The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put out a call for small businesses to come up with a computer model to help detect which vaccinations work to prevent foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
According to the Government of Canada, FMD is one of the most contagious animal diseases. An outbreak can spread by direct, indirect, and airborne transmission.
The disease, mainly found in cattle, sheep, and swine is highly contagious. The CFIA wants to better understand what vaccination worked. It should be noted, the last reported case of FMD in Canada was in 1952.
Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, the new challenge will seek a system to help specialists determine which vaccination strain would be most successful at preventing and controlling foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in livestock.
Currently, different viral strains can be stored in vaccine banks, but there is no accurate computational system that predicts which strain will be most successful at preventing or controlling the disease after an outbreak. According to a news release, a successful solution to this challenge would use predictive technology to identify viral strains that can be used as vaccines to protect livestock in the event of an outbreak of the disease
If chosen, the business could receive up to $150,000 to help with their research and development. If accepted to move onto phase two, the business could receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype.