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Diabetes Innovation Challenge

Posted December 10, 2017

Will your innovation improve the lives of those affected by diabetes? Here’s your opportunity. Accepting applications through January 31st.

T1D Exchange, a Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating therapies and improving care in type 1 diabetes, opened the Call for Applications for the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge, a global competition to identify, nurture and fast-track innovative scientific and clinical solutions for diabetes. The Diabetes Innovation Challenge is supported by a number of sponsors, including lead sponsors JDRF and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge will award $250,000 in cash and in-kind services, which will be divided among three winners. A People’s Choice award will be given to the recipient of the most votes during the public voting period.

The Diabetes Innovation Challenge welcomes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes opportunities as products developed for one disease may have cross-utility for the other. The Diabetes Innovation Challenge is open to all academic and for-profit inventors, innovators and companies developing or seeking to develop medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, digital health technologies and clinical care improvements in diabetes.

“To incubate the next phase of transformative innovation for the millions of people living with diabetes every day, T1D Exchange created the Diabetes Innovation Challenge to discover, support and drive novel solutions forward,” said Dana Ball, executive director and co-founder of T1D Exchange. “We are creating a bridge to connect the next generation of entrepreneurs with an expert community that includes experienced funders, engaged investors, industry leaders and subject matter experts that can help them get to the next level of development.”

For the 2018 Challenge, T1D Exchange is seeking projects and proposals in four key areas:

  • Automated Insulin Devices (Artificial Pancreas) and related components such as novel glucose sensing, insulin delivery systems, and cellular therapy delivery technologies
  • Diagnostics such as novel low-cost tests for research and screening; early diagnosis and prevention; autoantibodies, C- peptide, or other markers such as beta cell death and risk of diabetic complications
  • Therapeutics including smart insulins, glucagons, immune-modulating therapies, beta cell regeneration and treatments for diabetic complications
  • Technology Design/Disease Management supporting new and disruptive approaches to the use of information and communication technologies to support diabetes management

Timeline for the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge:

  • November 28, 2017 – Call for Applications OPEN (
  • February 1, 2018 – Call for Applications CLOSED
  • March 1, 2018 – Up to 30 semi-finalists selected
  • April 8, 2018 – Finalists announced
  • May 21, 2018 – Finalists pitch their solution during a live event at the Royal Sonesta Boston. Three winners will be selected by a panel of judges.

The inaugural Diabetes Innovation Challenge was held in 2016. From a pool of 60 qualified applicants, 30 were selected as semifinalists and six were selected as major award winners. Today a number of those companies have raised additional funding, and many have made significant progress in their product development. Watch the highlights from the 2016 event.

About T1D Exchange

T1D Exchange was founded on the belief that people affected by type 1 diabetes need better solutions faster – better treatments and better care. Our nonprofit organization takes an innovative approach that puts the community of people touched by type 1 diabetes at the center of research that will meaningfully impact their lives. Our integrated model offers researchers access to aggregated clinical, biological, patient-reported outcomes and electronic health record data, all while fostering collaboration among patients, physicians, researchers and industry. Our model is multi-faceted and complex, but our goal is simple: to tangibly improve outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes as fast as humanly possible.


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