21.04.20

Jones AV pledges 10K prize for COVID-19 face mask design competition

Stop the drop
The Stop the Drop campaign aims to develop a cheap, free to download face mask to meet global face mask shortages.

As part of its ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign, Jones AV is offering a 10,000 Euro prize as part of an open source design competition to design a new mass-production friendly face mask for everyday use amid global shortages of face mask and protective equipment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking exclusively with Inavate, Ingo Aicher, managing director, Jones AV explained how the idea came about: “I was in a thread with a few medical professionals and everyone was scrambling to get their hands on face masks. There were a lot of dubious offers from India and China at hideous prices of up to £1 per face mask. 

“I thought ‘What would be an easily and cheaply available filtration material?' and I thought that the the back of a coffee filter would work. I played around with a concept and realised it could work, but I’m not an expert, there are millions of people out there who are more skilled than me so why not try and reach them and get them to join in and help people.”

The initiative was created by Jones AV and has received support from other companies across the world, including Agent Marketing, SFX Online and Crowd media agency.

Winning designs need to be functional for everyday use, cheap and easy to produce and be comfortable for users to wear. Aicher added: “There are some user issues around current face masks, people have indentations and sore ears from the bands so there needs to be an ergonomic shape, lightweight and environmentally friendly.”

There are cash prizes in three categories with a special jury award up for grabs. Designers can improve the tested design created by Jones AV or build a new model from scratch.

The competition is open to entries until 26 April, with the winning design receiving the 10K prize and becoming downloadable for free online for anybody to create their own face masks. The winning designs will have a creative commons license on a non profit basis, with credit given to the designer. 

The competition can be entered here.

"Entries are going to take time to develop and test, but to help fight the virus, even to play a small part we thought this would be a great idea."