Logo: Sprind – Bundesagentur für Sprunginnovation

© Sprind

On 13 July 2021, the Agency for Breakthrough Innovations launched its first innovation challenge entitled “A quantum leap for new antivirals”. The objective is to develop groundbreaking technologies for antiviral drugs.

Said Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier: “The launch of the first SPRIND challenge is an important milestone in the work of the Agency and in Germany’s activities to fund innovations. SPRIND and its challenges constitute pioneering work performed by the Federal Government. As always with breakthrough innovations, we cannot know which technologies will deliver groundbreaking innovations. We look forward with great anticipation to some innovative ideas. The key is to be bold and learn from the outcomes.”

Commenting on the challenges, Rafael Laguna de la Vera, Director of SPRIND says: “The SPRIND challenges are taking us into uncharted territory: instead of awarding long-term funding to a single team, we will have several teams working on the same topic simultaneously. DARPA, the U.S. organisation that has inspired us, has repeatedly shown that the time pressure and the competitive environment of the challenges can lead to extraordinary outcomes within what is a fairly short space of time.”

The ‘challenges’ are designed to encourage participants to hatch ideas that have the potential to become breakthrough innovations that can help resolve pressing societal, economic, and ecological questions, and to then identify these ideas and provide funding for them. It is also possible for the new innovation to receive comprehensive funding within a subsidiary company.

Innovators from business, science, and research are now invited to submit their entries by 12 September 2021. Further information can be found at https://www.sprind.org/de/challenges/antiviral

SPRIND is a company owned by the Federation, financed and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.