Longitude Prize Extension to 2020 FAQs

The Longitude Prize will remain open beyond the original September 2019 deadline to at least 31 December 2020 or until a winner is chosen who fulfills the eight criteria listed in the Prize Rules.

The decision to extend the deadline of the prize was made by the Longitude Prize Committee as it was felt that while many of teams have made significant process, more time is required to allow them to create an affordable, accurate, fast and easy-to-use test for bacterial infections, to ultimately reduce the use of antibiotics.

The prize deadline has been extended, but the challenge remains the same and the eight criteria of the Prize remain unchanged. In addition, the rules of the Prize have been modified to reflect the changed deadline and to provide more clarity around the requirements to win.  Find out more about this on our blog, and read our FAQs below.


How long will be extension be? (When will the prize close?)

The prize will be awarded to the first team that applies and fulfills the eight criteria. The deadline for the Prize will be extended at least until December 2020. Subsequently, the Longitude Prize Committee will conduct regular reviews to decide if the competition will remain open. The Committee has confidence that teams are progressing and that the Prize will be awarded.

Has anyone applied yet?

Yes, multiple teams have applied to win thus far and 14 teams have been reviewed by the Judging Panel.

Were the teams who applied close to winning?

Yes and no. The teams who applied all fulfilled some of the eight criteria, but not all of them, and therefore were not awarded the Prize. The most promising teams received in-depth feedback when they applied on how they can improve and hone in on the criteria. They may or may not re-apply again based on their result.

Is the challenge too hard a task?

Having seen how close teams are coming to fitting into the eight criteria, we do not believe this is too hard a task. We would expect teams to be ready in the foreseeable future, which is why we wanted to give more time for teams to work towards it.

What are the benefits of extending the prize?

This will not only give the teams more time to work on their diagnostic technologies, it also gives teams more time to find additional funding and establish new collaborations with partners. While there can only be one winner, we at the Longitude Prize are committed to continuing to drive support to all teams that have viable projects.

What issues might arise from extending the prize?

Some teams who were working towards the September 2019 deadline might be disappointed in the extension. But actually, this extension should not impact these teams as applications to win will be considered at each judging point. In other words, when teams are ready, they can apply to win. Full details on how to apply to win here.

Is there is a risk that perhaps no one will ultimately win the prize?

Technically this is possible. However, considering that the competition will stay open at least until December 2020 and considering the progress of teams, there is a good chance that the prize will be won.

Where can I find more funding for my diagnostic development?

We are currently fundraising for more opportunities for competing teams through the Longitude Prize and our partners. New opportunities will be announced to teams and on our website here.

For funding opportunities external to us, please see our funding opportunities page.

If you have a funding opportunity, please longitude [dot] prize [at] nesta [dot] org [dot] uk (get in touch).

How are you supporting competitors reach the finish line?

To date we have awarded 29 teams with seed grants of up to £25,000. We are reaching out to funders so that we should be able to offer larger grants.

Will you change the prize rules?

We will update the prize rules to reflect this extension, but the fundamental rules and eight criteria for the prize will stay the same.

Is the prize still open to new competitors?

Yes, new teams can register here.

Why was the original prize designed for only five years?

The initial time frame was based on policies of funding agencies that found it difficult to hold funds for a longer period. But now these issues have been overcome and therefore it is administratively possible to extend the deadline for submissions.