support people to live joyfully and independently. The Longitude Prize on Dementia will deliver technologies that become an extension of the individual’s working ‘brain’ and memory in a way that is specific to their needs – enabling them to continue living at home and doing the things they love for as long as possible.”
LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD FOR INNOVATORS
Since 2012, Challenge Works has run more than 80 prizes, in global health, climate change and pollution, consumer services and frontier technologies. To date, it has distributed £84 million ($101 million CAD) in funding and engaged with 12,000 innovators.
In recent years it has worked closely with the Government of Canada to embed the use of challenge prizes across government, including the $14.5 million Afri-Plastics Challenge funded by Global Affairs Canada scaling solutions to ocean plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa. It recently worked with the Weston Family Foundation to launch the Homegrown Innovation Challenge – a $33 million prize to promote the development of tools and technologies to enable Canadian farmers to grow fresh fruit out of season.
“Challenge prizes incentivise the development of breakthrough technologies to solve some of the most intractable problems of our time”, explains Tris Dyson, Managing Director of Challenge Works. “By levelling the playing field for innovators, through an open competition, with seed funding and expert capacity building support, they enable a diversity of approaches to a problem to progress through the competition, with the best solution winning the top prize only after it has proven its effectiveness.”
APPLY TO WIN
The Longitude Prize on Dementia will open for entries in September 2022. Innovators who want to apply should register their interest at dementia.longitudeprize.org
About the Longitude Prize on Dementia
The Longitude Prize on Dementia is funded by the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK and delivered by Challenge Works.
- Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. It is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia.
- Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, helping UK businesses to grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive and easy to navigate.
- The prize has received generous support from three UK donors: The Hunter Foundation, CareTech Foundation and Heather Corrie.
- The prize has also received funding from the Medical Research Council. The MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health.
- Challenge Works (the new name for Nesta Challenges) is a global authority on the design and delivery of challenge prizes to unlock technological solutions focused on social good.
Visit dementia.longitudeprize.org to find out how to enter.
Read the media release here.