Hackathon

Thank you to everyone that participated in the OPTions Hackathon. Submissions are now closed and applicants will be notified by September 30, 2020. No further submissions are being accepted.

The Options for Pregnancy Termination Innovation (OPTions) Initiative supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact® that put women and girls in control of where, when, and how they terminate their pregnancy. $250,000 CAD grants are available for innovators in any field to test novel methods of pregnancy termination at any stage of development.

The Challenge

The aim of the OPTions Hackathon is to save and improve the lives of women and girls through expanded and improved choices for methods of pregnancy termination.

The OPTions Initiative is seeking bold, innovative, transformational and ‘outside-the-box’ ideas for next-generation methods of pregnancy termination, including those that incorporate concepts, methods and technologies not currently being used for pregnancy termination.

Participants without ideas, but interest to develop and take forward an idea, can also participate.

Ideas

Next-generation methods of pregnancy termination should offer one or more improvements to existing pregnancy termination methods, including but not limited to:

  • The ability to be effectively administered at later stages in gestation
  • Effectiveness at terminating a pregnancy
  • The ability for women and girls to access and self-administer with greater autonomy and privacy
  • Ease of compliance (e.g. single pill administration)
  • Reduced side effects and pain
  • Stability profile
  • Permissive within existing regulatory frameworks (e.g. having other primary indications)
  • Cost-effectiveness

Participants

Innovators worldwide and in all fields are encouraged to participate, including but not limited to:

  • FemTech
  • Medicine
  • Healthcare
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical physics
  • Drug development and trials
  • Biohacking
  • Individuals with knowledge of traditional, folk, and indigenous methods of pregnancy termination

If you have an existing project, the hackathon will prepare you for the grant request.

If you do not have an existing project, our experts will help you develop one before and during the hackathon.

Innovators must be directly affiliated with an institution that is able to administer a grant (sole proprietorships are ineligible) and cannot be a previous or current direct grantees of the Very Large Anonymous Donor. For more details on eligibility, please see Section 4.1 of the OPTions Round 2 Request for Proposal.

Judging Criteria 

Applications will be evaluated on:

  • Boldness
  • The potential for impact
  • Project execution plan
  • Ability to champion change
  • Value for effort

Additional details can be found in Section 4.5 of the Request for Proposals.

Additional Information

Background

The impact of unsafe abortion is profound. There are 25 million unsafe abortions annually, the vast majority of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. Next-generation methods of abortion are an untapped field for innovation. There has been limited research and development in this field to date. The introduction of medical abortion, in addition to manual vacuum aspiration, revolutionized abortion care; however, it still has limitations. The OPTions Initiative is seeking bold, radical, and daring ideas for next-generation methods of pregnancy termination that have the potential to improve and expand choices of methods of safe pregnancy termination.

Submissions

Participants of the Hackathon will submit an application for funding through our Fluxx Application Portal. Submitted applications will be reviewed by the OPTions Initiative expert Peer Review panel.

The OPTions Initiative aims to award approximately 20 grants to the top applications for the Round 2 Request for Proposals, including those submitted during the Hackathon.

Timeline

  • Now – Register Here
  • May 19th, 2020 11:00 AM (EST)/5:00 PM (CET) – Opening Webinar
  • June 8th, 2020 1:00 PM (EST)/7:00 PM (CET) – Q&A Session
  • June 11th, 2020 – Draft Application Submission
  • June 15th – 17th, 2020 – Virtual Hackathon
  • June 17th, 2020 1:00 PM (EST)/7:00 PM (CET) – Final Application Submissions
  • June 22nd, 2020 – Expert Peer Review Panel for Applications Begins

Hackathon participants will receive proposal development support and mentorship to fine-tune their idea and craft their application, giving them the best possible chance of receiving a $250,000 grant.

What Platforms Will the Event Take Place on?

Mentors

The Options Initiative’s Hackathon mentors will be announced soon – stay tuned!

Funded Innovation 

The OPTions Initiative aims to build a portfolio with a wide range of next-generation methods of pregnancy termination. Outside-the-box, early-stage, blue sky ideas from innovators in all fields are encouraged. Examples of innovations supported to date include:

Medical Plants with Abortifacient Activity from Ayurvedic Medicine
RoshniAgriBiotech
India

Development of New Abortion Medications by Using Existing Medications in New Ways
Gynuity
United States

Resources

OPTions Initiative Round 2 – Request for Proposals

OPTions Initiative Round 2 – Webinar

*Note that the OPTions Hackathon is only for innovations in Focus Area #2 mentioned in these resources (next-generation methods of pregnancy termination). Innovations that improve access to existing methods of pregnancy termination are not within the scope of this Hackathon.

 

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