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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Palmetto Tech Bridge Pitch Jam Prize Challenge 2021

Seeking innovative technology concepts for Multilevel Security (MLS) and Assured Position Navigation and Timing (PNT)

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC), Atlantic

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $15,000
Type of Challenge: Software and apps, Ideas, Technology demonstration and hardware, Scientific
Submission Start: 08/19/2021 10:00 AM ET
Submission End: 09/19/2021 11:00 PM ET


This NIWC Atlantic Tech Bridge Prize Challenge is seeking submissions for two topics: Multilevel Security, Assured Position Navigation and Timing (PNT). This prize challenge is being run under 10 USC § 2374a and is considered an independent effort. However, the results of this prize challenge may result in an additional follow-on acquisition opportunity.

Topic 1: Multilevel Security

Multilevel Security (MLS) allows the sharing of sensitive information across security boundaries and multiple communities of interest. Having information of different security levels on the same computer systems poses a real threat. It is not a straight-forward matter to isolate different information security levels, even though different users log in using different accounts, with different permissions and different access controls. Ideal solutions for MLS applications would simultaneously permits access by users with different security clearances and access levels while denying access for users who lack authorization.

Topic 2: Assured Position Navigation and Timing (PNT)

A strategy to provide Assured Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) inputs in environments where input may not be available or not as reliable from the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) constellation. Any viable alternative must operate under conditions where radio frequency PNT signals are temporarily or permanently denied, degraded, or unreliable. Ability to overcome additional constraints of the operating environment (such as environments indoors, underground, or where radio frequency signals cannot be received) is also of value. Ideal solutions should be able to support diverse use cases in support of small, mobile systems, including dismounted Marines using an alternative PNT data input to locate and track oneself, and others (by feeding such input into a network). Use cases include, but are not limited to, individuals/units navigating within a building or across large geographic areas, and using alternative PNT data input to locate and track individuals, small unmanned surface, subsurface, or air vehicles.

The Challenge will go through a two-stage judging process.

Stage 1: Initial Submissions. Submissions will be judged by panel members with resident knowledge of the subject. Judging panel members will evaluate each submission based on the criteria outlined in the judging criteria below. Each topic will be evaluated separately and independently from one another. The goal of Stage 1 for the evaluators is to select five (5) participants and one (1) alternate for each topic, to present oral presentations at the CDCA Defense Summit on Dec. 7-9, 2021. In the event that one of the first five (5) participants selected for oral presentations cannot attend the CDCA Summit, the alternate’s representative will be contacted for interest in presenting an oral presentation.

Stage 2: Oral Presentations at the CDCA Summit. The top five (5) participants for each technology category will be invited to present, at their own cost, the technology topic associated with their initial submission. Participants selected to give oral presentations will give two (2) presentations at the CDCA Summit on December 7-9, 2021.

  • Presentation 1: Pitch Jam On Stage at CDCA Summit – Selected participants will give a live presentation, on-stage in the exhibit hall at the CDCA Defense Summit. The audience will be made up of both CDCA Conference attendees and Government representatives. This presentation should be high-level and is not to exceed 10 minutes. There will not be a question and answer period for this presentation. At the conclusion of this presentation, conference attendees will vote on a People’s Choice Best in Show winner for each topic. Each topic winner will be presented with a Best in Show award on the third day of the CDCA Summit, 9 December 2021.
  • Presentation 2: Private Orals with the Government - The second presentation will be conducted privately with the Government evaluators and other government representatives interested in the exchange. Only the participants and Government representatives will be present for this presentation. The oral presentation should be limited to a not to exceed 30 minute period followed by approximately 20 minutes of questions and answers. Only the government evaluators will ask questions. At the conclusion of all oral presentations, the Government judging panel team will privately discuss the oral presentations to determine the Prize Challenge winner and a runner up. The Prize Challenge Winner for each topic will be announced on the third day of the CDCA Summit, 9 December 2021. Each topic winner will be presented with a Prize of $7,500, and the runner up will receive an Honorable Mention.

Prizes will be distributed to the eligible winners via electronic funds transfer (EFT), within 90 business days of the announcement of the winner(s). NIWC Atlantic will distribute the funds evenly to all team members. Eligibility to receive an award is based upon the participant’s adherence to all rules for this Challenge. Funding for this Challenge will come from both overhead and direct funding.

  1. If the Prize Challenge winners have previously done business with the US Government and have a CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code, the winner will be able to provide that information to the contest organizers.  The contest organizers will use it to complete the SF 1034, public voucher other than personnel.   The winner will then submit the completed voucher to vendor pay.  Vendor pay would then certify the payment.
  2. If the winners do not already have a CAGE code, they need go to the System for Award Management (SAM) URL to create an account and register their business. Once they have the CAGE code, they would give the CAGE code to the contest organizers, who would use it to complete the SF 1034.

Key Dates

  • Stage 1: Submissions 19 August – 19 September 2021
  • Stage 1: Judging: 19 September – 19 October 2021
  • Stage 2: Invitation to Participants for Oral Presentations by 29 October 2021
  • Stage 2: RSVP by 05 November 2021
  • Stage 2: Oral Submissions electronic briefing material provided by 19 November 2021
  • Oral Presentations on 7 and 8 December 2021


Total Prizes: $15,000 in cash and concessions valued at $30,000

NIWC Atlantic anticipates that two (2) prizes across two (2) challenge topics will be provided at one per topic each with a value of $7,500 payable to the Participant (Company, Academic Institution, or Team Lead for submission). Participants that are selected to participate in Stage II, will be invited to present an oral presentation at the Charleston Defense Contractors Association (CDCA) Summit in front of a Government judging panel. The cost of participating in Stage II (e.g., travel, hotel, etc.) will not be reimbursed by the Government and is the sole responsibility of the Participant. Additionally, selected participants will be provided two (2) complimentary Summit Exhibit Hall Passes to the 2021 CDCA Defense Summit provided by the CDCA with a value of $500 per company. In addition, companies selected to present at the CDCA summit will receive from Advanced Technology International (ATI) a credit for membership in up to five (5) 10 USC § 2371b consortia’s managed by Advanced Technology International (ATI) with a value of approximately $2,500 per company. Participants are encouraged to visit the CDCA website for more Summit details and additional information on obtaining full Summit access.

For additional information on the CDCA Summit please visit: CDCA Defense Summit — CDCA (

For additional information on ATI Managed Consortia’s, please visit: Advanced Technology International (ATI) - ATI: Advanced Technology International


For the purposes of this Prize Challenge, a Participant is considered a Company, an Academic Institution, or a Team. Each Participant is only permitted one entry per topic. Team entries must have a lead identified as the primary point of contact and prize recipient. By submitting an entry, a Participant authorizes their entity’s name to be released to the media.

Stage 1 Submission Requirements: Submissions should be in the form of a White Paper. White papers should provide an overview of the proposed technology and technical approach (e.g., architecture, deployment overview, algorithm description, model description, performance requirements, endpoint footprint, existing results, etc.), the benefits and novelty of the approach within the context of existing academic and commercially available technologies, and the dependencies necessary to operate the proposed technology. White papers must be submitted in Microsoft (MS) Word or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Files (PDF), three (3) to five (5) pages in length (inclusive of diagrams), on 8.5” x 11”, 1” Margins and no less than 10 point Arial or Times New Roman font. Please note that if the submission is not consistent with these guidelines and deemed to be difficult to read, the submission will be disqualified with no additional consideration. In addition, only a single submission may be allowed per topic per participant.

Stage 2 Submission Requirements: Participants invited to present oral presentations at the CDCA Summit will be required to RVSP within seven (7) business days of the Government invitation. Submission requirements for each of the two presentations are as follows:

  • Presentation 1: Pitch Jam On Stage at CDCA Summit – The participant should plan on no more than a 10-minute presentation. There will not be a question and answer session for this presentation. The audience will be made up of both CDCA Conference attendees and Government representatives. Presentations are limited to PowerPoint slides only. No videos, audio files, live demonstrations, or physical products will be permitted. A CDCA Summit representative will reach out to the Participant prior to the presentation to coordinate facility access and logistics for the event. Electronic briefing products should be provided in advance of the CDCA Summit (19 November 2021). The participant may only present the slide deck submitted in advance of the CDCA Summit.
  • Presentation 2: Private Orals with the Government - The participant should plan on no more than a 30-minute presentation with an additional allocated 15 minute question and answer period by the government judging panel. Only the participants and Government representatives will be present for this presentation. Oral presentations can include a technology demonstration, technology briefing material, and marketing materials or a combination of the aforementioned artifacts. Facility space is limited and the Participant will need to plan for no more than 15 minutes for set up and 15 minutes for take down and be self-sufficient. A Prize Challenge representative will reach out to the Participant at the time of Oral Presentation Demonstration to coordinate facility access. The participant will be given no more than 30 minutes to present. Electronic briefing products should be provided in advance of the CDCA Summit (19 November 2021). The participant may present any materials relevant to the oral presentation and topic.

Note: All technology assertions in support of this Prize Challenge must be compliant with Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The following statement must be present within the white paper: “I, submitter of this White Paper, asserts that they are compliant with Section 889.”

Eligibility to Participate:

  • There shall be one (1) official participant representative for each challenge registration. The official representative must provide a name and e-mail address and, by sending the registration, affirms on behalf of the solver (individual, team, or legal entity), that he or she has read and consents to be governed by the challenge rules.
  • There shall be no more than two (2) participants per team if selected to present a Stage II Oral presentation.
  • At the time of registration, all Participants including the official representative (whether an individual, team, or legal entity) must be age 18 or older.
  • As determined by NIWC Atlantic, any violation of these rules will be grounds for disqualification from the challenge.
  • Multiple individuals and/or legal entities may collaborate as a Participant to submit a single entry, in which case the designated Official Representative will be responsible for meeting all entry and judging panel requirements.
  • Participation is subject to all U.S. federal, state, local, and country of residence laws and regulations.
  • Participants must not be suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded from doing business with the federal government. An individual or entity that is determined to be on the GSA Excluded Parties List System ( is ineligible to participate. Individuals entering on behalf of or representing a company, institution or other legal entity are also responsible for confirming that their entry does not violate any policies of that company, institution or legal entity.
  • As a condition of participation, all Participants must agree to indemnify the federal government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to challenge activities. Entrants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in the challenge. By entering the challenge, Participants agree to hold NIWC Atlantic harmless from all legal and administrative claims to include associated expenses that may arise from any claims related to their challenge solution or its use.
  • Federal grantees may not use federal funds to develop challenge solutions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
  • Federal contractors may not use federal funds from a contract to develop challenge solutions or to fund efforts in support of a challenge entry.
  • Participants may not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.
  • Federal government employees are not eligible to participate as a Participant, a participant’s personnel or a participant’s team member personnel in this challenge.

Eligibility to Win a Cash Prize:

To be eligible for a cash prize:

  • At the time of submission of the white papers in Stage 1, including the official representative (individual, team, or legal entity) must be age 18 or older.
  • An individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • In the case of a private entity that is participating as a solver or as part of a solver team, the business must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States or its territories.
  • Payments to the winning teams will be made via electronic funds transfer (EFT).
  • A Participant shall not be deemed ineligible because the solver consulted with federal employees in preparing its submission for this NIWC Atlantic if the federal employees are made available to all Participants on an equitable basis. Participants may use any public-facing websites or publicly available federal government resources, as well as all resources provided to the challenge Participants on an equitable basis.
  • The official representative for each challenge entry shall follow the steps listed below under “Submission Guidelines” in advance of the submission end date (December 6th, 2020 11:00 PM ET).

Data Provided:

NIWC Atlantic requires Government Purpose Rights (GPR) on submitted artifacts. The judging panel team does plan to retain entries after the Challenge is completed in order to help shape future technology decisions. By accepting these Terms and Conditions, the Participant consents to the use of data submitted for use within Government Purposes only.

Because of the number of anticipated Challenge entries, NIWC Atlantic cannot and will not make determinations on whether or not third-party technologies in the Challenge submissions have protectable intellectual property (IP) interests. By participating in this Challenge, each Participant (whether participating individually, as a team, or as a commercial entity) warrants and assures the Government that any data used for the purpose of submitting an entry for this Challenge, were obtained legally and through authorized access to such data. By entering the Challenge and submitting the Challenge materials, the Participant agrees to indemnify and hold the Government harmless against any claim, loss or risk of loss for patent or copyright infringement with respect to such third-party interests.

Any applicable ownership of IP in the submission will remain with the solver. By participating in the challenge the solver is not transferring any exclusive IP rights in applicable patents, pending patent applications, or copyrights in connection with the submission. However, by entering the submission, the solver agrees to grant the federal government certain license rights, as set forth in this section.

Namely, the solver grants the government the right to review the submission, to publicly describe the submission in any materials created in connection with this challenge, to screen and evaluate the submission, and to have the judges, the Challenge administrators, and the designees of any of them review the submission. The government is also granted the right to publicize Solver names and, as applicable, the names of solver team members and/or organizations that participated in the submission following the conclusion of the challenge.

This Challenge does not replace or supersede any other written contracts and/or written challenges that the Participant has or will have with the Government, which may require delivery of any materials the Participant is submitting herein for this Challenge effort.

This Challenge constitutes the entire understanding of the parties with respect to the Challenge. NIWC Atlantic may update the terms of the Challenge from time to time without notice. Participants are strongly encouraged to check the website frequently.

If any provision of this Challenge is held to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable federal law, it will not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the Terms and Conditions of this Challenge.

Terms and Conditions

  • This challenge shall be performed in accordance with the 10 U.S.C. § 2374a, as amended.
  • All challenges are subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes full and unconditional agreement to these official rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the challenge.
  • Eligibility for a cash prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. This notice is not an obligation of funds; the final award of prizes is contingent upon the availability of appropriations and receiving suitable entries.
  • This NIWC Atlantic challenge is voluntary and open to all entities that meet the eligibility requirements. There may be only one submission (“Submission”) per eligible entity per topic. Submissions must be received before the deadline indicated (September 15, 2021, 11:00 PM ET), if any submissions are received after the deadline they will not be considered.
  • A Challenge entry constitutes an agreement to adhere to the challenge rules, terms and conditions set forth by the challenge sponsor, NIWC Atlantic.
  • Participants must meet the eligibility requirements described in the Eligibility section, to participate and/or win a cash prize.
  • Any Participant or entry found in violation of any rule will be disqualified at NIWC Atlantic’s sole discretion.
  • Each individual or Participant team certifies, through entry to the contest, that the entry is his/her own original, creative work and does not violate or infringe upon the creative work of others, as protected under applicable intellectual property (IP) law.
  • Each Participant certifies, through entry to the challenge, that any submission by the official representative does not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or “worms”).
  • By entering the challenge, the Participants agree to hold NIWC Atlantic harmless from all legal and administrative claims to include associated expenses that may arise from any claims related to their entry or its use.
  • All judging panel decisions are final and may not be appealed.
  • All cash prizes awarded by NIWC Atlantic to Participants are subject to tax liabilities, and no withholding will be assessed by NIWC Atlantic on behalf of the solver claiming a cash prize.
  • NIWC Atlantic reserves the right for any reason, including but not limited to an insufficient number of qualified entries, to modify or cancel the challenge at any time during the duration of the challenge.
  • All Participants agree that they, their heirs and estates agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a prize challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
  • By participating in the challenge, each solver agrees to comply with and abide by all NIWC Atlantic challenge rules, terms, and conditions, and the decisions of Atlantic and/or the individual judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects.


  • The winners of a cash prize for the Challenge (collectively, “Winners”) may be featured on Federal websites, in newsletters, social media, and in other print and electronic outreach, as well as Charleston Defense Contractors Association media releases.
  • Except where prohibited, participation in the challenge constitutes the consent of each winner to the government’s and its agents’ use of each winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, public summary, and/or hometown and state information for promotional purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further permission, payment, or consideration.
  • Finally, the government will continue to communicate the resulting winner’s solution only if it continues to deliver mutual benefit to the government in achieving its mission to provide relevant services. In order to measure this and continue to improve programs and services, the Solver or Solver team must share platform use data with the government.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Submissions that comply with the challenge requirements will be reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of Government Representatives. Entries will be scored by a panel of judges with a resident knowledge of the Technology Challenge topic. One Judging Panel will be assigned per Challenge Topic and will judge only the topic in which they are assigned.

Judging Criteria

Each submission will be judged based on the following criteria with each judge panel independently scoring the solution on a scale of 1-5 and then calculated into a weighted percentage as detailed below. A score of “1” indicates that the submission received the lowest consideration based on the scoring criteria below whereas a score of “5” would indicate that the submission is considered the highest of interest to the Government. The winner will be determined by averaging all judges’ scores and calculating the highest scoring solution.

Stage 1 Judging Considerations:

Technical Approach (1/3rd of scoring)

  • The solution provides a novel approach to the Challenge topic in accordance with one or both of the following:
    • The technology approach provides a new approach using existing commercial application not commonly found within the Department of the Navy
    • The technology approach provides a new concept not widely used within a commercial application.
  • The description of the technology approach provides a comprehensive description with supportive data, methods, and supportive technologies used towards a solution.
  • The description of the technical approach is written in a manner that is legible and easy to read.

Applicability for use within the Department of Navy Construct (1/3rd of scoring)

  • How can the technology be applied in a Naval Environment. Examples include but are not limited to and nor specifically graded against:
    • Naval Enterprise
    • Surface Ship/Shore/Sub Surface applicability
    • Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF)
    • Command and Control
    • Battle Space Awareness
    • Cyber Warfare
  • The technology solution is realistic for use in a Naval Environment.

Creativity and Innovation (1/3rd of scoring)

  • Provides an innovative approach to solve the challenge presented.
  • Provides creative resolutions in overcoming other barriers or impediments from being applied within a Naval environment.

Stage 2 Judging Considerations:

Quality of Oral Presentation

  • For the Government Audience oral presentation, the presentation/demonstration of the solution clearly provides a high-level view of its functionality, purpose and usage as applied to the prize challenge topic.
  • For the Innovation Pitch Jam On-Site presentation, the presentation of the solution clearly provides an innovative solution that will best resonate with attendees of the Defense Summit. At the completion of all presentations on a specific topic, Defense Summit audience members will vote on the presentation they felt was the strongest. The presentation with the most votes in each topic area will be awarded the People’s Choice Award.

How to Enter

Stage 1 Open Date: Submissions to Phase 1 of the NIWC Atlantic Prize challenge will be accepted from 19 August 2021 at 10:00 a.m. ET through 19 September 2021 at 11:00 p.m. ET. Entries received before and after the time slot will not be accepted. The identified official representative (individual, team, or legal entity) may enter this challenge by sending an e-mail to with the subject line stating “NIWC Atlantic Prize Challenge 21:[INSERT TOPIC NAME”]. Please provide a separate e-mail if submitting against more than one topic.

There shall be only one official participant representative for each topic submission. The official participant representative must provide a name and e-mail address and, by sending in the registration, and affirms on behalf of the solver (individual, team, or legal entity), that he or she has read and consents to be governed by the challenge rules.

Stage 2 Invitation to Oral Presentations: Any participant receiving an invitation to provide two separate oral presentations between 7-9 December 2021. One presentation will be to a Government Only audience. The government team will evaluate presentations for the determination of the cash prizes. There will be a separate oral presentation in support of the Innovation Pitch Jam. That presentation will be conducted in a larger Defense Summit attendee forum. Defense Summit attendees will then vote for the awardee of a “People Choice Award.” Participants selected for Stage 2 oral presentations will contacted by a government representative for further coordination instructions.

Submission Guidelines

Stage 1 Submission: Prior to the closing date, e-mail the white paper to

  • The e-mail subject line must state “Palmetto Tech Bridge Prize Challenge 21: [INSERT TOPIC NAME]”.
  • E-mail must come from the official representative for the team.
  • All submissions must be in English.
  • Participants must not use government logos or official seals in their submissions and must not otherwise give an appearance of federal government endorsement.

Stage 2 Oral Presentations: Any company receiving an invitation to provide an oral presentation at the CDCA Summit from 7-9 December 2021 will be required to submit slides and any read ahead information by 23 November 2021. Any physical equipment needed for the private demonstration to the Government will need to be self-sufficient and able to be set up and break down within 15 minutes. For the Pitch Jam On-Site presentation, PowerPoint slide decks should have the file name: “Pitch Jam 2021: [INSERT COMPANY NAME”]. Any materials provided by participants not invited to present oral presentations will be discarded without review.