The Department of Defense is turning to the public to design its next biohazard suit.
The Chembio Suit Challenge invites anyone (with some knowledge of textiles or technology) to come up with ideas for the next generation of protective gear. The agency's Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense has a total of $250,000 in prize money, with an individual standing to win as much as $150,000.
The agency wants to move beyond the current suit's bulky and heavy design and is aiming to give its soldiers more freedom of movement and agility. It is also interested in ideas that help reduce the heat burden on soldiers and actively cool them during their physical tasks.