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Beyer Introduces Legislation To Encourage COVID-19 Test Innovation

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), today introduced the Point-of-Care Testing Prize Competitions Act, legislation designed to harness the power of scientific innovation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in consultation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to rapidly launch prize competitions encouraging the development of a point-of-care COVID-19 test capable of producing accurate results in under 30 minutes for multiple samples.

“Defeating this pandemic and achieving any kind of return to normalcy will depend in large part on significantly improving testing capacity,” said Beyer. “Simply put, we need more tests, faster tests, and more accurate tests. Prize competitions have a long and successful history of spurring innovation in aeronautics, aviation, engineering, and scientific fields. This is an obvious and easy area in which federal direction could help channel increased efforts towards an extremely important objective that currently remains elusive.”

Beyer has served on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology since taking office. Text of the Point-of-Care Testing Prize Competitions Act is available here.