Sample transport packaging design competition

Sample transport packaging design competition

We are seeking to drive innovation by spurring the design and development of a next-generation sample transport packaging solution.

The purpose of this competition is to facilitate safe scale-up of access to diagnostic services through the design of a fit-for-purpose, open access sample transportation packaging solution for clinical samples.

Sample transport regulations specify that prior to transportation, all potentially bio-hazardous material require triple packaging, including a primary receptacle (specimen container), secondary packaging and outer packaging. However, a lack of availability of fit-for-purpose packaging may result in the use of improvised containers, which can be unsafe and compromise sample integrity. Commercially available sample transport boxes and packaging are costly, non-environmentally friendly, and come with supply chain and disposal challenges. Investment in this area is limited, resulting in poor incentives to find a solution. This competition aims to fill that gap.


Eligibility, scope & selection criteria


Formal or informal patient groups, researchers, advocacy organizations or other non-governmental organizations, including implementing bodies, and appropriate legal profit or non-profit entities carrying out activities in the field of in vitro diagnostics for use in low- and middle-income countries, students, engineers, designers, and start-ups are invited to apply.

Applications from individuals, organizations, and teams are welcomed.


The scope of this design competition includes:

  • Secondary packaging
  • Outer packaging (including a place for documents to be attached)

Each submission is required to include a design for both of these packaging layers. Absorbent materials and any layer beyond the outer packaging are not necessary to design but may be submitted. Primary receptacle designs are not within the scope of this design competition.

Selection criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by FIND and members of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) including:

  • Heidi Albert, Head, FIND South Africa
  • Scott David, Innovation Director, Shapeable
  • Kekeletso Kao, Senior Program Manager, FIND
  • Vithal Prasad Myneedu, M.D, Microbiologist (SAG) and HOD, National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases, India
  • Kameko Nichols, Independent Consultant, The Nichols Group LLC
  • Alfons Van Woerkom, Head of Supply Chain, the Global Fund

The following key factors will be considered in choosing the winning applicants:

  • Impact of the initiative in terms of improved diagnostic sample viability, improved access to diagnosis, and/or cost effectiveness
  • Degree to which the innovation/initiative is a significant improvement on previous approaches
  • Practicality for replicating novel diagnostics approaches in other settings and regions
  • Testimony by logistics partners, healthcare providers, and implementers
  • Packaging solution developed to transport TB sputum specimens (required) and other types of specimens for TB and other diseases (desired)

Other factors that will be considered:

  • Use of sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly materials
  • Minimal training required for use
  • Possibility of local production of design
  • Product to be implemented in primary health facilities (lowest level of implementation in the healthcare system)

Please refer to the complete minimum product requirements.



A prize of US$10,000, supported by FIND, will be presented for innovative design solutions that enable local manufacturing and improved supply of fit-for-purpose sample transport packaging to facilitate safe scale-up of access to diagnostic services.

FIND will support the winner’s attendance at the Union World Conference on Lung Health to showcase the winning design to an international scientific audience. FIND will also support match-making efforts between the winning designer and manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries.

In addition, FIND will support the pilot production run of the winning design for operational study.

The deadline for proposal submissions is 31 July 2019.


Apply now

Applications should include:

  • Completed application form* (save the form to your desktop, open it using Adobe Acrobat, complete the form, and resave)
  • Design drawings and material specifications for both of the packaging layers (secondary and outer packaging)
  • Short video showcasing the design and prototype of your design
  • Design prototype

Please email the submission form, design drawings, material specifications and short video to

Please send the design prototype by mail to our office in Geneva.


Many thanks for your submission and good luck!

If you have any questions, please contact us.