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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Lab-to-Market Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem Prize Competition

Showcase your inclusive R&D innovation ecosystem and design for the future

U.S. Small Business Administration

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $325,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas, Nominations
Partner Agencies | Federal: Members of the National Science and Technology Council Lab-to-Market Subcommittee: White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce (NIST, NOAA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Education (ED), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Interior (DOI), Department of State (State), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Aerospace Agency (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF)
Submission Start: 09/30/2020 12:00 PM ET
Submission End: 10/14/2020 6:00 PM ET

Description

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly existing resources that support underrepresented communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. The prize competition will also recognize the most impactful ideas for using prize funds to develop strong connections and support within the research and development (R&D) innovation ecosystem.

The R&D innovation ecosystem describes the complex community of participants and resources needed to develop and commercialize technology. This ecosystem includes the people (students, faculty, industry researchers, investors, et al) that make up the institutional entities (universities, businesses, funding agencies, venture capital firms, state and local economic development organizations, entrepreneur support organizations, etc.), material resources (funding, equipment, facilities, etc.), and the relationships among these interconnected actors. These ecosystems may operate at different geographic levels (e.g. city, regional, national) and within multiple sectors (e.g. health, energy, agriculture).

Entrepreneurs may lack knowledge about available ecosystem resources or have difficulty navigating and finding them, posing significant barriers to entry, and keeping the best minds and ideas from reaching their full potential. Additionally, resources and capital are not reaching all Americans evenly, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 could increase this inequality.

Connectivity and coordination across R&D innovation ecosystems is even more critical today to support recovery from potential COVID-19 impacts on high growth startups.

Ensuring that access to resources and capital are available to all Americans is essential in creating a robust and dynamic workforce with inclusive growth, and ensuring the benefits of entrepreneurship accrue across the nation.

The goals of this competition are:

  1. to highlight successful examples of R&D innovation ecosystems, particularly those that include underrepresented communities;
  2. to surface the most innovative practices or solutions to mitigate secondary impacts of COVID-19 on high growth startups; and
  3. to enhance the connection and integration of Federal resources that support innovation ecosystems.

Informational Webinar: 09/25/2020 12:00 PM ET Register at http://bit.ly/l2mPrizeWebinar

Prizes

Total Cash Prize Pool

$325,000

Prize Breakdown

  • “Super Connector” – Prizes of $10,000 for current efforts successfully including networks of underrepresented communities in the R&D innovation ecosystem.
  • “Ecosystem Responder” – Prizes of $10,000 for timely and effective responses to the pandemic environment.
  • “Visionary” – Prizes of $25,000 for the most creative and actionable ideas that build an inclusive R&D innovation ecosystem.

Rules

The Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions can be found here: www.sbir.gov/l2m

Submissions from the same applicant to multiple categories may be accepted, however, applicants are limited to receiving one prize award from this competition.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Competition judges will be Federal employees and non-Federal partners with relevant expertise.

Judging Criteria

Criteria for Super Connector and Ecosystem Responder Prizes

  • Quality and Clarity of Submission—Is the submission well-articulated and tell a clear story? Does the submission provide clear responses to the prompts outlined in the prize rules?
  • Alignment with Competition Goals—How well does the submission align with the stated goals of the prize competition and the broader Lab-to-Market initiative? Did the submission positively affect underrepresented groups in the R&D space within this ecosystem?
  • Economic and Social Impacts—To what degree has the submission had a positive economic or social impact on the ecosystem? This can include new businesses, jobs created or saved, or other return on investment. To what degree has participation increased among underrepresented groups?
  • Use of Federal Resources—Did the submission successfully integrate Federal data or resources?

Criteria for Visionary Prize

  • Quality and Clarity of Submission— Is the submission well-articulated and tell a clear story? Does the submission provide clear responses to the prompts outlined in the prize rules?
  • Ingenuity/Creativity—To what degree is the submission creative or incorporates new approaches to benefit their ecosystem?
  • Alignment with Competition Goals—How well does the submission align with the stated goals of the prize competition and the broader Lab-to-Market initiative? Does the submission address the needs or otherwise positively affect underrepresented groups?
  • Measurable Goals and Feasibility—How actionable and achievable are the proposed outcomes of the submission? Are clear metrics for success defined?
  • Use of Partner Entities—Are the potential partner entities and their roles clearly and realistically defined within the submission? To what extent does the submission have the potential to effectively leverage ecosystem resources?

How to Enter

Detailed instructions on the submissions package can be found here: www.sbir.gov/l2m Submissions package will include:

  • Submission Summary Slides
  • 90-second video
  • Letters of Commitment or Support (optional)

Key dates for submissions:

  • Submission Start: 09/30/2020 12:00 PM ET
  • Submission End: 10/14/2020 06:00 PM ET

Submission URL: http://bit.ly/l2m-prize