Homeland Security Dept. and Coast Guard offer prizes for boater safety solutions

The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center are teaming up for boater safety.

The two organization have launched the U.S. Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge, a $255,000 prize competition that seeks boater safety solutions that will help make it easier to find people in the water.

“Boater safety solutions that harness new designs and technologies can improve the chance of a successful rescue,” said William N. Bryan, DHS senior official and challenge spokesman. “New, innovative solutions are critical. We are proud to support our nation’s maritime first responder with this important, life-saving effort.”

This call for concepts is the first phase of an anticipated three-phase prize competition. Phase I concepts could include a new or updated life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD), an attachment to a life jacket or PFD, or an additional device for boaters. The best concepts will be effective, affordable, and hold the potential for wide adoption by recreational boaters.

Those interested in participating in the challenge should submit their concept by 4:59 p.m. on Oct. 15. The judges will evaluate the submissions and will select up to five monetary prize winners and up to five non-monetary honorable mention award winners. A total of $25,000 will be distributed evenly among each of the Phase I monetary prize winners.

In Phase II, selected participants will participate in a “Piranha Pool” to pitch their solution and compete for a total prize pool of $120,000. This prize will assist each monetary prize winner in developing their concept into a working prototype.

In Phase III, the Coast Guard will field test prototypes alongside standard Coast Guard approved safety equipment. At the conclusion of Phase III, the judging panel may award $110,000 in additional monetary prizes.

For more information about the Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge, visit readyforrescuechallenge.com.

Jason Vallee

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