SUDBURY -- The idea of this $1-million dollar challenge is to encourage companies, schools, professionals and anyone else interested, to come up with innovative ways and creations that will have an impact on their communities.

"Within the first 48 hours we had fifty entries come through and we're seeing a regular volume coming after that as well but we want to ignite the interest in he community to make sure we capture all the ideas we possibly can," said Anthony Downs, Vale manager of digital and IT.

Downs says there are three different submission categories outlined as part of this challenge, all with a view to helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're looking at risk detection, were looking at patient monitoring and risk monitoring. The other categories is the open challenge. So if you have a good idea that doesn't fit into one of the categories we've outlined we still want you to come forward and tell us about it," said Downs.

One of the four people reviewing the submissions is Don Duval, the CEO of the Innovation Centre known as 'NORCAT'

He says there are several criteria the committee will be using to assess the entries.

"There has to be demonstrated alignment to the challenge statements that have been put forth by Vale. That is first and foremost paramount. The second thing, it has to be in in the spirit of low cost or no cost so any individual or company rather that is putting forth a solution. This is going to be something when brought to market, is this going to be something unfathomable that anyone could afford to use it and benefit from it," said Duval.

Those involved say Vale is looking for ideas that will be all ready to go within 15 days of the prize money being awarded. Those who are chosen will find out on April 24.