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The Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon

Develop and implement solutions that address the environmental and social costs of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in the Amazon.

U.S. Agency for International Development

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $800,000, plus $350,000 in in-kind technical assistance
Type of Challenge: Software and apps, Technology demonstration and hardware, Business plans, Analytics, visualizations, algorithms
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft, ESRI
Submission Start: 07/14/2021 12:00 PM ET
Submission End: 11/10/2021 11:59 PM ET

Description

Overview

The Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon is a global call for solutions awarding more than $1 million in prizes and support for innovations to make artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in the Amazon more environmentally responsible and socially equitable.

Conservation X Labs (CXL) is administering the Challenge, with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft, and ESRI, and technical input from the Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA) and strategic implementation from the USAID/Peru Prevent project - Combating Environmental Crimes (Prevent).

We are seeking innovations at the prototype or piloting stage that:

  • Safeguard ecosystems and prevent, remediate, and restore impacts from ASGM at mining sites on biodiversity, water resources, and human health;
  • Optimize responsible supply chains to increase transparency and traceability and enable gold purchasing that is environmentally responsible and socially equitable from the point of origin to its final sale;
  • Promote and sustain formalization of miners in the ASGM sector to achieve environmental and social safeguards and regulatory compliance.

The goal of the Challenge is to provide promising innovators with funding and support to help innovations achieve environmental and social impact, become financially sustainable, and scale. Participating in this Challenge offers a number of benefits beyond just funding and monetary prizes, including access to a network of experts and leaders in the space; the opportunity to meet and learn from peers working on cutting-edge products and tools; mentorship on business and product development; opportunities to conduct field-testing and receive feedback from users and customers; and recognition and validation from our world-class evaluation panel.

Key Dates

  • July 14, 2021: Challenge launches, technical application opens
  • July thru November 2021: Technical application open period
  • November 10, 2021: Technical application closes
  • November thru December 2021: External review of technical applications
  • January 2022: Applicants shortlisted and invited to submit a work plan and budget for a field-testing plan and innovation development grant
  • February 2022: Applicants submit plans, and Challenge administrators conduct due diligence and review shortlisted applicants work plans and budgets for field-testing plan and innovation development
  • March 2022: Challenge administrators announce Challenge finalists and distribute grant funding
  • March thru August 2022: Challenge finalists participate in the Challenge acceleration program and implement their field-testing plan and innovation development grants
  • September 2022: Third party evaluators review Challenge finalists’ environmental and technical performance and user validation
  • October 2022: Closing ceremony and additional prizes to highest performing Challenge finalists

Prizes

Prize Breakdown

The USD $1,150,000 prize purse will be distributed accordingly:

  • $600,000 made in grants to Challenge finalists to support field-testing and innovation development (including the financing of equipment, travel, and labor) in March 2022. Grants will be a minimum of $30,000 and Challenge administrators anticipate making approximately 10 to 20 awards contingent on applicant’s eligibility and compliance with USAID and CXL and the Prevent projects’ rules, regulations, and policies;
  • $350,000 provided in technical assistance and in-kind services through the acceleration program (March thru August 2022); and
  • $200,000 in the form of two $100,000 no-strings attached prizes to the highest performing finalists at the end of the acceleration program in October 2022.

Challenge administrators have allocated 50% of the grants for Challenge finalists for applicants from partner countries in the USAID Amazon Regional Environment Program (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname) though field-testing may only occur in Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and/or Suriname.

Rules

The competition seeks to inspire and identify innovations that:

  • Demonstrate potential to be financially sustainable and mitigate the negative environmental and social impacts within the ASGM sector
  • At a minimum, are ready to be field-tested in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, and/or Guyana and have proof of the potential for adoption by users and/or customers

The competition is NOT looking for:

  • Solutions that are in the concept or research phase
  • Pure policy solutions
  • Purely technical assistance, training, or capacity building programs

An innovation is a new or improved product or process (or combination thereof) that differs significantly from the unit’s previous products or processes and that has been made available to potential users (product) or brought into use by the unit (process). For the purposes of this competition, an innovation is a process, tool, approach, and/or a digital solution that has a functional prototype or proof of concept ready to be piloted by the closing of the application deadline.

There are many good ideas and innovations out there! However, this competition is specifically designed to support innovations that have an existing solution ready for piloting, fit within the overall scope and goals of the Challenge, and can be applied in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, and/or Guyana.

In addition, eligible applications must meet the following minimum criteria. Your application may be disqualified from the competition if it does not meet all of the following criteria:

  • The application is complete and submitted by the deadline.
  • The application is in English or Spanish language.
  • The innovation described in the application is within the Challenge scope.
  • The innovation is a tangible tool, device, or process by the closing of the application deadline.
  • The innovation is at an application readiness stage (ARL) stage between 3 to 6 (ranging from a proof of concept to solutions that have demonstrated a prototype in an operational environment).
  • The innovation is ready to be field-tested or piloted in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, and/or Guyana. If a solution is for ASGM miners, field-testing may not occur with any illegal mining activity as determined by the jurisdiction of the test site.
  • The application is submitted by an organization, including US organizations, non-US organizations, partner government entities, or public international organizations. This includes non-governmental organizations (international, national and local), private sector entities, universities / academia, community organizations that include indigenous groups, cooperatives / associations and other civil society partners. Partner government entities may apply but can only receive in-kind assistance. Individuals are not eligible to apply. Multiple organizations may collaborate to submit an application, but one organization must be named to assume the financial and administrative responsibility of the award.
  • The innovation cannot be purely a policy solution or technical assistance, training, and/or capacity building program.
  • The innovation cannot have received a cash prize through the 2019-2020 Global Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge administered by Conservation X Labs. Applicants from the Global Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge that did not receive a cash prize, including those that were finalists and semi-finalists are eligible to apply to the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon.

Additionally, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed application for a 6-month field-testing plan and innovation development, including a work plan and budget. To be eligible to receive funds, applicants must:

While more detailed instructions and requirements will be provided to shortlisted applicants in January 2022, if any potential applicant should need more detail on eligibility requirements or assistance registering for a DUNS number, please reach out as soon as possible to amazon@conservationxlabs.org.

Terms & Conditions

All Applicants will be asked to “agree” to the following Participation Terms and Conditions before submitting their applications to the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon in the Submittable online platform.

Participation Terms and Conditions – Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon

The Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon, hereafter referred to as the “Challenge”, the Challenge administrators at Conservation X Labs (CXL), Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) and the coalition of the Challenge partners (the “Coalition”) and financial sponsors (the “Funders”) request the applicant organization, hereafter referred to as “the Applicant,” to carefully read the below Terms and Conditions “the Agreement” for participating in the Challenge.

By applying for the Challenge, it is understood that the Applicant has read the below Terms and Conditions in full. Applicant agrees that by submitting the application automatically grants the Applicant, and on behalf of all of the Applicant’s collaborators and team members, approval and acceptance of all of the Participation Terms and Conditions for the entire duration of the Challenge.

This Agreement contains important limitations on the Applicant’s rights that are necessary in light of Conservation X Labs’ (CXL) mission and dedication to the development of technology and innovation to address the causes of species extinction. In light of these limitations, the Applicant is encouraged to consult with legal counsel and ask any questions regarding its decision to enter into this Agreement and agree to these limitations. By entering into this Agreement, the Applicant represents and warrants that it has had such opportunity to consult with counsel and ask questions regarding this Agreement.

1.0 Compliance with Laws

The Applicant is obligated to comply with all applicable laws and acquire all necessary licenses, waivers, and/or permits from the applicable regulatory bodies or other applicable third parties. CXL are not required to advise the Applicant regarding such legal and regulatory compliance.

2.0 The Application

2.1 Application documents

All application documents submitted for the purpose of the Challenge must be in English language or the Spanish language. Only complete applications received by the deadline(s) will be considered. However, CXL reserves the right to consider any application after the deadline on a case-by-case basis. By submitting an application, you accept these conditions for participation.

2.2 Application Deadline

The deadline for the first round application is Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 11:59 PM New York, Eastern Daylight Time (ET) (GMT -4hr). CXL reserves the right to extend the application deadline and adjust the deadlines or timelines of the Challenge for any reason.

2.3 Third-party sites

The Challenge website(s), where CXL provides hypertext links to other locations on the internet, is for information purposes only. CXL is not responsible for the content of any other third-party sites or other pages linked from or linking to this site. CXL has not verified the content of any such sites. Following links to any other sites or pages shall be at the Applicant’s own risk and CXL shall not be responsible or liable for any damages or in another way in connection with linking. CXL is not responsible for webcasting or any other form of transmission received from any linked site. No endorsement or approval of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, product or services is expressed or implied by any information on CXL’s site. Applicants cannot set up a link from their site to CXL’s site without a prior written confirmation from CXL.

3.0 Personal Information

Applicant gives consent to CXL to collect and use their personal information (name, email contact, mailing address) and the applicant organization for the purpose of administering the Challenge, within and outside Applicant’s country. CXL shall not disclose or convey the point of contact’s personal information to third parties, except to entrusted members of the Coalition for purposes related to this competition. CXL will ask permission to share Applicant legal representative’s personal information for marketing of the competition and other opportunities that may arise from participation in the Competition.

3.1 International data transfer

The Challenge website(s) are operated in the United States. By using it, Applicant consents to have their personal and organization’s information transferred, processed and stored in the United States.

4.0 Challenge Eligibility

4.1 “Eligible Entity”

In order to compete in the Challenge and/or receive: (i) any portion of any prize purse; (ii) any other monetary payment; or (iii) any non monetary consideration (collectively, “Award”) under this Agreement, Applicant must be organized under a legal entity. Applicant must be an “Eligible Entity,” defined for the purposes of this Agreement as an entity that is:

  • A valid existing legal entity (e.g., corporation, LLC, Sole proprietorship, nonprofit etc.) that is duly organized and in good standing in the jurisdiction of its organization;
  • Organized in a jurisdiction where participation in the Challenge is not prohibited;
  • Organized and operated in such a way that payments in U.S. Dollars may be legally deposited from the United States into a representative of the Applicant’s bank account. A small number of grants facilitated by the USAID/Peru Prevent project (DAI) will deposit payments in Peruvian soles from Peru into a representative of the Applicant’s Peruvian bank account.
  • Active in the Challenge, meaning that an Applicant must not have withdrawn, been found ineligible, been terminated, or been disqualified from the Challenge;
  • If at any time during the Challenge, an Applicant’s legal status or make-up changes, Applicant must provide written notice to Challenge Administrators within ten (10) business days of change. Failure to notify CXL of changes to an Applicant’s legal status or make-up may result in loss of eligibility;
  • If Applicant is not an Eligible Entity at any time, Challenge Administrators will have the right to reject the Applicant’s entry or disqualify the Applicant if it has already applied, and the Applicant will have no right or opportunity to reverse Challenge Administrators’ decision;
  • Applicant must have a DUNS number and sound financial management practices; and
  • Applicant must not have won a cash prize in the Global Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge, administered by CXL from 2019 to 2020;
  • Applicant must not use telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities) or Video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications, Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).

Challenge Administrators encourage participation by organizations from around the world without regard to race, nationality, politics, gender, sexual orientation, or ideology. However, United States law prohibits the exchange of services with, or payment of money to, individuals and entities in certain countries. To be eligible, a team must not include any individual or entity organized or with primary residence in Crimea – Region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or where otherwise prohibited by law.

4.2 Disqualification from the Challenge

At any time during the Challenge, at the sole and absolute discretion of CXL, CXL shall be entitled to disqualify an Applicant, in whole or in part, upon service of written notice to the Applicant, if:

  • The Applicant (including any of the team members listed on an application) breaches any term of this Agreement;
  • Applicant becomes embroiled in internal conflicts or disputes;
  • A dispute arises concerning the acquisition, combination, collaboration or sharing of technical assets between Applicants;
  • Applicant engages in conduct that is determined by CXL, in its sole discretion: (i) to be immoral, offensive or inappropriate; (ii) to reflect poorly on CXL, Funders, and/or any Coalition members of the Challenge; (iii) to be unsportsmanlike conduct (iv) to be disparaging to CXL or any CXL employee, director, Coalition member, or to any Coalition employee, director, sponsor or agent; or (v) to disrupt or harm, in any manner, the Challenge, CXL, the Funders, or any Coalition members;
  • The Applicant is not an “Eligible Entity” as defined in Section (4.1) above; and/or Applicant fails to actively and productively participate in the Challenge;
  • Applicant is not in compliance with USAID standard provisions.

4.3. Review for Completeness

Conservation X Labs reserves the right and sole discretion to conduct an administrative review of any Entry or any Competitor in order to screen for completeness and other Entry Content requirements (as described in the Competition Terms and Conditions) before distributing approved Entries to the Reviewers.

4.4 Team composition and interaction with other Applicants

The Applicant may acquire or merge with another Applicant or acquire another Applicant’s assets at any time during the Challenge. Each Applicant must provide Challenge administrators with ten (10) days’ prior written notice of any such acquisition or merger.

5.0 Awards

The Challenge Administrators at CXL and the Coalition are responsible for recruiting and recommending external Reviewers and Judges. The Reviewers and Judges will make recommendations on the grant-winning and/or prize-winning Applicants. However, as the disbursers of the grant and prize funds, CXL and DAI (of the USAID Prevent Project) reserve the right to make all final decisions in coordination with the Funders and subject to USAID approval, other Challenge Administrators, and is solely responsible for certifying and implementing all final decisions in the Challenge.

Additionally, CXL and DAI reserve the right to:

  • Alter the number of grant or prize awards and their value,
  • Pose clarifying questions to participants and/or ask for additional information,
  • Remove a participant from award consideration if there is grounds to do so,
  • Cancel the Challenge and/or prize.

5.1 Grant awards, prize purse and fees

Any and all fees and taxes incurred in the processing, transfer, allocation, currency exchange, or delivery of payment of an Award to an Applicant will be the responsibility of the Applicant. Should CXL and DAI be required to make such payments in order to complete delivery of an Award payment, said payments will be deducted from the grant amount or Prize Purse.

5.2 Payments to Applicant

Applicant shall only be paid upon winning an Award and shall not receive payment for preparation or participation in the Challenge. The Applicant is solely responsible for all of their own costs. CXL or DAI shall make any necessary payment to the bank account specified by Applicants within ninety calendar (90) days after Applicant being declared a Challenge grantee or prize winner, as determined by the Judging Panel in its sole and absolute discretion, which shall make its decision without unreasonable delay. Applicant’s bank account information will be provided to CXL or DAI prior to any expected payment and be dedicated to managing funds from this award. Compliance with payment instructions provided by Applicant shall constitute payment of the applicable Award. Applicant shall be solely responsible for any taxes arising from or relating to the payment of any Award.

5.3. Additional Agreements may be necessary for Challenge grantees and/or Winners

Applicants will be required to execute an Agreement for Challenge finalists and/or Winner Agreement as a condition to receiving an Award. If a Challenge finalists or Winner fails or refuses to sign and return these agreements within ten days of the request (or a shorter time as exigencies may require), the Challenge finalist or Winner may be disqualified and an alternate Challenge finalist or Winner may be selected.

5.4 Forfeiture of Award

Attempts to notify potential shortlisted applicants, Challenge Finalists, and Winners will be made using the contact information provided on the Finalist’s, Challenge Finalist’s and Winner’s Entry. Challenge administrators are not responsible for e-mail or other communication problems of any kind. If, despite reasonable efforts, a shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner does not respond within five days of the first notification attempt (or a shorter time as exigencies may require), or if the Award or Award notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner, such potential shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner will forfeit the Award and an alternate shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner may be selected. If any potential shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner is found to be ineligible or has not complied with these Rules or declines the applicable Award for any reason, such potential shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner will be disqualified, and an alternate shortlisted applicant, Challenge Finalist, or Winner may be selected.

6.0 Intellectual Property (IP)

6.1 Definition of Applicant Technology: Inventorship, including joint inventorship, of patentable developments or discoveries conceived and reduced to practice in connection with the Applicant’s participation in the Challenge during the period of Applicant’s active participation the Challenge (“Applicant Inventions”) will be determined consistent with U.S. Patent Law. Authorship, including joint authorship, of copyrighted works, and including computer software, created or fixed in a tangible medium of expression by Applicant in connection with Applicant’s participation in the Challenge during the period of Applicant’s active participation the Challenge (“Applicant Copyrighted Works”) will be determined consistent with U.S. Copyright Law. “Applicant Technology” shall include both Applicant Inventions and Applicant Copyrighted Works.

6.2 Ownership of IP: Applicant will retain all right, title and other ownership interests in Applicant Inventions and Applicant Copyrighted Works. Applicant will also retain all right, title and other ownership interests in Applicant’s submission and in all inventions, patents, patent applications, designs, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, software, source code, object code, processes, formulae, ideas, methods, know-how, techniques, devices, creative works, works of authorship, publications, and/or other intellectual property not included in the definition of Applicant Technology (“Intellectual Property”) developed by Applicant during the Challenge; subject to the media rights granted by the Applicant to CXL pursuant to the Media Rights Agreement section incorporated into this Agreement.

7.0 Representations and Warranties

Applicant hereby represents and warrants that:

  • Applicant is free to enter into this Agreement without the consent of any third party and has the capability to fully perform its obligations hereunder;
  • Applicant is not a party to (and it agrees that it shall not become a party to) any agreement, obligation, or understanding that is inconsistent with this Agreement or might limit or impair CXL’s rights or Applicant’s obligations under this Agreement;
  • There is no suit, proceeding, or any other claim pending or threatened against Applicant, nor does any circumstance exist, to its knowledge, which may be the basis of any such suit, proceeding, or other claim that could limit or impair Applicant’s performance of its obligations pursuant to this Agreement;
  • Applicant will not infringe, violate, misappropriate or interfere with the Intellectual Property, contract or other right of any third party in the course of performance of this Agreement or cause CXL or its affiliates to do any of the same;
  • As of the date that submission of Entries is required, Applicant owns (or will own) all technologies, methods, resources and Intellectual Property in Applicant’s Entry or Entries and/or has (or will have) all appropriate license rights in any and all third-party technologies, methods, resources and Intellectual Property (“Third-Party Technology”) in such Entry or Entries, and that Applicant’s Entry or Entries will be accompanied by and in accordance with all appropriate licenses in such Third-Party Technology.
  • Any statement made by the Applicant that relates to CXL will: (i) be truthful and (ii) not disparage CXL or any of its affiliates, officers, directors, or board members, any member of the Advisory Board, Coalition, Judging Panels, or Challenge sponsors.
  • Team will follow principles of good sportsmanship in participating in the Challenge.

8.0 INDEMNIFICATION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

8.1 “Losses” Defined: “Losses” means any losses, liabilities, damages (including, without limitation, personal injury, death or property damage), or claims, or any related costs and expenses (including, without limitation, attorneys’ and other legal fees and disbursements and costs of investigation, litigation, settlement, judgment, interest, and penalties).

8.2 Indemnification By Applicant: Applicant recognizes that it bears all the risks of its participation in this competition, and as such, Applicant agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless CXL, and its affiliates, Coalition, Funders, and other Challenge participants and their affiliates, from and against any and all Losses which they may incur arising from or relating to Applicant and/or Applicant’s participation in the Challenge

8.3 Disclaimer of Warranties: Except as expressly set forth in this agreement, no party makes any warranty, express or implied, regarding the subject matter of this agreement, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability, results of the Challenge, fitness for a particular purpose, title or non-infringement. Each party expressly disclaims all such warranties.

8.4. Limitation of Liability. (a) This challenge, the platform on which it is offered, and all content and communications associated therewith are provided “As Is” and “As Available” with all the faults and without warranty of any kind. To the full extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, Conservation X Labs, its contractors, its coalition partners, and its Funders, as well as the directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, licensors, and suppliers of each expressly disclaim any warranties, express implied, statutory, or otherwise, including warranties of merchantability, fitness for any particular purpose, and non-infringement.

(b) Under no circumstances will Conservation X Labs, its contractors, its coalition partners, and its Funders, and their directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, licensors, or suppliers of either, will be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, exemplary damages arising from participation in this competition, including the use of its website or platforms, or communications. This limitation of liability includes, but is not limited to, loss of profits, loss of data, loss of business or anticipated profits or savings, or disclosure of intellectual property.

(c ) Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, You agree that Conservation X Labs, its contractors, its coalition partners, and its Funders, as well as the directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, licensors, and suppliers of each are responsible for any Loss arising out of, or in any way connected with:

  • delay or inability to access or use CXL Platform;
  • reliance on any Competition Information or other Content;
  • any unauthorized access to, modification or alteration of Content;
  • any Content sent or received or not sent or received;
  • any transaction entered into through this Website;
  • any infringement of rights, including disclosure of Intellectual Property Rights;
  • any threatening, defamatory, obscene, offensive, harmful, inappropriate or illegal Content or conduct of any party;
  • any Content sent by any third party using and/or included in this Website;
  • termination of Your participation; or,
  • any delays, interruptions, inaccuracies, errors, omissions or cessation of services.

9.0 Dispute Resolution

9.1 Definition of Dispute: “Dispute” shall mean any claim, controversy and/or dispute arising out of or related to this Agreement or the making, performance, breach, or interpretation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any dispute relating to alleged tortious conduct, administrative decisions made by CXL in the operation of the Challenge and/or the decisions of any of the Review and Judging Panels.

9.2 Governing Law: This Agreement and all Disputes arising hereunder shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia, United States of America (“Laws”), without regard to its conflict of laws rules.

9.3 CXL and Review and Judging Panels: Decisions made by CXL and/or the Review and Judging Panels: (i) are made in the sole and absolute discretion of CXL with the input of the Review and Judging Panels; (ii) are final; and (iii) are not subject to review, reconsideration, or contest.

By choosing to participate in the Challenge and the associated prize, participants waive the right to challenge the outcome and agree to be bound by the determinations of the Prize judges and CXL, DAI, and USAID.

9.4 Goal of the Challenge: Applicant and CXL agree that a paramount goal of the Challenge is to inspire and educate individuals, attracting new enthusiasm, new investments, and new ideas to the field and increase the connection that individuals around the world to support the goals of the Challenge (“Goals”).

9.5 Public Disputes Cause harm to the Challenge: Applicant and CXL agree that Applicant, CXL, Coalition, Funders and all of the affiliates have invested a substantial amount of time, effort, and resources in the Challenge. Applicant and CXL agree that, in light of the Challenge’s ultimate goal of inspiring and educating individuals, any public dispute regarding any claim or controversy arising out of or related to this Agreement or the making, performance, breach, or interpretation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any challenge to any decision by the Review and Judging Panels, would detract from the Goals defined in Section 9.4 above and would reflect poorly on Applicant, CXL, Coalition, Funders, and all of the affiliates of the Challenge. Further, any public dispute regarding any claim or controversy arising out of or related to this Agreement or the making, performance, breach, or interpretation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any challenge to any decision by the Review and Judging Panels, will result in irreparable harm to CXL, Coalition, Funders, and all of the affiliates and prize fulfillment entities of the Challenge.

9.6 Resolution of Disputes pursuant to Agreement: Any and all Disputes shall be raised and handled solely pursuant to the dispute pursuant to resolution provisions set forth in this Agreement and in no other manner. Applicant and CXL agree that the mandatory and exclusive dispute resolution procedures in this Agreement are in the best interests of both Parties.

9.7 Mediation: These Participation Terms and Conditions and our relationship with You will be governed exclusively by laws in force in Washington, D.C., USA. Any litigation arising out of or relating to the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon must be filed and pursued exclusively in the Courts of Washington, District of Columbia (D.C.), USA and you consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts. If either Party resorts to legal action relating to the participation, the prevailing party will be entitled to an award of all its costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Prior to filing any litigation claim, Parties both agree to seek mediation with a third party, not directly associated with the claim and selected by mutual agreement from the standing members of the review committee of the Challenge, in an effort to resolve any dispute.

The Parties shall cooperate with one another in selecting a mediator and in scheduling the mediation proceedings. Each Party shall designate at least one (1) person with full settlement authority to attend an in-person mediation in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. The mediation must take place within thirty (30) days of a Party’s written request to engage in mediation, unless agreed otherwise in writing by the Parties.

The Parties covenant that they shall participate in the mediation in good faith, and that they will share equally in the cost of the mediation, including mediator’s fees. Further, each Party shall pay all expenses for its own participation therein. All offers, promises, conduct, and statements, whether oral or written, made in the course of the mediation by either of the Parties, their agents, employees, experts, and attorneys, and by the mediator, shall be confidential, privileged under the laws of the District of Columbia, including Section § 16–4203, and inadmissible for any purpose, including, without limitation, impeachment, in any litigation or other proceeding involving the Parties, provided that evidence that is otherwise admissible or discoverable will not be rendered inadmissible or non-discoverable as a result of its use in the mediation.

9.8 Arbitration: If the Parties are not able to settle the Dispute in mediation pursuant to Section 9.7 above, Applicant and CXL agree that: (i) any Dispute; (ii) any issues pertaining to the Dispute; and/or (iii) any claim that this Agreement or any part hereof is invalid, illegal, or otherwise voidable or void, shall be submitted to and finally determined by mandatory and binding arbitration. Arbitration will be conducted in two stages as set forth below. As a condition precedent to arbitration of any Dispute, the Party seeking to arbitrate the Dispute must file a demand for arbitration with JAMS in Washington DC, as set forth in Section 9.8.4, within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the date of service of the Notice of Dispute. Failure to file the demand to arbitrate with JAMS within such 180-day period shall mean that any right to arbitrate or litigate in any manner such Dispute shall be forever forfeited and waived.

9.8.1 Mandatory and Binding Arbitration – The arbitration and the Parties’ agreement therefore will be deemed to be self-executing, and if either Party fails to appear at any properly-noticed arbitration proceeding, an award may be entered against such Party despite said failure to appear and the matter will be dismissed with prejudice. Failure by either Party to pay the fees (or provide a required deposit) of the arbitrators and/or the arbitration administrator in accordance with the rules and policies of the applicable arbitration administrator will result in a forfeiture by the non-paying Party of the right to prosecute or defend the claim which is the subject of the arbitration, but will not otherwise serve to abate, stay, or suspend the arbitration proceedings. The Parties will share equally the arbitrators’ fees and expenses, administrative expenses, or other costs incurred in the arbitration; provided, however, that each party shall bear its own attorneys’ and experts’ fees and its own costs incurred in connection with any Dispute hereunder including the arbitration of any Dispute. Further, each Party shall compensate and pay all expenses for its employees and, with respect to Team, all other Team Members for their participation in the arbitration.

9.8.2 Scope of Arbitrators’ Authority – The arbitrators will have no power or authority to grant attorneys’ fees, punitive or exemplary damages as part of their award. In no event may the provisions of this Agreement, or any ancillary agreement executed in connection with this Agreement, including, without limitation, amendments to this Agreement, be waived, modified, changed, or otherwise equitably excused by the arbitrators at any arbitration hearing. The Parties do not grant the arbitrators the powers of an amiable compositeur and the arbitrators do not have the power to decide ex aequo et bono. The arbitrators will apply Washington DC substantive Law to the proceeding. The arbitrators will not have the power to commit errors of Law or legal reasoning, and the award may be vacated or corrected on appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction for any such error. Any arbitration will be conducted in English in Washington D.C., USA.

9.8.3 Jurisdiction for Entering Arbitration Awards – The award of the arbitrators will be the exclusive remedy between the Parties regarding any claims, causes of action, counterclaims, issues, or accountings presented or pleaded to the arbitrators. Any petition, motion, or request to vacate the award shall be filed exclusively in the Superior Court of the District of the Columbia, and the Parties expressly consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the District of Columbia.

9.8.4 Stage 1 Arbitration – The first stage of arbitration shall be conducted before JAMS in Washington DC, in accordance with the JAMS Optional Expedited Arbitration Procedures by three (3) arbitrators appointed as follows: each Party shall select an arbitrator, and such arbitrators shall select a third; provided, however, that in all events at least two (2) out of the three (3) arbitrators must be active members of the bar of a U.S. State and that each arbitrator must be fluent in English. The matters to be considered and determined by the arbitrators in Stage 1 Arbitration shall include and be limited to the following:

(i) First, the arbitrators shall determine whether or not the Party that served the Notice of Dispute strictly complied with the requirements set forth in Section 9.6 above. If the arbitrators determine that the Party that served the Notice of Dispute failed to strictly comply with the requirements of Section 9.6 above, then the arbitrators shall issue an award dismissing the Dispute with prejudice and ruling that the Party that served the Notice of Dispute shall take nothing thereunder.

(ii) Next, if (a) the arbitrators determine that the Party that served the Notice of Dispute did strictly comply with the requirements of Section 9.6 above, and (b) either Party asserts that the Limitation of Liability provisions set forth in Section 8.5 above are unenforceable in whole or in part, then the arbitrators shall next determine whether or not the Dispute is subject to the Limitation of Liability provisions set forth in Section 8.5 above and issue a ruling of their findings. For purposes of this determination, the Parties agree and represent that the Limitation of Liability Clauses are not contrary to public policy.

(iii) Each Party’s representation in this paragraph is a material inducement for the other party to enter into this agreement. If neither party asserts that the limitation of liability provisions set forth in Section 8.5 above are unenforceable in whole or in part, then the arbitrators shall issue a ruling that such provisions are fully enforceable with respect to the dispute.

(iv) All awards, decisions and rulings made with regard to the items specified above by the arbitrators in Stage 1 Arbitration shall be binding upon both Parties and upon the arbitrators in 9.8.4 Stage 2 Arbitration (if applicable). However, except as required to establish the decisions and rulings of the arbitrators, the records of the proceedings in Stage 1 Arbitration shall not be admissible as evidence in Stage 2 Arbitration proceedings.

9.8.5 Ninety (90)-Day Cooling Off Period – If the arbitrators have not dismissed the Dispute with prejudice when they issue their final rulings pursuant to Section 9.8.4 (i) above, then the Parties shall wait for a period of ninety (90) calendar days before proceeding with Stage 2 Arbitration, during which ninety (90)-day period, the Parties agree to negotiate in good faith to resolve the Dispute. This period may be extended by mutual agreement of the Parties.

9.8.6 Stage 2 Arbitration – If necessary, the second stage of arbitration shall be conducted before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Washington DC, in accordance with the then-prevailing Rules of Arbitration of the ICC by three (3) arbitrators appointed as follows: each Party shall select an arbitrator, and such arbitrators shall select a third; provided, however, that in all events at least two (2) out of the three (3) arbitrators must be active members of the bar of a U.S. State and that each arbitrator must be fluent in English. Notwithstanding the foregoing, none of the arbitrators used in Stage 1 Arbitration may be selected in Stage 2 Arbitration.

9.9 Attorney’s Fees: Unless otherwise expressly set forth herein, the Parties shall bear their own attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses in connection with the matters set forth in the Agreement.

10. Confidentiality

10.1 “Confidential Information” Defined: Pursuant to this Agreement, each Party may provide the other, or its affiliates, certain information or material that is confidential to the disclosing Party. Such information or materials shall be marked as “Confidential” by the disclosing Party prior to disclosure.

10.2 Exclusions from “Confidential Information”: Information or material will not be considered as confidential hereunder if it: (i) is public knowledge as of the Effective Date or subsequently becomes such through no breach of this Agreement; (ii) is rightfully in the receiving Party’s possession prior to the disclosing Party’s disclosure, as shown by written records; (iii) is rightfully disclosed to the receiving Party by a third party without restriction on its disclosure; (iv) is independently developed by or for the receiving Party without reliance upon Confidential Information received from the disclosing Party; and/or (v) is required to be disclosed by law.

10.3 Obligation of Confidentiality: Each Party will: (i) hold the other Party’s Confidential Information in confidence (using at least the same measures as it does to protect its own Confidential Information of a similar nature) and not disclose the Confidential Information to any third party except to the extent permitted by the terms of this Agreement; and (ii) not remove or permit to be removed from any item any proprietary, confidential, or copyright notices, markings, or legends placed thereon by either Party. This obligation will continue in effect for five (5) years after expiration or termination of the Agreement.

10.4 Applicant’s Entry and Submissions: Conservation X Labs acknowledges that information relating to technical aspects of any Entry developed by an Applicant and submitted to CXL’s platform or the Judging Panel as required by this Agreement, will be deemed Confidential Information of the Applicant, regardless of whether or not it is marked as such.

10.5 Injunctive Relief: Each Party acknowledges that money damages would not be a sufficient remedy for any breach of this Section 11 above (Confidentiality), and such breach would result in irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law. Accordingly, in the event of any such breach or threatened breach, each Party, in addition to any other remedies that it may have, will be entitled, without the requirement of proving actual damages or posting a bond or other security (to the extent permitted under Law), to obtain equitable relief, including without limitation injunctive relief and specific performance in any court of competent jurisdiction.

10.6 Remedies: The remedies stated in Section 11.5 above are non-exclusive and the exercise of any right a Party may have will not preclude the exercise of any other right under this Agreement, at law, or in equity.

11. Media Rights Agreement

11.1 Unlimited License

CXL intends to capture audio, video, digital, and photographic material related to the Challenge (“CXL Media”). CXL shall retain (on behalf of itself, its Coalition, and Funders) the right to use Applicant’s name, likeness, image, and biographical information in any and all media for any purpose, including, without limitation, advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Competition and (b) releases CXL, its contractors, its coalition partners, and its Funders, as well as the directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, licensors, and suppliers of each, from any liability with respect thereto.

11.2 Right of Access

The Applicant shall give Conservation X Labs preferential (above Applicant media partners and other media organizations) access to any and all Applicant facilities or events for the purposes of the capture of CXL Media for later usage; these requests shall not be unreasonably denied or delayed. Applicant shall use best efforts to provide similar access to facilities of Applicant contractors, Funders, or partners for the purposes of capture of CXL Media. If such access is not possible, such as for reasons of confidentiality or health and safety, Applicant shall provide a CXL with a written communication describing with particularity the reasons that such access is not possible. CXL shall consider such communication in good faith and will then determine whether or not (in its sole discretion) to waive this requirement with respect to the particular facility or event. The parties acknowledge and agree that Applicant’s agreement to provide such preferential access constitutes material consideration under this Agreement and CXL’s ability to capture and use CXL Media in communications to the general public is a primary purpose for which the Challenge is conducted. Accordingly, submission of bad faith requests or other abuse of this provision may, in the sole discretion of CXL, result in Applicant’s disqualification or other adverse consequences to Applicant. Applicant agrees to execute all papers and to perform any acts as CXL may deem necessary to secure for CXL or its designee the rights herein assigned or granted, including, without limitation, any third-party consents that may be necessary to capture and use CXL Media. Further, Applicant irrevocably appoints CXL as Applicant’s attorney-in-fact to do all of the foregoing, such appointment being coupled with an interest.

11.2. No Limitation on License

CXL shall have the right to use, copy, sublicense, modify, transmit, display, distribute, perform, make, sell, assign, license, transfer, import, export, and otherwise dispose of or exploit CXL Media in any manner or medium whatsoever, existing now or in the future, including, without limitation, all motion picture rights of every kind, including, without limitation, theatrical and documentary motion picture rights, television motion picture rights, and home video rights, and all allied, subsidiary, and derivative rights, including, without limitation, sequel, prequel, and remake rights, novelization, comic book, comic strip, newspaper comics, “making of” book, merchandising rights, commercial tie-ups, stage rights, radio rights, webcast rights, internet display rights, and promotional and advertising rights, including, without limitation, the right to broadcast over radio, television, the internet, and all other media, advertisements with respect to any production produced based on the Challenge or the story of the Challenge. The right to capture and use CXL Media shall include, without limitation, all rights and title in and to any and all audio, video, or photographic material created by, or on the behalf of, CXL or its agent, representatives and assignees. CXL shall not receive any pecuniary consideration in exchange for the license or distribution of CXL Media. Except as necessary for purposes of judging the Challenge, CXL will not require Applicant to disclose their Craft in dissembled form or permit access to discussions with respect to pending patent applications or other Confidential Information of Applicant. Nevertheless, Applicant bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring that its Confidential Information is not revealed during the recording of any CXL Media.

11.3. Depiction of Intellectual Property

If CXL desires to depict any Applicant Intellectual Property not covered by the grants of rights herein in its production of CXL Media or for advertising or promotional purposes, CXL shall submit a request to Applicant for permission to use such materials solely for such purposes of producing media content or educational materials related to the Challenge. Applicant agrees not to unreasonably withhold, condition, or delay approval for CXL to depict Applicant Intellectual Property for production of CXL Media or educational materials related to the Challenge, it being understood that such approval would be withheld reasonably if it were to unduly interfere with Applicant’s revenue generation, efforts to file patent applications, agreements with financiers or customers, or trade secrets. Furthermore, Applicant agrees not to unreasonably withhold permission for advertising or promotional use related to the Challenge. Applicant shall use best efforts to respond to such requests within ten (10) business days. If the content of any CXL Media is subject to 17 U.S.C. 106A or any similar laws, Applicant hereby irrevocably waives and agrees not to assert all rights under such laws and irrevocably appoints CXL as its agent to assert on Applicant’s behalf, Applicant’s moral rights or any equivalent rights regarding the form or extent of any alteration to the CXL Media (including, without limitation, removal or destruction) or the making of any derivative works based on the CXL Media, including, without limitation, photographs, drawings or other visual reproductions of the work, in any medium, for CXL’s purposes.

11.4. Prior Review of Applicant Media Partners

CXL will use reasonable efforts to promote the Challenge. CXL also anticipates that Applicant may enter agreements with media partners that are interested in promoting Applicant’s participation in the Challenge (“Applicant Media Partners”). Applicant shall provide notice to CXL no later than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the execution of any agreement with an Applicant Media Partner, by submitting the following information to CXL: (i) name of Applicant Media Partner; (ii) a brief description of the media, marketing, or promotional rights granted to the Applicant Media Partner; and (iii) a written summary of the business points of any agreement with the Applicant Media Partner. CXL shall review such agreement terms within ten (10) business days. If such contracts or relationships involve any contractual or implicit commitment to exclusivity, then CXL may impose limitations on or reject the proposed Applicant Media Partner Agreement as CXL determines to be in the best interests of the Challenge. CXL may also reject the proposed Applicant Media Partner Agreement, if such agreement , in CXL’s sole opinion: (i) would cause Applicant to breach any term of this Agreement; (ii) would require unsuitable advertising including, but not limited to, any advertising that depicts, describes, implies, or promotes obscene or sexually explicit matters, libelous or illegal matters, violence, racial, sexual or other types of legally prohibited discrimination, a particular political view, or may infringe on or otherwise violate any rights of CXL or any third party; (iii) conflicts with the exclusivity of or jeopardizes any sponsorship associated with the Challenge; or (iv) undermines the Challenge, its underlying goals, or the mission of CXL. Team is encouraged to work with CXL well prior to finalizing any agreements with an Applicant Media Partner to streamline the approval process. If Applicant has signed agreements with Applicant Media Partners or other similar relationships prior to the execution of this Agreement, Applicant shall provide to CXL a detailed written summary of the business points of such agreements and shall amend or terminate such agreements upon request by CXL in accordance with this Exhibit.

Judging Criteria

Value Proposition & Design

  • Design of the Innovation (10 points): The applicant demonstrates a thorough understanding of the problem, the environment and context in which it occurs, and the user of the innovation.
  • Value Proposition (10 points): The applicant’s innovation would alleviate a major pain point or provide a major benefit that the user would value and be willing to purchase, use, and replace their existing technology or approach with.
  • Innovative or Novel Approach (10 points): The applicant’s innovation is transformative, novel, and creative. It is fundamentally different from those currently being deployed and would produce a marked positive impact.

Sustainability & Scalability

  • Adoption and Scalability (10 points): Evidence that the innovation would be widely adopted and/or purchased and has taken into consideration user behavior and context, and could be manufactured, and distributed at scale across a geographic region where ASGM occurs.
  • Business and Financially Sustainable (10 points): The applicant demonstrates an understanding of how they will finance their innovation over time, if and how it will generate revenue, and what risks need to be mitigated in order for it to be viable.

Impact

  • Impact: Environments Security & Biodiversity (10 points):

    • The applicant’s innovation will have tangible, net-positive impacts on biodiversity conservation, water resources (including quality, quantity, and hydrology). 
    • Applicants must also acknowledge and propose mitigation efforts for any significant inadvertent effects that the innovation may have on biodiversity conservation, water resources, or environmental security.
  • Impact: Human Security (10 points):

    • The applicant’s innovation will have tangible, net-positive impacts on human health and/or human security.
    • Applicants must also acknowledge and propose mitigation efforts for any significant inadvertent effects that the innovation may have on human health and human security.
  • Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (10 points): The applicant’s innovation promotes the sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable populations, such as indigenous people or rural women, and/or the applicant meaningfully incorporates the participation of an indigenous organization.

Feasibility

  • Feasibility & Risk (10 points): The applicant’s innovation is technically feasible and would not create any inadvertent effects on environmental security, biodiversity, or human security.
  • Team (10 points): The applicant team is composed of motivated individuals and partners with the expertise to successfully move the innovation forward.

Total Possible Points: 100

How to Enter

Apply by registering with the challenge and then completing the online application form.

Official Challenge Website: https://www.artisanalminingchallenge.com

Point of Contact

Have feedback or questions about this challenge? Send the challenge manager an email