The opioid crisis has devastated communities across the country, creating an unprecedented public health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a new report, indicating that the third wave of the epidemic is underway and overdoses from fentanyl are spiking. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is prioritizing swift interventions to help address the opioid crisis, and using open innovation to expediently source new tools to counter the supply side of the crisis.
In February, S&T launched the Opioid Detection Challenge, a $1.55 million prize competition calling upon innovators to submit novel plans for rapid, nonintrusive detection tools that will help find illicit opioids in international mail. The competition is in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).