Code Life


Code Life Ventilator Challenge: MADE for All

An optimization race to yield a safe, approved, sub-$1000 ventilator based on the Code Life Ventilator Challenge design finalists.
$100,000 to $300,000

Challenge Overview


Race to a sub-$1000, Health-Canada approved ventilator production package for the Code Life Ventilator Finalist Designs


We must vastly reduce manufacturing costs of the ventilators that we so critically need right now, in order to save lives worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the worldwide ventilation shortage and healthcare disparity between countries. 

Medical devices, like pharmaceuticals, must be affordable, to uphold the quality of human lives across the planet: this is a McGill Third Century Challenge. Engine is McGill’s technology and innovation hub, pushing technological innovation for the greater social good. Teaming up with Code Life Ventilator partners, Engine launches the Made for All Manufacturing Challenge to produce low-cost ventilators that can be manufactured locally around the world. 

Respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, but also Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and viral pneumonia, sometimes necessitate respiratory assistance with ventilators. Long before the pandemic hit, many lives in developing countries have been lost due to shortages of ventilators needed to treat a variety of respiratory ailments. The Code Life Ventilator Challenge catalyzed three low-cost, easy-to-build and easy-to-use ventilator designs. Now what is needed is to finalize and ready those designs for manufacture worldwide.  


How it works

The Made for All challenge will run in two phases—Team Formation, and The Sprint.

Team Formation phase—global teams of manufacturing and compliance experts get together—to include an industrial engineer, design engineer, medical device expert, technical writer, and a clinical respiratory expert. Each formed team pitches the Finalists of the Code Life Ventilator Challenge, to be selected as the Made for All Team to work on their design. At the end of this phase there will be three Made for All Teams. 

The Sprint—all three Made for All Teams race to be the first to obtain Health Canada approval for their device and make a final manufacturing package for a ventilator costing less than $1000 CAD. 


Fundraising Goal

Up to $300,000 will be awarded in compensation to the first Made for All Sprint Team to cross the finish line, in exchange for the final manufacturing package and license to share worldwide with competent manufacturers. $100,000 has generously been donated by the Montreal General Hospital Foundation already, and McGill Engine, the Faculty of Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship centre, seeks to raise$200,000 to support this important initiative. 

Call for Expertise. McGill Engine needs your expertise for the manufacturing and regulatory panels that will evaluate the project. If you are interested please contact us


Ventilators for the World

The Made for All Sprint participants will join their Code Life Ventilator Challenge Finalist colleagues to grant a low-cost license to their manufacturing package so that these safe, low-cost, optimized-for-manufacturing designs can be shared worldwide with manufacturers that are committed to low-cost manufacturing for the next 18 months. 

Time is of the essence: join McGill Engine in completing the next phase of the vital and life-saving Code Life Ventilator Challenge by greatly reducing ventilator manufacturing costs. 



Dr. Peter Goldberg - Director, Clinical Care Centre, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Professor Reza Farivar - Canada Research Chair in Integrative Neuroscience

Professor Benoit Boulet - Director, McGill Engine

Vivian Diniz - Business Development Officer, McGill Engine

Katya Marc - Associate Director, McGill Engine

Elise Monaghan Joubert - Associate Director, McGill Faculty of Engineering University Advancement



Challenge Guidelines




Team Eligibility

Teams must have the technical and financial means to produce the manufacturing prototype of the proposed design(s) and obtain regulatory approval from Health Canada or the FDA.

Teams must also be composed of at least 5 people and include, but not limited to:

  • an independent expert physician or respiratory therapist capable of signing off on the clinical adequacy and performance
  • a subject matter expert, able to guide and attest to the compliance of the device with ISO standards
  • an industrial engineer, to direct the preparation of a professional, optimized manufacturing package
  • an industrial designer, to direct the optimization of the final device and its usability
  • a technical writer, to prepare compliant documentation for installation, use, etc, of the device
  • a software engineer with medical device programming experience, to guide and attest to certifiable software for the devices


1. Pitching phase

Each candidate team must select a design among the three design teams: Haply, IFPR Brazil or Lung Carburetor. The candidate team will then prepare a pitch for the respective design team.

The pitch should be as concise as possible and must outline the team’s capabilities and expertise and the reasons why the team should be selected to optimize the chosen design to manufacture a ventilator for less than $1,000 CAD while still complying with the Health Canada or FDA regulatory requirements (under COVID-related or interim-authorization accelerated review process, for example) 

Each design team will have two weeks to review all the corresponding design pitches and select one candidate team to move on to the design optimization phase. 

2. Design Optimization Race

Once the candidate teams are selected by the design teams, they must notify the sponsors and submit a formal agreement between them, showing agreement on items such as IP and licensing.  They will then have until Dec. 1st, 2020 (approximately 90 days) to produce a manufacturing package for the corresponding ventilator design and obtain approval for human use from either Health Canada or the FDA, or have at least interim approval for COVID Ventilators.

Candidate teams will then work to optimize the chosen ventilator design to allow the production of a ventilator for $1000 CAD or less. Teams must produce a manufacturing package that will be reviewed and judged by experts based on defined manufacturability and financial criteria. Candidate teams will also have ongoing access to consultants (e.g. aPriori) to assist the cost optimization process.

The manufacturing package must comprise a full package composed of any documents or other materials such as prototypes, designs and design histories, instructions, procedures, methods of construction, compositions of matter, models, specially designed tools, communications, texts, presentations or videos relating to the Challenge, and as needed by other manufacturers to adopt the design for production at their facility and obtain regulatory approval for that device. 

In addition to the manufacturing package, the teams must provide access to the full dossier of test results and other information relevant to the regulatory approval process--essentially all material needed for another manufacturer to be able to file for rapid authorization to produce the device. 

3. Winner Announcement

The first candidate team to successfully complete a Financial Assessment and obtain Regulatory Approval by Health Canada or FDA will win the challenge and receive compensation up to $300,000 CAD.


Additional Information

Information on the design teams

Information on the Ventilator Designs will be made available by material and documents provided by the Design Teams to the Candidate Teams. Some of these will be shared on this site.

Please stay tuned for updates.

Updates 7

Challenge Updates

Reminder! Deadline for Submission tomorrow Sep 15, 2020, 5pm EDT

Sept. 14, 2020, 3:25 p.m. PDT by Vivian Diniz

Dear participants, 

Please be reminded that tomorrow, Sept. 15, 2020, 5 p.m. EDT is the registration and submission deadline.

This is the deadline by which you must register and make a pitch to the Code Life Ventilator Challenge Finalists.

Thank you!

Reminder - Q&A Session with the Design Teams on Sep 3, 2020!

Sept. 1, 2020, 5:47 a.m. PDT by Vivian Diniz

We will be hosting an online Q&A Session with the Design Teams on Sep 3, 2020, 9:00-10:30am EDT, Montreal, Canada! 

You will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Code Life Ventilator unique designs!

Please register for the Q&A Session here

Once registered, you will receive the invitation to the Q&A Session. 

Please note that you need to be registered in the Made For All challenge on the HeroX platform in order to participate in the Q&A Session. 

Q&A Session with the Design Teams on Sep 3, 2020!

Aug. 28, 2020, 11:37 a.m. PDT by Vivian Diniz

We will be hosting an online Q&A Session with the Design Teams on Sep 3, 2020, 9:00-10:30am EDT, Montreal, Canada! 

You will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Code Life Ventilator unique designs!

Please register for the Q&A Session here

Once registered, you will receive the invitation to the Q&A Session. 

Please note that you need to be registered in the Made For All challenge on the HeroX platform in order to participate in the Q&A Session. 

Changes to the Registration and Submission Deadline to Sep 15, 2020!

Aug. 25, 2020, 9:21 a.m. PDT by Vivian Diniz

Registration and Submission Deadline has changed to September 15, 2020!

Please hurry and assemble your teams to help make the Code Life Ventilator designs a reality and save lives!

The Made For All Challenge featured on Canadian Healthcare Technology and on Business Insider.

Aug. 12, 2020, 3:09 p.m. PDT by Vivian Diniz


The Code Life Ventilator - Made For All Challenge was featured on Canadian Healthcare Technology and on Business Insider.


Forum 1
Teams 204
Partners & Advisors

Partners & Advisors



Montreal General Hospital Foundation - Code Life

CODE LiFE: The Montreal General Hospital Foundation’s mission is to provide vital support for vital care. The Foundation is mandated to raise money, manage significant funds, and invest responsibly in healthcare research, training and technology at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and more broadly, within the McGill academic health network. We work in close partnership with donors and dedicated collaborators to raise awareness and foster excellence in vital care to all patients, present and future.


McGill Faculty of Engineering and McGill Engine

The Faculty of Engineering at McGill University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of chemical, civil, computer, electrical, software, mechanical, materials and mining engineering, as well as bioengineering. The Faculty includes the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture and the School of Urban Planning. As one of the top-ranked research-intensive engineering and design schools in the world, it prides itself on the excellence of its students, professors and staff and its impact on the world through its education and research mission.

The McGill Engine, the Faculty of Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, has a team of professionals providing advising and coaching to students and professors for advancing their ideas and research outcomes, in addition to funding, training, and mentorship programs, as well as liaison with industry for R&D collaborations.



aPriori is a leading provider of enterprise product cost management (PCM) software featuring design for manufacturability (DFM) and cost (DTC) solutions. Our mission is to help discrete manufacturing and product innovation companies generate hard-dollar cost savings and accelerate time to market. Using aPriori’s real-time product manufacturability assessments, employees in engineering, sourcing, and manufacturing make more-informed decisions that drive costs out of products pre- and post-production. With aPriori, manufacturers launch products at target cost, maximize savings in re-work projects, and avoid overpaying for sourced parts. To learn more about aPriori, visit or our Product Costing Blog. Follow aPriori on LinkedIn.


Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright provides the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.




TÜV SÜD Canada is a 3rd party accredited lab for the testing and certification of medical electrical devices. We help device manufacturers with the hardware testing needed for FDA, Health Canada and other international submissions. TÜV SÜD is currently working on Covid related devices for the North American and International markets. If you are an inventor or manufacturer that needs help getting your product through the regulatory maze TÜV SÜD Canada can help. 


CSA Group

CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. We are a leader in Standards Development and in Testing, Inspection and Certification around the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. With the continued increase of COVID-19 infections,  CSA Group can help you navigate the requirements for ventilators which are undergoing Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for an immediate need during this pandemic.

Learn more about ventilator testing for pandemic use in our recorded webinar. This webinar will talk about detailed requirements and elements involved for documentation, evaluation, and testing needs for ventilator manufacturers for pandemic applications.

For more information about CSA Group, please visit









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