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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Partners Engaged in Extramural Reporting (PEER)

Do YOU have the best idea to help organizations receiving federal R&D grants and contracts comply with Bayh-Dole reporting requirements?

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $10,000
Type of Challenge: Creative (multimedia & design), Analytics, visualizations, algorithms
Submission Start: 10/28/2020 9:00 AM ET
Submission End: 11/20/2020 5:00 PM ET


Each year the federal government spends more than $70 billion on extramural research projects undertaken by universities and companies across the nation that focus on a wide range of scientific and technology developments. This research often leads to the creation of numerous inventions that help drive innovation and significantly contribute to our country’s economic growth and prosperity.

In 1980, Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act which established the current rules governing the rights and responsibilities of extramural (external to the U.S. Government) recipients of Federal research and development (R&D) funds. The law allows funding recipients to retain the intellectual property rights (IP) associated with the technologies they produce. Additionally, the law requires several compliance requirements that impact ownership rights, including timely reporting to the Federal funding agency of inventions disclosure, notice of title election to funded inventions, and filing of patent applications. The compliance elements are designed to protect the public’s investment by ensuring that the IP associated with resulting inventions are developed in a timely and correct manner.

Both Federal funding agencies as well as recipients of federal funds benefit from compliance with the requirements of Bayh-Dole regulations. Noncompliance with Bayh-Dole regulations results in underreporting of IP that arises from R&D activities funded by U.S. taxpayers. The incomplete reporting is concerning as it is not an accurate representation of the value derived for the Nation from Federal R&D investments in industry and nonprofit organizations, including universities. Inventors at universities, small businesses, and other recipients of federal R&D funding should report their inventive successes as a way to contribute to the data used by policy makers and stakeholders to assess the value, performance, and impact of extramural programs.

Many large institutions have well-established technology transfer offices that routinely comply with Bayh-Dole regulations, but studies have shown that many recipients, especially small businesses and universities, have a comparatively poor compliance record. Though funding recipients may lose rights to Bayh-Dole subject invention patents, there may be many causes for underreporting and non-compliance with Bayh-Dole reporting requirements. Adding to the problem, many funding agencies routinely fail to adhere to compliance issues.

The goal of this Challenge is to inform the development and execution of program activities and communications designed to promote Bayh-Dole compliance. Successful submissions will propose mechanisms that motivate increased Bayh-Dole compliance reporting activities by recipients of Federal R&D funding.

Respondents to this Challenge are asked to submit creative ideas and solutions that will help organizations overcome barriers in Bayh-Dole compliance reporting. While lack of adequate and/or knowledgeable staffing, cost of reporting and compliance, inadequate training, and many other factors have been cited as reasons for Bayh-Dole underreporting, no solutions have yet been successfully implemented.


Total Cash Prize Pool: US$10,000

Prize Breakdown:

  • 1st place = US$6,000
  • 2nd place = US$3,000
  • 3rd place = US$1,000


Complete rules can be found here.

Participation in the PEER Prize Competition is open to ALL; however, not all participants are eligible to win cash prizes.

To be eligible for a cash prize:

  • A Competition Participant (whether an individual, team, or legal entity) must comply with all of the requirements under section 3719 of title 15, United States Code as contained therein.
  • At the time of entry, the Official Representative (individual or team lead, in the case of a group project) must be age 18 or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories.
  • In the case of a private entity, the business shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States or its territories.
  • Competition Participants may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. NIST employees are not eligible to participate. Non-NIST Federal employees acting in their personal capacities should consult with their respective agency ethics officials to determine whether their participation in this Competition is permissible.
  • A Competition Participant shall not be deemed ineligible because the Competition Participant consulted with Federal employees or used Federal facilities in preparing its submission to the PEER Prize Competition if the Federal employees and facilities are made available to all Participants on an equitable basis.

Multiple entries are permitted. Each entry will be reviewed independently. Multiple individuals and/or legal entities may collaborate as a group to submit a single entry and a single individual from the group must be designated as an Official Representative for each entry. That designated individual will be responsible for meeting all entry and evaluation requirements. Participation is subject to all U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations. Individuals entering on behalf of or representing a company, institution or other legal entity are responsible for confirming that their entry does not violate any policies of that company, institution or legal entity.

Terms & Conditions: To view the entire terms and conditions, regarding intellectual property rights, confidential information, warranties, limitation of liability, termination and disqualification, verification of potential winner(s), and privacy and disclosure under FOIA, please visit this webpage.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel: The NIST Director will select a panel of three qualified judges to determine the Prize Winners. The Judges will determine winners according to the Judging Criteria described herein. The Judges may not have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of, any entity that is a registered Participant in the Competition and may not have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered Participant. In the event of such conflicts, conflicted Judges must recuse themselves and replacement Judges may be appointed.

Judging Criteria: The PEER Challenge calls on Participants to submit original ideas that will incentivize recipients of federal R&D funds to comply with the data submission requirements of the Bayh-Dole Act. Eligible submissions will be judged and scored on four judging criteria, listed below. Ideas submitted to this challenge that have previously been published or that have been prepared using Federal funds are not eligible (e.g., Federal agency reports, reports prepared by Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, or reports prepared by funded intermediaries on behalf of Federal agencies.) Judges will evaluate and score eligible submissions using four judging criteria:

  1. Practicality in terms of being able to implement the proposed solutions (15 points)
    1. Participants should consider the ability of federal agencies and fund recipients to implement the incentives.
    2. Participants should consider realistic cost vs. benefit of proposed incentives.
    3. Participants should consider the applicable laws and regulations.
  2. Likelihood of increasing compliance with meeting Bayh-Dole reporting requirements (15 points): Participants should explicitly address how the incentive(s) will greatly increase compliance.
  3. Relevance of success metrics in terms of how the increase in compliance would be measured by the proposed solution, including cost-benefit (15 points).
  4. Creativity of the proposed solution (5 points)
    1. Participants may consider the creation of videos, posters, design concepts, and other creative products. Submissions should be professional, high-quality products.
    2. All submissions’ written reports should consider the novelty of the ideas proposed in their submissions.

How to Enter

Potential Participants are invited to visit the Challenge Website. The Challenge Website provides background information on the persistent challenge of non-compliance with Bayh-Dole reporting requirements. To enter, submit your solution addressing novel, effective ways to incentivize recipients of federal R&D funds to comply with the data submission requirements of the Bayh-Dole Act to

Submissions should:

  1. Contain an introductory written section summarizing the submission and how it meets the judging criteria;
  2. Introduce solution or solutions that are implementable to incentivize recipients of federal R&D funds to comply with Bayh-Dole reporting requirements,
  3. Indicate how the solution(s) will measurably increase Bayh-Dole reporting and propose methods for measuring the impact of the proposed solution(s).

Submissions may include, but are not limited, to any one or combination of the following: research papers, essays, promotional material, slideshows, music, videos, mobile or web apps, and other multimedia projects. Concepts or prototypes are encouraged.

Eligible formats must be in commonly accessible forms such as:

  • Word
  • PDF
  • Powerpoint
  • Excel
  • Movie (.mov file)
  • Audio (.mp3 file)

Multimedia submissions may also be submitted by providing a link to an online platform (youtube, vimeo, google play store, website, etc.) as part of your submission if the content is made freely accessible to NIST for evaluation and judging.

Submissions should convey a clear understanding of the problem and how the solution(s) will measurably increase Bayh-Dole reporting compliance. Participants should also take into account the cost-benefit of a proposed solution. Practical, effective solutions are the key to success for this Challenge.

Problem areas in meeting Bayh-Dole reporting requirements that your solution might address include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Difficulty of educating and reaching all scientists, engineers, researchers, and other relevant employees on the Bayh-Dole reporting requirements;
  • Challenge of obtaining timely disclosures and other IP-related actions on technologies subject to Bayh-Dole reporting requirements from researchers and other relevant employees;
  • Difficulty convincing organization leadership to commit necessary attention and resource to meet the needs to fulfill Bayh-Dole reporting requirements;
  • Obstacles preventing coordination between different business units within an organization and preventing accurate and timely reporting, e.g. university technology transfer, grants management, and other administrative offices;
  • Difficulty tracking all publications and public disclosures relating to IP, in turn contributing to less accurate reporting to federal agencies; and
  • Obstacles to creating and maintaining an informed and responsive management and customer service operation to support Bayh-Dole compliance; or
  • Other ideas.

A complete Entry includes your submission, the email address of the Official Representative representing the Entry, and confirmation that the Official Representative has read and agreed to these Rules. Participants may provide submissions via email to beginning at 9:00 AM ET on October 28th, 2020. Submission can be made no later than 5:00 PM ET on November 20th, 2020.

Submissions received before the start date and time, or after the end date and time, will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries sent to NIST in any manner other than via an email to will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries that do not comply with the formatting requirements set forth in this Notice will not be evaluated or considered for award.

Entries must be complete, must contain no confidential information, and must be in English.