XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance and the New England Complex Systems Institute Announce COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative


In an effort to save lives globally from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance and the New England Complex Systems Institute announced the COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative, a new joint effort to dramatically accelerate the use of CT scans for COVID-19 diagnoses and treatment.

Research teams that develop the most effective clinical protocol for the use of CT scans in fighting COVID-19 will be awarded prizes from the $1.8 million purse. The new COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative includes Mount Sinai Hospital, the Open-QIC COVID Registry and the endcoronavirus.org network.

XPRIZE is the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, and it recently announced a global XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance, which launched two major international competitions to address the COVID-19 pandemic: the XPRIZE NextGen Mask Challenge and XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing. The COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative will operate the prize, and the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance will help develop best practices and convene teams for the competition.

CT scans with high detection capabilities have the potential to increase testing access, disease monitoring and identification of early and asymptomatic cases. As new radiology protocols typically take years to develop, this unprecedented, real-time collaboration will enable radiologists worldwide to view anonymized CT scans to improve their results.

“CT scans can be a real game-changer in our global battle to end coronavirus,” said Yaneer Bar-Yam, PhD, President and Founder of the New England Complex Systems Institute, an independent academic research and educational institution. “We need aggressive and bold actions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 to get ahead of the outbreak so that it is stopped. It will take the global community to accelerate how we meet these challenges. We are thrilled to launch the COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative, working with the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance to ensure we use the expertise of XPRIZE and its network to be most successful.”

“Facing the COVID-19 crisis is proving to be one of the world’s most critical challenges, as we currently rely on slow and invasive testing methods,” said Amir Banifatemi, chief innovation and growth officer at XPRIZE and lead of the XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance. “We can accelerate critical response efforts and identify breakthrough solutions using CT scans for earlier detection. We look forward to supporting the COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative to find a more reliable, effective detection method for the virus using CT scan technology.”

The goal of the COVID-19 CT Scan Collaborative is to exponentially advance the development of CT scan clinical protocols for management of COVID-19 infections and increase the availability, ease and accuracy of diagnoses. Judging will be based on two different categories:

COVID-19 detection, which will be measured against reduction of transmission.
Diagnosis, prediction and management of the treatment of COVID-19, which will be measured by the reduction in the number of cases that progress from mild to severe.

Prizes will be awarded for the greatest impact on the outbreak, based upon improving case detection and management of treatment to prevent disease progression.

Teams must register to join the competition by November 1, 2020. Phase 2 of protocol development, feedback and improvement will run until November 15, 2020, followed by a testing and judging phase and the announcement of winners in January 2021. For more information and to register, visit endcoronavirus.org/xprize.


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, $1 Million XPRIZE NextGen Mask Challenge and $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing. For more information, visit xprize.org.


The XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance is a global coalition that combines the power of collaboration, competition, innovation and radical thinking to accelerate solutions that can be applied to COVID-19 and future pandemics.


The New England Complex Systems Institute is an independent academic research and educational institution with students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. In addition to the in-house research team, NECSI has co-faculty, students and affiliates from MIT, Harvard, Brandeis and other leading institutions.