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Challenge The SUDEP Institute Challenge: Preventing Epilepsy Seizures
The SUDEP Institute Challenge: Preventing Epilepsy Seizures
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 321
Posted: Aug 14 2015
Challenge ID: 9933718
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Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause of death in young adults who have epilepsy and poorly controlled seizures. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP, and, if seizures are uncontrolled, the risk increases to more than 1 out of 150.  Unfortunately, one-third of people living with epilepsy are faced with ongoing seizures despite all currently available therapies. Individuals who have frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures appear to be at highest risk.

A widespread lack of awareness and ongoing fear and discrimination lead many individuals to hide their epilepsy and to accept ongoing seizures instead of seeking out more effective treatments. Additionally, because they do not understand that epilepsy can be life threatening, many do not adhere to their treatment plan to obtain complete seizure control – which is zero seizures. Many individuals with epilepsy may not achieve maximal seizure control because of lack of access to best therapies, poor adherence to prescribed therapies, or lifestyle factors that may provoke seizures. These circumstances and behaviors increase their risk of continued seizures, injuries, and SUDEP.

The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute is challenging Solvers to come up with ideas for a method/intervention to reduce the risk of seizures, especially convulsive or tonic-clonic seizures, with the purpose of preventing SUDEP. Can you help us create a tool to empower more people with epilepsy to improve seizure control?

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.


Nearly 3 million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a neurological condition which affects the nervous system and causes seizures. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime with 150,000 new cases annually in the United States. Nearly 80% of the people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries and three quarters of these individuals do not get the treatment they need. 

Among those living with epilepsy, nearly one-third are not able to control their seizures with existing therapies. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. Although rare in children, SUDEP is the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures. 

No seizures, no side effects” is the motto for epilepsy treatment. With this Challenge, the Epilepsy Foundation is looking for innovative methods/interventions that help people with epilepsy track their behaviors, medications, and symptoms. This information will allow patients and their caregivers to have meaningful conversations with physicians about the appropriate treatment plan to control seizures, minimize the risk of convulsive seizures, and limit debilitating side effects of medications.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on October 13, 2015. Late submissions will not be considered.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, Solvers will not be required to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

At the conclusion of the Challenge, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute may also offer a non-monetary prize to Solvers with outstanding concepts. The winning Solver(s) may be connected with resources (e.g. industry experts, physicians, crowdfunding) to facilitate the development of promising ideas.


This challenge is driven by the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), find a cure, and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy, and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. 

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with more than 50 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The Foundation works to prevent, control, and cure epilepsy through community services; public education; federal and local advocacy; and supporting research into new treatments and therapies. The Foundation works to ensure that people with epilepsy have the opportunity to live to their fullest potential. 

The SUDEP Institute is an initiative led by the Epilepsy Foundation that carries out SUDEP education and awareness programs for people affected by epilepsy and medical professionals; drives and supports research into the causes of and ways to prevent SUDEP; offers a support network providing counseling, community, and resources for individuals and families affected by SUDEP; and works together with many epilepsy organizations to find answers to SUDEP. 

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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