Microencapsulation is a technique in which substances are coated to form extremely small capsules. These particles are used in a number of industries for the delivery of materials such as vitamins, minerals, and pharmaceuticals. The Seeker desires methods for improving the stability of microcapsules in aqueous solutions, and for controlled slow release of small molecules.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and prototype delivery.
Microencapsulation is one method that protects substances from modification or degradation before being released at the correct location. The coating is rarely impermeable, thus the material within the capsules will diffuse into the surrounding environment. A number of factors influence the rate of diffusion – some of these can be controlled (e.g. thickness of the barrier, composition of the capsule), while others are less readily changed (e.g. pH, temperature). The Seeker is interested in methods to improve the long-term stability of microcapsules in aqueous solutions, with controlled slow release of small molecules. The capsules are for use in food products.
A submission to the Challenge should include the following:
An initial award of $5,000 for up to four Solvers is contingent upon evaluation of experimental data provided in the submitted solutions. An additional award of $30,000 may be paid to a Solver, who can deliver a sample that yields successful preliminary results when tested for stability, porosity, and digestibility by the Seeker.
To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a partial award if exclusive IP can only be obtained for food applications.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 30, 2019.
Late submissions will not be considered.
What is an RTP Challenge?
An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.