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2021 Catalyst Awards Results Announcement

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Healthy Longevity Global Competition

1. What is the Healthy Longevity Global Competition?

The Healthy Longevity Global Competition was founded by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2019. The Global Competition aims to accelerate research and innovation to support healthy longevity though a series of monetary awards and prizes.

2. What are the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards?

As the initial phase of the Global Competition, Catalyst Awards will award bold, innovative and potentially transformative ideas to extend the healthspan. Ideas may originate from any field(s) and focus on any stage of life provided they promote health as people age. Each Catalyst Award includes a US$50,000 cash prize for a period of 12 months as well as travel costs to attend an annual Innovator Summit.

3. Are the Accelerator and Grand Prize phases also cash prizes? Will they have the same reporting requirements?

International Catalyst Awardee and finalists who have made significant progress on advancing their ideas and preferably achieved proof of concept may apply for an Accelerator Award (US$300,000 to US$1 million, or more) and for the Grand Prizes (up to US$5 million) in the second and third phases of the Global Competition.

Catalyst Award winners will be required to submit a summary of progress and milestones achieved approximately one year after disbursement of the prize. Details on the requirements and application instructions of the Accelerator Awards and Grand Prizes will be made available closer to the start of the phases.

Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards Details

1. Are there guidelines regarding intellectual property (IP)?

The Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards (Hong Kong) organizing committee and NAM will not retain intellectual property (IP) rights of ideas presented in the Catalyst Awards applications. The ownership of IP rights is a matter to be sorted out by the principal investigator (PI) and their affiliated institution, if applicable. Applicants are encouraged to consult an intellectual property attorney prior to entering the competition.

2. What is the timeframe for Catalyst Awards projects?

There is no requirement as to when the project must be completed. However, the intention is that the projects will be short-term in duration (1-2 years), and winners will need to be prepared to report on progress achieved within one year.

3. If a successful application includes multiple investigators/collaborators, will all of these individuals receive invitations to the Innovator Summit in 2021?

There must be a single principal investigator (PI) associated with each application, but the PI may identify additional co-investigators or collaborators on the application form. The Catalyst Award includes travel expenses for the PI to attend the 2022 Innovator Summit. Additional co-investigators or collaborators may request to attend the Innovator Summit, but their travel expenses will not be covered.

4. Are there any limitations on the use of awarded cash? Do I need to provide a budget plan for the proposal?

No, there is no specific requirements on budget utilization and allocation. However, the seed money must be used on advancing the applicants’ ideas with the goal of ultimately demonstrating proof of concept. The awardee will be required to submit a final report on the progress, milestones achieved and budget utilization approximately one year after award disbursement.

Eligibility and Application

1. Are there any limitations on the number of applications from one organization or institution?

No, but a principal investigator (PI) can only submit one application per year. However, a PI may serve as a co-investigator or collaborator on another application within the same annual cycle.

2. Are there any limitations on the scope of the research proposal?

No. We seek bold, innovative and potentially transformative ideas to extend the healthspan. Ideas may originate from any field(s) and focus on any stage of life provided they promote health as people age. For more details, please refer to Topic Areas. For inspiration, meet the 154 international winners of the inaugural round of Catalyst Awards, announced in October 2020.

3. What is the maximum number of co-investigators?

In addition to the Principal Investigator (PI), applicants may name up to three co-investigators.

4. Do I need to be a faculty level researcher or equivalent to be eligible for this award?

The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a full-time staff member of CUHK or HKU. For CUHK, all full-time academic and research staff with the ranking of (Research) Assistant Professor, Research Fellow or above can apply. For HKU, all full-time professoriate staff and Research Assistant Professors can apply.

5. Can I include references in my application? Will that count towards the page limit?

Applicants may include up to three key references to literature, theories, and/or evidence to suggest the proposed idea would be effective, to be counted towards the two-page limit (see Formatting requirements and proposal template).

6. Can the Catalyst Awards be used to fund animal research?

Yes. The Catalyst Awards are for bold, new, potentially transformative ideas that promote healthy longevity and extend the human healthspan. The prize is specific to the idea and will be awarded upfront. There are no restrictions on what applicants can propose with respect to how they would test their idea.

7. Can this award be used to fund an existing program?

The Catalyst Awards are prizes that will be given for new, potentially transformative ideas that promote healthy longevity. The US$50,000 prize is not intended to fund the implementation of an existing program but to be used as seed money that will allow winners to advance their ideas with the goal of ultimately demonstrating proof of concept.

8. Can this award cover projects that will need to be funded in part by others sources?

Yes. The Catalyst Awards will be given for bold, new, potentially transformative ideas that promote healthy longevity. The prize is intended as seed money that will help winners advance their ideas. There are no restrictions on other funding sources that the applicant has or may secure in the future related to their innovative idea.

9. The application should not include any personally identifying information. What if my publications or other identifying details are relevant to my application?

As applications to the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards will be subject to a double-blind review, please do not provide any personally identifying information on your application. If identifying information is found in your application, this may lead to disqualification. Applicants may decide how to best avoid including identifiable information in their research proposal submission.

Here are some possible approaches:

  1. Refer to your published work in third person (e.g., replace “as we have demonstrated” with “as [Anonymous, 2015] has demonstrated…”). Alternatively, if you are speaking in first person, blind your own citations: ‘[Anonymous 2015] Details omitted for double-blind review.’
  2. Include references to your published work only when relevant for responding to the application.
  3. Avoid providing names of places, collaborators/partner organizations, or institutions by either blinding or omitting those names (replace mention of a specific university with “a large, US-based research institution”; replace mention of a specific non-profit partner with a brief description, e.g., “a community-based organization serving low-income people over age 65”; replace the name of a specific product or platform you have already developed with a brief description of its function or defining characteristics).
  4. Remove all identifying information from file names and figures.
  5. Anonymize document properties.
Results Announcement