Introduction to Challenge.gov
Challenge.gov is a technical platform and list of challenge and prize competitions, all of which are run by more than 70 agencies across federal government. These include technical, scientific, ideation, and creative competitions where the U.S. government seeks innovative solutions from the public, bringing the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems.
You will find hundreds of competitions that cover a wide range of interests and require varying levels of skills and abilities in order to participate. You can discover something of interest to you, sorting by type of challenge and by the agency hosting the competition. They are listed in chronological order, from most recent launched to older, closed competitions going back to 2010.
The platform is available at no cost for federal agencies to host crowdsourcing competitions. And there are no fees for the public to participate and enter the challenges.
Challenge.gov is administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with agencies across government and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Challenge.gov: Four years of open innovation in government:
- 400+ competitions launched
- More than $120 million awarded in prizes
- 150,000+ solvers participated
- 3.5 million site visits
- Visitors from every country around the globe
- Participants from every state in the USA
Learn More About Challenge & Prize Competitions
Challenge and prize competitions are one path that federal agencies take to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems — whether technical, scientific, or creative. More than 400 challenges have been run in the Federal government since 2010 and competitions have been around since colonization of the Americas, including the 1927 Orteig Prize, the transatlantic flight that made Charles Lindbergh famous.
With a challenge competition, a “seeker” poses a problem or question to the public and “solvers” respond and submit solutions. An agency pays only for those solutions that meet the criteria and are chosen as winners.
An API for key data is available at https://www.challenge.gov/api/.
If you are a federal employee looking for resources and information to run your own challenge and prize program, go to “Getting Started” for details and relevant resources.
Winner – Harvard’s Innovations in American Government Award
Challenge.gov earned the honor of being selected from a pool of over 600 applicants, for the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award. This award is given every two years by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. According to the press release announcing the finalist selections, “winners are chosen based on novelty, effectiveness, significance, and the degree to which their innovations can inspire replication in other government entities.”
For Federal Agencies
If your agency is looking to conduct a challenge competition, we have a wealth of information to help you through the process. See articles, training and resources, including: Getting Started with Challenge & Prize Competitions and the cache of on-demand training webinars and videos. View this 30 minute webinar to learn how to use the challenge.gov platform to post your competition.
Benefits of prize competitions:
- Pay only for performance
- Discover new talent
- Stimulate the market
- Make the impossible possible
- Drive collaborative innovation
- Power ideas into reality
If you’re ready to begin, go to challenge.gov/login to log in to this site or contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick Facts: Challenges in Government
- In his September 2009 Strategy for American Innovation, President Obama called on agencies to increase their ability to promote innovation by using tools such as prizes and challenges to solve tough problems.
- In March 2010, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Memorandum on the use of challenges/contests and prizes to improve government and encourage innovation. This memo provides a policy and legal framework to guide agencies in using prizes to stimulate innovation to advance their core missions.
- Between September 2010 and February 2015, 72 federal agencies ran 390 challenge and prize competitions. The use of this tool to drive innovation and collaboration with citizens continues to expand.
- This platform is available at no cost to all federal agencies to help them list their challenge and prize competitions and learn how to engage the public through this innovative approach.
- Through this site, the public can find all challenges/contests taking place across the federal government and participate in those challenges that are of interest to them.