Frequently Asked Questions & Guidelines

  • These Competition Guidelines describe the objectives of the Next-Gen Mask Challenge.

    Download PDF Version

    For more details about the Next-Gen Mask Challenge, please refer to the Rules and Regulations, also downloadable in the Prize Operations Portal (POP) Resources section, available upon registration.

  • July 13th, 2020

  • September 15, 2020

  • No, there is no Registration Fee required.

  • We encourage you to update your team and user profiles on the Prize Operations Platform (POP) to share more information about yourself with other teams and with XPRIZE.

    Your team should now begin working on all the required components of the Qualifying Submission, which is the first judged portion of the challenge and is due on September 15, 2020. You can review the Qualifying Submission instructions document in POP Resources to be sure your team is on track with all required components of the Qualifying Submission.

  • The XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge is a $1 million (USD) challenge that aims to reimagine protective face masks used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The next generation of masks will redefine the norm of mask-wearing behavior and help sustain crucial preventive health measures.

  • The Next-Gen Mask Challenge will take place over the course of approximately 4 months. Qualifying Teams are scheduled to be announced in September 2020, and mask testing is expected to take place in October 2020. The winning Teams are currently scheduled to be announced in November 2020.

    A detailed timeline of the challenge can be found in the challenge Guidelines and the Rules & Regulations.

  • Masks are effective in slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, but not all of us have adopted this preventive measure. Some masks are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, not breathable, and the most effective masks are often unavailable or expensive.

    We need an alternative—face masks that are readily accessible and affordable, functional for our everyday lives, fit a wide variety of wearers, and are effective in protecting the wearer and the community.

  • Teams competing in an XPRIZE competition can come from anywhere. For the Next-Gen Mask Challenge, XPRIZE is seeking teams composed of one or more individuals who are between 15 years and 24 years of age on October 22nd, 2020.

  • The United Nations defines ‘youth’ as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, so for the Next-Gen Mask Challenge we applied that age range as the limit to put a spotlight on the ingenuity of our global youth and ensure the younger innovators of the world have a platform to promote their ground-breaking ideas. It is our goal to inspire them to continue to be involved in the creation of solutions for some of the world’s greatest challenges.

    Individuals who are over the age of 24 can still contribute to teams in administrative or support roles, but the creative design process should be reserved for team members between the ages of 15 and 24. We also strongly encourage individuals who are not connected to a team to pursue their ideas outside of this challenge, and continue to contribute to a safer, healthier world through improved masks and increased mask-wearing everywhere.

  • Anyone on the team between the ages of 15-24 can be nominated as the Team Leader. But, we suggest the Team Leader be at least 18 years old so they can sign the Competitor Agreement. If the Team Leader is under 18 years old, the team will need to appoint a sponsor to act as the Team Leader and sign the Competitor Agreement on behalf of the team.

  • If you’re not competing or supporting a team, you can follow the challenge at Whether you just want to learn more and amplify the reach and impact of this challenge or want to directly support teams with resources and expertise, there is an opportunity to participate without competing. Also, join the XPRIZE community at

  • The winning team will design a face mask that overcomes at least 5 of the 10 top barriers to mask-wearing as defined by an XPRIZE-conducted survey. The winning mask design must also effectively meet the filtration requirements equivalent to a surgical mask.

  • Too hot on my face
    Fog my glasses
    Difficult to breathe in
    Difficult to have a conversation
    Can’t exercise in them
    They hurt my face / Don’t fit my face properly
    Can’t eat or drink while wearing them
    People can’t see my facial expressions
    Difficult to acquire

  • All submissions for the Next-Gen Mask Challenge will be submitted through the XPRIZE Prize Operations Portal (POP). Competitors must create a team or join an existing team, and submit all the necessary materials through the Activities tab on the POP team profile page.

    There are two activities listed for the Next-Gen Mask Challenge, each with multiple parts that must all be completed: The Qualifying Submission and the Competitor Agreement. All teams are required to submit these materials by September 15, 2020.

    If you are uncertain about how to complete each activity, please refer to the corresponding documents listed in the Next-Gen Mask Challenge POP Resources section and the information written in the help sections (displayed as “?” icons) accompanying each activity.

  • Competing teams will retain the rights to their designs and technology.

  • There will be $1 million (USD) in total prize purses available.

  • There will be a Grand Prize Purse in the amount of $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand USD) awarded to one team.

    Two additional teams will split $500,000 (USD) in categories determined by the Judging Panel.