Inside-Out Programs

Your Big Idea – Q2 • 2021 Challenge

The first challenge of 2021 of YOUR BIG IDEA arrives, with the commitment to accelerate research and innovation to advance the understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in order to mitigate current and future outbreaks. This call will focus on four programmatic areas: early detection of diseases, diagnosis, prognosis and public health genomics.

Early Disease Detection

Just like early warning weather systems, the ability to forecast an outbreak can have tremendous impact on the preparedness and response of communities, businesses, and governments globally. Building on the vision of DDI to support our customers’ development of diagnostic solutions to mitigate future outbreaks, early disease detection means early warning to help reduce or contain an outbreak.

Eligible projects can include early warning systems, connected medical devices (stethoscope, ECG, pulse ox, etc.), wearables, or medical Internet of Things (IoT) to identify or detect pre-diagnostic factors (body temperature, activity, human and animal population density) associated with infectious cases or potential outbreak sites.


By making diagnostic testing widely available via a variety of different methodologies, we are looking to support efforts that can potentially predict and prevent future outbreaks while at the same time adding new tools available in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. We will support innovation in rapid and accurate diagnostic testing with an emphasis on point-of-care, in-home, or in the field diagnostics.

Eligible projects can include molecular (nucleic acid, antibody, or antigen) tests, in addition to imaging diagnostics (MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound, X-Ray), connected medical devices, wearables, medical IoT, or predictive analytic tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Public health genomics

SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate, potentially augmenting its infectivity, transmissibility, and virulence. Such genomic changes have critical implications for pandemic management and response. Even though genomic surveillance is not by itself a diagnostic product, nearly any product using molecular methods for COVID-19 diagnosis relies on current and comprehensive understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We will support the genomics community to facilitate the collection and sharing of viral genomic data in this crucial time. In order to democratize access to this type of information, applicants are required to submit SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence data to an open data repository such as PubSeq, NCBI SRA, the European Nucleotide Archive, or the DNA Database of Japan.

Eligible projects can include viral genomes sequencing, viral genomic surveillance, and sequences made available on open data repositories.


In addition to a yes/no diagnosis, it is important to develop a better understanding of a disease’s severity level or have the ability to project progression. This will not only provide doctors and clinicians more information to determine their next course of action, but also help future diagnoses that include information on expected progression or severity of outcomes for a patient.

Eligible projects can include assessment or analyses of molecular factors (genetic, inflammatory, or metabolic landscape), health co-morbidities, or ethnic, demographic, or socioeconomic factors to guide patient treatment courses and improve patient outcomes.


Challenge Publication
Auna Ideas Web – Social Media 
May 31th

Collaborators / Teams propose solutions.
June 1st – June 30th

Winner Evaluation and Announcement 
July 12th

Schedule Office Hours to answer questions and receive personalized advice.