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2021 Catalyst Awards Results Announcement

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Rules and Guidelines

Topic Areas

We seek bold, new ideas from any discipline to both extend lifespan, and to ensure that lifespan is accompanied by a process of healthy ageing, as defined by the World Health Organization, and take the life course approach to optimization of function, as measured by intrinsic capacity. In addition, we seek proposals that would address any inequalities in the healthy ageing process. Examples of topic areas addressing the broad scope of healthy ageing include but are not limited to:

  • Indicators of healthy ageing (at cellular, individual, or population level);
  • Personal factors affecting healthy ageing (lifestyle, psychological, socioeconomic);
  • Environmental factors: physical (housing, living environment, air quality, microclimate) and social (networks; activities, role in society, volunteering etc.);
  • Community models promoting healthy ageing, and mitigating any health inequalities;
  • Health and social policies that promote healthy ageing, and mitigating any health inequalities.


The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a full-time staff member of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) or The University of Hong Kong (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.

While a particular individual may only be listed as PI on one Catalyst Award application per round, a PI can be named on another application as co-investigator within the same round.


Event/Activity Key Dates
Open for applications 1 March 2021
Closing date 12 April 2021
Announcement of results* September 2021
Innovator summit* Summer 2022
Final report submission* September 2022


Review & Evaluation

Review Process

The review process includes the following steps:

Review Process

(1) Administrative Review
All applications will be screened to determine whether they are complete, adhere to the formatting requirements, and meet basic relevance and eligibility criteria.

(2) Innovation Review
Qualified and responsive applications will be evaluated by at least two reviewers. These reviewers include luminaries and experts from across disciplines to assess the originality, potential and feasibility of the proposed idea (See Evaluation Criteria for further details).

(3) Subject Matter Expert (SME) Review
The top-ranked proposals (approximately 2x the number of catalyst awards to be given out) will be distributed to external SMEs.

(4) Selection Committee Review
A final selection panel will review the shortlisted applications and external reviewers’ assessment, identifying the most innovative, novel, and potentially groundbreaking ideas.

Double-blind Review

To avoid potential conflicts of interest in the evaluation process, reviewers will not have access to information about applicants’ identities or affiliations, nor will the applicants have access to such information about reviewers. The organizing committee will make every effort to assign an application to reviewers without apparent conflict of interest.

Evaluation Criteria

Reviewers will evaluate applications based on the following criteria (in order of descending importance): (1) Innovation, (2) Potential for impact, (3) Quality, and (4) Scope.

Evaluation Criteria

Terms and conditions

Due Diligence Review
Before winners are announced and awards are disbursed, a due diligence review will be conducted to verify that applicants are appropriate recipients of Catalyst Award funds.

Intellectual Property
Catalyst awardees will retain all intellectual property rights they may have in their applications. While reviewers will be asked to keep confidential the contents of the applications during the review process, the winning ideas, once publicly announced, will no longer be confidential. Applicants are encouraged to consult an intellectual property attorney prior to entering the competition.

Abstract Publication and Use of Your Name and Likeness Acknowledgment
By applying for a Catalyst Award, applicants agree to supply a detailed abstract that describes their innovative idea (the “Abstract”). Applicants, including all Principal Investigators (PIs) listed in the application, agree to authorize each sponsor of the Competition (at any phase of the Competition) to use each PI’s name, abstract, and/or names, likeness, and contact information of each PI in any sponsor’s dissemination efforts related the Healthy Longevity Global Competition.

Progress Update
Each Catalyst Award winner will be required to submit a 500-word final report to summarize progress and milestones achieved with the awarded money approximately one year after the disbursement of the prize.

Innovator Summit
Catalyst Award winners will be strongly encouraged to attend the Innovator Summit (anticipated to take place in Summer 2022) to discuss their ideas and the progress achieved against them. The Innovator Summit will be an opportunity to share ideas with fellow innovators, find opportunities to collaborate, meet industry leaders who can help guide future work, and discuss innovations with potential investors.

Results Announcement