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UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) and Geneva Health Forum (GHF) announce The Mask Challenge


The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) in partnership with the Geneva Health Forum (GHF) is inviting you to submit your concrete and sustainable solution for protective face masks or alternative innovative solutions with reduced environmental impact.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a vast amount of face masks has been produced, used, and discarded globally. Meanwhile, the climate crisis continues to accelerate and is further fueled by the impact of poor waste management as a considerable proportion of disposed masks end up polluting terrestrial and marine ecosystems. To tackle this problem, we are looking for start-ups, innovators, mask manufacturers, and other organizations who have developed (or are working on developing) an environmentally friendly protective face mask or alternative solution with a smaller environmental impact than conventional masks while not compromising on protection against aerosols.

To participate in the challenge, please follow the below steps:

Step 1: Read this document to find out if you are eligible to participate.

Step 2: Submit your proposal through this simple online form.

Step 3: Record a 3-minute pitch or put together a short slide deck (5 slides max.) presenting your solution and send it to

IMPORTANT: Steps 2 and 3 need to be completed by Monday, 18 April at 23:59 CET. Please note that we will not be able to consider your submission if either the online form or the pitch/slide deck is missing.

The selected applicants will be invited to participate in the GHF Innovation fair where they will have the opportunity to present their solution to a global innovation community on Wednesday, May 4th 2022.

We look forward to your submissions and remain available for any questions!