Mercatus Launches Prize Fund to Combat COVID-19

For more information, contact Kate De Lanoy at [email protected].

Arlington, VA – The Mercatus Center at George Mason University announced today a series of prizes through its Emergent Ventures program for innovators working to combat COVID-19. Tyler Cowen, faculty director of the Mercatus Center and founder of Emergent Ventures, sees the prizes as a way to stimulate innovation in the face of a pandemic.

“When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we don’t know where the critical advancements and breakthroughs are going to come from,” said Cowen. “These prizes are a way to incentivize innovation and help to repay those who work on this issue, as they are unlikely to receive anything close to the full social value of their efforts.”

Emergent Ventures will offer prizes in the following areas:

  • Best investigative journalism on coronavirus – $50,000 prize
  • Best blog or social media tracking/analysis of the virus – $100,000 prize
  • Best coronavirus policy writing – $50,000 prize
  • Best effort to find a good treatment rapidly – $500,000 first prize, $200,000 second prize
  • Best innovation in social distancing – $100,000 prize
  • Most important innovation or improvement for India – $100,000 prize

There is no application for these prizes; Emergent Ventures will award them when a significant success is spotted. In most cases, the awards will apply to actions taken after the announcement of this prize.

Applicants wishing to apply for grant funding for a COVID-19-related project may still do so through the Emergent Ventures portal. COVID-related applications will be fast-tracked until the pandemic has abated.

For questions or media inquiries, please contact Kate De Lanoy at [email protected].