Reaching Solvers for a Post-Mortem Toxicology Screening Challenge

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Ensemble recently worked with National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH) to support the outreach and engagement efforts for the Cause of Death Elucidated (CODE) Challenge which awarded $100,000 in prize money.

For some background on the CODE Challenge, over 840,000 individuals in the US have died from drug overdoses from 1999 to 2021. Devastatingly, the rates of fatal drug overdoses have been accelerating in recent years. To help address this distressing trend NIDA launched the CODE challenge to solicit ideas for novel postmortem toxicology screening devices that would improve and accelerate the workflow in suspected drug overdose death investigations.

Leveraging our challenge branding expertise, Ensemble provided NIDA with comprehensive branding, graphic design, and niche solver outreach services in order to reach the target audiences for the challenge.

Our outreach methods included using social media and email marketing to target biomedical engineering firms, toxicology labs, toxicology newsletters, university professors and programs, and participants of CDC’s ​​Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge which was a yearlong effort by the U.S. government to accelerate the fight against AMR.

Due to our marketing efforts, the CODE Challenge attracted media attention from American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations, American Academy of Forensic Science, Society of Toxicology, and MIT’s Little Devices Lab. The niche challenge also received 8 quality submissions during its brief submission period. There was a $100,000 prize purse with the top 4 teams receiving $25,000 each.

Ensemble is hugely grateful that our client work has the ability to make an impact on such an important cause. To learn more about how Ensemble approached the marketing strategy for this challenge as well as the results of the CODE Challenge, be sure to check out our case study about the challenge below!

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