Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

AI Tech Sprint for Veterans not served by VA

Solvers will apply innovative artificial intelligence on novel synthetic data from the Department of Veterans Affairs to produce tools to aid Veterans not currently served by the VA.

Department of Veterans Affairs - National Artificial Intelligence Institute

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $100,000
Type of Challenge: Software and apps, Ideas, Technology demonstration and hardware, Analytics, visualizations, algorithms, Scientific
Submission Start: 11/26/2020 8:00 AM ET
Submission End: 12/16/2020 11:59 PM ET


Although the VA engages with over 9 million Veterans, there are currently 17.4 million Veterans in the United States. Even Veterans who do receive VA care may not be in regular contact. We want to ensure the VA serves all veterans, and there may be ways to promote well-being, enhance preventative care, predict future hospitalizations, or monitor chronic conditions for this population. All of these interventions are aimed at improving outcomes for our Veterans.

We invite interested solvers to participate in a three-month AI Tech Sprint. The sprint is an iterative prototyping process where outside teams will receive novel synthetic data and connect with health care providers, experts, and stakeholders from the Department of Veterans Affairs. We will work with each team to craft a suitable project that fits the team’s abilities and improves VA care. Teams will participate in weekly meetings with government experts and researchers, and monthly opportunities to demonstrate a prototype. The tech sprint culminates in a demo day, where participants receive recognition from the VA as well as $100,000 in total awards.

Select projects may also receive offers to pilot their product with VA hospitals, the largest health care system in the United States. We seek to establish collaborative public-private partnerships beyond the challenge window and facilitate the production of contract-ready solutions for improving Veterans’ care.

Applications are due Dec 16, 2020, with the tech sprint kickoff on Jan 4, 2021, and final demo day on April 2, 2021.

Key Dates

  • Applications due 12/16/2020 11:59 PM ET
  • Tech Sprint begins on 01/04/2021 11:00 AM ET
  • Demo Day (for accepted projects) on 04/02/2021 12:00 PM ET


Cash Prizes

Total Prize Amount: $100,000

Prize Breakdown:

  • First place: $50,000
  • Second place: $25,000
  • Third place: $10,000
  • Three honorable mention/unique commendations, $5,000 each.

Non-monetary Prizes

  • Formal recognition at a Demo Day event hosted by the NAII
  • Early access to a novel synthetic dataset from the VA
  • Contact with experts and researchers in the federal government

Furthermore, if the government determines that the entire project has been successfully completed, there continues to be a need, and there is available funding; you and the VA or any VA component may attempt to negotiate one or more new agreements for the following purposes as authorized by law:

  • Follow-on prototype research and development (R&D) contract, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), or Other Transactions Agreement (OTA) as authorized by law and applicable VA or VA component policy.
  • Follow-on agreement for limited use of one or more completed prototypes in the VA environment for test purposes for a minimum of up to one year; as authorized by applicable law and VA or VA component policy.
  • Follow-on production purchase agreement in accordance with FAR Part 6.302-1, FAR 6.204, Section 538 of Division F of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141); or as otherwise authorized by applicable law and VA or VA component policy.


To qualify for the tech sprint, fill out an application on our website and submit by the application deadline.

The National AI Institute (NAII) will contact accepted teams between Dec 16 and the kickoff on Jan 4.

Each team will be evaluated by a combination of in-house VA subject matter experts for their particular application and members of the NAII over the course of the sprint by their ability to identify and address a need in serving Veterans.

Monetary prizes and recognition will be distributed based on the evaluated final demonstration at demo day, divided based on the number of overall participants. Teams that accept and complete the entire tech sprint are eligible for these awards.


To be eligible to win a prize under this competition, an individual, group, or entity:

  1. Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules promulgated by VA;
  2. Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section;
  3. In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  4. May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment (all non-VA Federal employees must consult with their agency Ethics Official to determine whether the Federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a COMPETES Act prize);
  5. Shall not be a Federal employee working on their applications or submissions during assigned duty hours;
  6. May not be an VA employee;
  7. May not be any other individual or entity associated with the development, evaluation, or administration of the competition or members of such persons’ immediate families (i.e., spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related;
  8. A Federal grantee may not use Federal funds to develop submissions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award;
  9. A Federal contractor may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission;
  10. Shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made equitably available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition;
  11. Shall not be currently on the Excluded Parties List (

Terms and Conditions

Teams must accept a licensing agreement before receiving access to the synthetic data set. The data and license agreement will be made available through the VA’s open data access portal at the start of the tech sprint. Terms and conditions of data use, which is required for participation, are detailed in the license agreement.

We provide no guarantee on subsequent pilot or contract opportunities, which must be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Submissions will be accepted based on review by NAII personnel. At tech sprint’s end, prizes are distributed based on scoring by a panel of NAII personnel, VA healthcare providers and stakeholders in the VA. Exact composition and criteria TBD based on availability on demo day and specifics of each application.

Judging Criteria

Teams are accepted based on suitability for participating in the sprint, evaluated from the application form by NAII personnel. Awards for completed projects will be judged holistically on their innovation, feasibility, effectiveness, and impact on Veteran care.

How To Enter

To apply, follow the instructions on our webpage (below); the website links to an application form which must be filled out and emailed to by the end of Dec 16, 2020 for consideration.