$20 Million Challenge’s First Year Garners Nearly 100 Entries from 6 Continents

Conquer Paralysis Now logoPRINCETON, N.J. (APRIL 21, 2015) – In its inaugural year the Conquer Paralysis Now Challenge received almost 100 applicants for a series of grants aimed at finding a cure for paralysis in the next decade.

The pool of entries came from nearly 80 global research institutions in more than 25 countries across six continents such as Egypt, Argentina, India, Australia and the United States. Applicants were eligible for a total of $700,000 in grants across six categories.

The grant categories range from a “New Investigator Award” aimed at drawing new researchers to the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) research to an “Out-of-the-Box Award” created to provide initial funding for high-risk, high-potential research ideas. For more information about each of these grants please click here.

“One of the aims of the CPN Challenge is to entice international research that can help restore functions for those living with spinal cord injury,” said Conquer Paralysis Now Scientific Advisory Council Member Marie-Claude Perreault. “It’s therefore great to hear that the first round of Stage I grants attracted applications across the globe.”

The Challenge plans to award nearly $20 million dollars in grants and prizes over the next 10 years. The first team that can reach unprecedented improvement in every day functions of people living with a chronic SCI will win the $10 million grand prize.

“We will find a cure for paralysis within the next decade, if not sooner,” said Conquer Paralysis Now’s CEO Ida Cahill. “We have a plan and the commitment to make this happen. Through innovative funding and collaboration, we will drive research to help others regain vital everyday functions like reaching and grasping and bowel and bladder control.”

The prize competition has been designed over the past several years by a world-renowned team of researchers and scientists. The Challenge is divided into three stages of increasing difficulty. Stage I has been launched with the ambition of providing seed funding to a wide range of non-traditional approaches.

“With the launch of this audacious grand challenge, Conquer Paralysis Now aimed to tap into expertise around the world,” said Vice President Siobhán Gibney Gomis, head of InnoCentive’s nonprofit practice, which helped design the Challenge. “We were delighted that the first round of awards attracted such diverse submissions.”

One of the most groundbreaking parts of the Challenge will be incentivizing scientists from around the world to share both their successes and failures. By openly sharing failures, the risk of duplicating unsuccessful efforts will be diminished, driving progress in finding a cure even faster.

Grant winners will be announced Fall 2015.

About Conquer Paralysis Now

Conquer Paralysis Now is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission to cure paralysis. The organization is leading the charge for a cure through funding scientific research, medical treatment and technological advances benefiting those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries, stroke or diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or in other ways.

For more information, visit conquerparalysisnow.org.