The Montreal General Hospital Foundation offers the Code Life Ventilator Challenge To design a low-cost, simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-build ventilator that can serve the COVID patients, in an emergency timeframe in 2020.

The Montreal General Hospital Foundation, in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is launching a global innovation challenge, backed by a $200,000 CAD prize, calling for teams to design a simple, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture and easy-to-maintain ventilator which could be deployed anywhere needed to save lives.
The coronavirus known as COVID-19 could infect up to 70% of the population, with as many as about 10% of positive cases need ventilation.
There is an acknowledged shortage of medical ventilators worldwide [ CBS News , IBCC , FT, Fortune, Boston Globe , …] to treat such a large volume of patients and, even in developed economies, there may be a shortage to treat large numbers of patients during outbreak peaks, as has been seen in Italy. The case will likely be direr still in countries with more limited resources and less resilient healthcare systems.
Yet, the wide availability of rapid manufacturing—3D printers, CNC machines—combined with low-cost computers (i.e., your smartphone, Arduino, raspberry pi, etc), offer the possibility of a simple, broadly available ventilator with sufficient performance to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Leading researchers and medical staff at the Montreal General Hospital have assembled a committee of expert advisors (ICU physicians, engineers etc.) who have defined precise specifications for this ventilator challenge and who will be judging submissions. Final submissions will be tested in the Clinical Innovation Platform at the Montreal General Hospital.

Worth of Award

  • The winning design will then be made available for download and production, anywhere in the world.
  • Award is CAD $200,000


  • The goal is To design a low-cost, simple, easy to use and easy to build ventilator that can serve COVID patients, in an emergency timeframe.
  • It should be easy to build locally, must be easy to verify its functionality, and must meet the design requirements specified here.
  • Three finalists will be selected and their designs will be available to download for free.
  • Their priority is to create an environment that fosters collaboration to allow the best possible designs to see the light of day.
  • As such, they are committed to accompany the teams as they work towards meeting the challenge requirements by providing them with technical, engineering, materials and compliance experts who will actively support them in their project.
  • Each team must include at least one relevant medical professional with publicized credentials (proof of right to practice) and one relevant technical/engineering professional with credentials to approve safety requirements
  • Each team member must provide a short resume of qualifications relevant to the design (e.g. engineering degree, industry experience, other relevant experience)
  • Each team is responsible for having at least one team representative on our communication platform to answer failure reports and end-user questions
  • This should be maintained throughout the contest and beyond, as long as implementation of the device exists for COVID
  • Other communication means must be provided and kept up to date for later needs (email etc.) in case of a future crisis
Capacity and costs
  • Each team must have local capacity to produce, test, and demonstrate the performance of their design in accordance with the specifications.
  • Costs of design and prototyping are to be covered by the contestants

How to Apply

  • To motivate participation from local manufacturers, encourage participants to submit provisional patents prior to the announcement of final designs, while granting license to local builders to manufacture their designs during the COVID crisis.
  • Aspiring team members are encouraged to reach out to teams that are already signed-up and looking to recruit members to complement their skills.

Deadline: Deliverables will be accepted from March 17th, 2020, 23:59 EST to March 31st, 2020, 23:59 EST.


Click here for more details and to apply

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