New £4.1 Million Longitude Prize on Dementia to be Launched in September 2022

A new prize to improve the lives of people living with dementia, worth £4.1 million, will launch in September 2022.

A new Longitude Prize on Dementia worth £4.1 million has been announced. It will launch in September 2022 and has the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia. It is being delivered in partnership by the UK Alzheimer’s Society, Innovate UK (IUK), UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and Challenge Works (the new name for Nesta Challenges), and will be open to innovators around the world.

The new prize, inspired by the original Longitude Prize of 1714, will drive the creation of personalised, technology-based tools that are co-created with people living with the early stages of dementia, helping them live independently for longer. Innovators will be challenged to develop technologies that learn about the lives of people with early stage dementia, employing machine learning and artificial intelligence to bridge cognitive gaps as their condition progresses.

The £4.1 million available will consist of:

  • £3.1 million in seed funding and grants for the most promising innovators.
  • £1 million prize awarded to the winner of the Longitude Prize on Dementia in 2026.

Additional support to innovators will take the form of: access to data; collaborations with people living with dementia and dementia organisations in the UK and around the world; advice on product design; and user experience and business mentoring.

The prize will be administered and delivered by Challenge Works. Since 2012, Challenge Works has run more than 80 prizes in areas such as global health, climate change and pollution, consumer services, and frontier technologies. The Longitude Prize on Dementia is the second modern Longitude Prize delivered by Challenge Works; the Longitude Prize on Antimicrobial Resistance launched in 2014 and called on innovators to develop novel diagnostic tests to tackle the rise of antimicrobial resistance.

Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Society, said:

‘Current technologies supporting dementia care focus on monitoring people and alerting their carers but there are real opportunities for innovation that 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.

‘This will enable them to continue living at home and doing the things they love for as long as possible.’

The entry window will open when the prize launches in September 2022 and full details about the prize criteria will be published. Innovators based in any country will be able to apply.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)