Marketing and Commercializtion

Improving Toxicology Screenings 



National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH) 



Healthcare, Public Health



National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH) 

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NIDA CODE Challenge Logo



Ensemble supported the outreach and engagement efforts for the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Cause of Death Elucidated (CODE) Challenge. For some background on the challenge, over 840,000 individuals in the US have died from drug overdoses from 1999 to 2021. Distressingly, rates of fatal overdoses have been accelerating in recent years. This enormous death toll has strained the resources needed to track the drug epidemic accurately. To address these issues, NIDA launched this challenge to solicit ideas for novel postmortem toxicology screening devices that would improve and accelerate the workflow in suspected drug overdose death investigations. 

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Example of Promotional Material for the Challenge



Ensemble was tasked with creating and implementing a robust marketing strategy aimed at reaching a niche community of solvers who would be able to submit innovative ideas for novel postmortem toxicology screenings. To do this we created a marketing campaign targeting 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. Along with our marketing campaign, we developed an eye-catching challenge logo to use on the website within our promotional materials. 

  • Challenge Branding and Graphic Design

  • Communications Planning and Execution

  • Rapid Community Management

  • Niche Solver Outreach and Marketing

  • Detailed Weekly Reporting


Key Services
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Tweet sent from the @NIDAnews account 

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Earned media for the challenge

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Earned media for the challenge 



Ensemble’s efforts resulted in an outreach list of over 900 contacts. The challenge was able to attract earned 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. This niche challenge received 8 quality submissions during its short submission period. There was a $100,000 prize purse with the top 4 teams receiving $25,000 each.