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About

Introduction to Challenge.gov

Welcome to the hub for federal incentive prize and challenge competitions! You can look through hundreds of open competitions and if anything catches your attention, you may register to “follow” a competition or enter one and submit your own solution.

There is no cost to register, and only a username and email are required. If you’d like to share more about yourself, you may provide your skills and interests. Profiles can be private or public.

Challenge.gov is a listing of challenge and prize competitions, all of which are run by more than 80 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.

More than $220 million in prize money has been offered since 2010, along with valuable and unique incentive prizes.

  • Find hundreds of competitions that cover a wide range of interests and require varying levels of skills and abilities in order to participate.
  • Discover something of interest to you, sorting by type of challenge and by the agency hosting the competition.
  • Competitions are listed in chronological order, from most recent launched to older, closed competitions going back to 2010.

Some competitions are hosted on third-party, non-government sites. Clicking the link to the challenge competition will take you directly to the host website.

Guidelines for Rules & Submitting Solutions

  • Please read all the rules and requirements for the challenge competition, each is unique.
  • There is a discussion board on every challenge hosted on this platform and you may post there to ask the managers questions about that specific competition.
  • We advise that you register a day ahead of the competition deadline.
  • You may upload Word, PDF, and other types of documents.
  • Video submissions must be via link to a third party platform that the challenge managers can view. The platform does not accept video uploads.

Read Success Stories to learn about winning solutions from previous competitions.

Find us on Twitter @ChallengeGov and facebook.com/ChallengeGov

An API for key data is available at https://www.challenge.gov/api/.

Challenge.gov: Five years of open innovation in government:

  • 640+ competitions launched
  • More than $220 million awarded in prizes
  • 250,000+ solvers participated
  • More than 4.5 million site visits
  • Visitors from every country around the globe
  • Participants from every state in the USA

For Federal Agency Challenge & Prize Managers

The Challenge.gov 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.

All agencies are required to list competitions that are hosted on third party sites. Clicking the link to the challenge competition will take you directly to the host website.

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 460 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.

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, contact us at challenge@gsa.gov.


Quick Facts: Challenges in Government

  • In September 2009, the White House Strategy for American Innovation 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 December 2015, more than 80 federal agencies ran 640+ 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.

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.”