Power of Passengers Challenge
Building a better, more secure and safer travel experience.
Department of Homeland Security - Transportation Security Administration
Type of Challenge: Ideas
Partner Agencies | Federal: NASA, Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate
Submission Start: 12/08/2020 07:00 AM ET
Submission End: 01/28/2021 08:00 PM ET
TSA is calling on innovators and citizen inventors to leverage innovative approaches and other innovations that would increase TSA’s security effectiveness and efficiency efforts and improve passenger experience. To accomplish this mission, TSA is looking for the best possible solutions from you – the crowd – to help with The Power of Passengers Challenge.
On any given day, TSA screens nearly nine million passengers and bags in the United States of America at more than 400 federalized airports. In order to accomplish this task, TSA employs a diverse mixture of security measures, including:
- Approximately 50,000 transportation security officers
- Nearly 950 imaging technology machines
- More than 350 explosives specialists
- More than 1,000 canine teams
Beyond its well-known responsibility for securing airport locations in the United States, TSA also is responsible for inspecting foreign airports with flights departing to the United States, inspecting billions of tons of cargo annually, and securing more than 4,000 maritime ports and terminals and more than 600,000 bridges.
The combined domestic and international efforts of the TSA use and generate large amounts of logistical, operational, and security data.
TSA is looking harness new approaches and innovations, from other industries to improve overall security effectiveness, operational efficiency, and passenger experience.
The Challenge will focus on:
- SITUATIONAL AND/OR OPERATIONAL AWARENESS: How can the TSA maintain situational and/or operational awareness in a variety of environments (e.g., airports, cargo, bridges, and maritime), with or without on-site personnel?
- SECURITY SCREENINGS: How can the TSA leverage the power of passengers before, during, and after security screenings without sacrificing effectiveness?
- PASSENGER ARRIVALS: How can passengers provide and share information about their impending airport arrival to facilitate more efficient screening processes?
- INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL TRANSFERS: How can passengers arriving at a U.S. airport on an international flight more efficiently transfer to domestic flights without diminishing security?
- COVID-19 RECOVERY: How can the TSA enhance or alter current operations, procedures, or policies to contend with the changing dynamics in a post-COVID-19 transportation environment?
The Challenge invites innovators and citizen investors to submit responses with approaches or innovations that can re-envision how the TSA generates, interprets and uses data to improve security, efficiency, and passenger experience.
The TSA seeks responses that address one or more of the following areas of interest:
- Area of Interest 1: Security Effectiveness – Improved security outcomes, improved false alarm rate, increased detection of prohibited items, improved identification of mal-actors, better situational awareness of security performance and effectiveness, etc.
- Area of Interest 2: More Efficient Options for Screening Passengers – More efficient use of screening personnel, decreased number of procedural steps, decreased cost per passenger screened, increased passenger screening speed, increased number of passengers screened, improved use of airport infrastructure (physical constraints), etc.
- Area of Interest 3: Improved Passenger Experience – Decreased passenger queue wait times, improved passenger divestiture of items, increased predictability of experience, improved ease of experience, greater levels and options for autonomy and self-service, etc.
Whenever possible, proposed approaches should be largely invisible or unobtrusive to passengers.
Proposed approaches may not:
- Add significant actions by the passenger unless for the benefit of or under the discretion of the passenger
- Add significant wait times for the passenger unless for the benefit of or under the discretion of the passenger
Additionally, proposed approaches may not result in increased costs for security or operational programs. Ideally, net costs to the TSA should be minimal, if any.
Total Cash Prize Pool: $215,000
One grand prize for the proposal that has the greatest simultaneous impact on all three areas of interest (security effectiveness, operational efficiency, and passenger experience): $30,000
Each of the three areas of interest can award up to three prizes:
- One first place prize per area of interest: $25,000
- One second place prize per area of interest: $20,000
- One third place prize per area of interest: $15,000
One special $5,000 prize may be awarded to the response deemed most impactful by TSA.
Additionally, Winners may also be considered for:
Establishment of a vendor relationship
- If the proposed technology is commercially available, TSA may seek to establish a vendor relationship with the submitter.
Supporting with mentorship
- TSA could assist respondents by establishing mentorships to aid in the refinement/advancement of proposed approaches.
- Connections to technology accelerators or other innovation development programs
- Connections to existing developers and/or manufacturers
- Assistance with advancement/finalization of proposed technology
- Invitations to TSA conferences and/or lectures
- Opportunities to speak with broader security audiences
Participants are eligible to win multiple Awards provided that the Entries are clearly distinguishable as novel and different from one another as determined by the Judging Panel.
All Winners will be notified by the e-mail address provided in the Entry. Return of any Award notification as “undeliverable” will result in disqualification. All Awards are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with this Agreement and Guidance. The Organizer reserves the right to examine Entries for compliance with this Agreement and Guidance. Failure of Participant to demonstrate eligibility will result in disqualification. Upon acceptance of any Award, Participant must execute the license to Sponsor prior to receipt of Award. No substitution or transfer of Award is permitted.
This is a voluntary Challenge of skill and innovation and no fee is required to enter or participate. Whether or not your Entry is determined as a Winner depends on how your Entry addresses the Challenge, and how your Entry compares to the other Entries submitted in the Challenge when evaluated based on the sole judgment of the Judging Panel and Organizer. All Awards are final. There is no offer of a royalty, or other financial compensation implied beyond the award described above. No costs or expenses of a Participant for any aspect of this Challenge will be paid by the Organizer. Each Award Winner is responsible for any and all tax reporting obligations and any and all tax payments as applicable.
You must comply with the full list of all Challenge Rules, Terms and Conditions (TechConnect Challenge Rules and Participant Agreement) and supplementary guidance as described on the Organizer’s website, the Challenge website.
By submitting a Submission/Entry to this Challenge, you are agreeing to be bound by the Organizer’s Challenge Rules and Participant Agreement (“Rules”).
ORGANIZER AND SPONSOR. TechConnect Ventures (“TechConnect” or “Organizer”) is the administrator for this Challenge. TSA (“TSA” or “Sponsor”) is the Sponsor for this Challenge. TSA is a third-party beneficiary of this Challenge.
LEGAL TERMS: (a) This Challenge is governed solely by this Challenge Rules and Participant Agreement (“Agreement”) and Supplementary Guidance (“Guidance”) published on TechConnect’s Challenge website.
(b) By submitting an Entry (“Entry”, “Response”, “Submission”) to this Challenge, YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THESE AGREEMENT AND GUIDANCE WHICH CONSTITUTES A BINDING AGREEMENT.
It is the Participant’s responsibility to remain informed as to any changes to the Agreement and Guidance. In the event of any question or matter arising out of any point not expressly provided for in any of the Agreement and Guidance, the decision of the Organizer shall be final. In the event of any dispute regarding the Agreement, Guidance, or any matter relating to the Challenge, the Organizer’s decision shall be final and unchallengeable and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into, comment issued, or reason given in respect of any decision made by the Organizer. Should there be a any conflict between this Agreement and Guidance, this Agreement takes precedence.
PARTICIPANT: Participant is the Submitter of each Entry and is solely responsible to receive all communications from Organizer related to this Challenge and for ensuring compliance with this Agreement and Guidance.
GENERAL INFORMATION: (a) Participation is subject to all Federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Multiple entries are permitted. Entries will be reviewed independently and shall have no bearing on the review of additional Entries submitted by the Participant, except in the case of a breach of this Agreement resulting in a disqualification of the Participant.
(b) Participants are responsible for compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to your participation in this Challenge. Participants are responsible for abiding by its employer’s policies regarding participation in this Challenge. Participant is responsible for all taxes and reporting related to any award received as part of the Challenge.
(c) Organizers disclaim any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between you, your employer and any other party related to this Challenge on its behalf and that of the Sponsor.
The Challenge is open to all United States (U.S.) Citizens over the age of 18 at the date of entry and to all validly formed legal entities that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the U.S. Entries from any Participants, including but not limited to, companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, accelerators, incubators, technology transfer firms, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. Entries from teams and collaborative groups of Participants (“Teams”) are welcome. For all Teams, a primary contact must be designated for the Entries and any follow-up communications. Organizer is not responsible for any engagement of or communication with Team members not designated as the primary contact. Organizer shall not be held responsible for or party to any teaming agreements, verbal, written or implied, between members of a Team in generation or Entry. All working relationships related to your Team are your own.
TSA employees are not eligible to submit an Entry for this Challenge. If you are an Employee of another Federal Agency, contact your Agency’s Office of General Counsel regarding your ability to participate in this Challenge. If you are a Government contractor or are employed by one, your participation in this Challenge may also be restricted. If you or your employer receives Government funding for similar projects, you or your employer are not eligible for award under this Challenge. In addition, the U.S. Government may have Intellectual Property Rights in your solution if your solution was made under a Government Contract, Grant or Cooperative Agreement. Under such conditions, you may not be eligible for prize award. If you work for a Government Contractor and this solution was made either under Government Contract, Grant or Cooperative Agreement or while performing work for the employer, you should seek legal advice from your employer’s General Counsel on your conditions of employment which may affect your ability to submit a solution to this Challenge and/or to accept prize award. Employees and family members of TechConnect and any of their respective affiliates and subsidiaries are not eligible to enter this Challenge.
Terms & Conditions
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) RIGHTS: By submitting an Entry you represent,
The Entry is the original work of the Participant named in the Entry (e.g., individual, team, entity) on whose behalf it is being submitted;
You have authority, warrant, and have sufficient rights to submit the Entry on behalf of the identified Participant whether an individual, team, or entity, e.g., a corporation;
Use of the Entry for this Challenge does not trigger any financial liability for Organizer or Sponsor;
In the event of being designated a winner, you have the authority and sufficient right to execute a License on behalf of the Participant identified in the Entry. You agree to promptly execute, prior to receiving any Award, any documents required by Organizer and Sponsor to effectuate the License and transfer any Challenge award. Execution of the License is required before transfer of any Challenge award. This License shall grant TSA/DHS, on behalf of the U.S. Government, a paid-up, nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license in such copyrighted data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies (including but not limited to distribute copies to the public), and perform publicly and display publicly by or on behalf of the Government the subject matter of the Entry; and warrant that use or manufacture of the subject matter of the Entry, to the best of your knowledge, does not violate the rights, including the intellectual property rights, of any third party as recognized by controlling law. Participant shall indemnify and hold harmless Organizer for any claim arising out its duties as required by the Sponsor and occasioned by a breach of any of the representations in this Section.
By accepting any Challenge award, each Participant thereby agrees to use of his/her name, city/state, likeness and/or Challenge award information, a synopsis of the Entry by Sponsor, or Organizer solely on behalf of the Sponsor, for promotional purposes in conjunction with this Challenge in any medium without additional compensation.
Use of Marks: Except as expressly set forth herein Participants shall not use the names, trademarks, service marks, seals, logos, insignias, trade dress, or any other designation of source or origin subject to legal protection, copyrighted material or similar IP (“Marks”) of Organizer or Sponsors in any way without such party’s prior written permission in each instance, which such party may grant or withhold in its sole and absolute discretion.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PROPRIETARY MARKINGS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION: You acknowledge that your Entry may be the subject of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and that you are responsible for identifying and marking all proprietary and/or confidential information in your Entry. You acknowledge that Organizer may share the details of your Entry with designated third parties (e.g., Sponsor, Judges) for purposes as described in this Agreement and Challenge announcement.
PRIVACY: When submitting an Entry to the Challenge, Participants will disclose personal information which may constitute “Personal Data” for the purposes of applicable information privacy and data protections laws. Each Participant is deemed to have consented to the Organizer’s collection, use and processing of the said Personal Data for the purposes of administering and conducting the Challenge.
By entering this Challenge, you acknowledge and agree that the Organizer will have access to and use of any personal data provided in connection with your Entry for purposes as described in these Rules.
WARRANTIES: By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that, The Entry: does not contain malicious code, viruses, malware, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information; and Submission of the Entry does not violate applicable law or regulation. A breach of any warranty or representation may result in the corresponding Entry being invalidated and/or Participant being disqualified under this Challenge.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By participating in the Challenge, you agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless, the Organizers, Sponsors and all of their respective affiliates and subsidiaries arising out of your participation in this Challenge. Entities are not responsible for any technical failures related to communication or submission failures, such as unavailable networks or server connections; other failures related to hardware, software, viruses, or incomplete, late or misdirected Entries. Any compromise to the fair, proper and legal conduct of this Challenge may result in the disqualification of an Entry, the termination of the Challenge, or other remedial or legal action at the sole discretion of Organizers. Organizers reserve the right to extend or modify the dates of the Challenge. By entering, you agree to be bound by this Agreement and Guidance and acknowledge that all decisions of Organizers, Judges and Sponsor are final and binding.
NO OBLIGATION: You acknowledge that multiple Participants may submit Entries that contain concepts, approaches, or technologies similar to your Entry and that the Organizer, Sponsor, and/ or their respective subsidiaries and partners may already be investigating or developing solutions or have business activities that are related to or similar to those disclosed in your Entry. You acknowledge that Organizer’s actions with respect to another Entry or one of its own solutions, investigations, or business activities, even if similar to your Entry, shall not create any liability, of any kind, by Organizer to you or others. Further, the Organizer is not or shall not be restricted in any way from pursuing, developing, or commercializing, in any way that they see fit, independent of you and at its sole discretion, any activity or technology that is created independent of your Entry. For the avoidance of doubt, you acknowledge that the Organizer is not obligated to take any action whatsoever with regard to your Entry.
SEVERABILITY: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement and Guidance shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, this Agreement and Guidance shall otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision was not contained herein.
WAIVER: By entering the Challenge, you thereby waive all rights to seek injunctive or equitable relief, or to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or attorneys’ fees against Organizers or their affiliates, employees, agents or representatives.
ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This is the parties’ entire Agreement and Guidance on this matter, superseding all previous negotiations or agreements and can only be modified by written agreement.
APPLICABLE LAW: You agree that this Agreement and Guidance and the relationship between you and Organizers shall be governed and construed under the laws of the State of Texas, U.S. Any action against the Sponsor is subject to Federal law. You acknowledge and agree that all aspects and content of your Entry, including all information, developments, inventions, and works of authorship, shall be treated as if made in the United States of America and U.S. laws relating to patents, inventions, assignments, and innovation compensation shall supersede the relevant laws of any country in which the Entry may have been conceived, developed, or reduced to practice.
You expressly acknowledge that this Challenge is free and voluntary. By entering this Challenge, you accept Texas State law as governing law, the specific terms, conditions and policies outlined in this Agreement, and consent to having your Entry data, including all provided personal information, transferred to, processed in, and stored pursuant to the TechConnect Privacy Statement.
Entries submitted to the Challenge will be evaluated by a panel comprised of individuals who are competent in the subject matter of the Challenge (the “Judging Panel” or “Judges”). Organizer reserves the right to assign or remove Judges at any time. Organizer is under no obligation to notify Participants of any changes to the Judging Panel. Organizer is under no obligation to disclose any information about any Judges.
Entries will be evaluated based on compliance with the Challenge requirements, Entry criteria and with the information provided on the Challenge webpage. Judging of Entries will occur after the Challenge Entry Deadline and will be completed in advance of the announcement of any Winners. All decisions of the Judging Panel, including any decisions to name no Winners, will be final and binding on all matters relating to this Challenge.
How to Enter
To enter, you must submit an Entry through the designated Challenge Submission Page on TechConnect’s Challenge website. TechConnect’s Challenge website will provide further instructions, requirements, criteria, fillable fields, uploads and other details regarding the required Submission format. All Entries must be in English, without exception. Where applicable, Entry attachments may be submitted in .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, docx, .ppt, .pptx, or .mp4 formats. All Entries must be submitted through the TechConnect’s Challenge website Submission Page by:
Completing all fields of the Submission (or Registration) webform;
Uploading required files via the provided upload field at the time the Entry is submitted;
Completing Submission by clicking the “Submit” button. Submission for this Challenge starts Tuesday, 12/08/2020 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST). To be eligible to receive a prize award as a result of this Challenge, a complete and compliant Submission must be received electronically as indicated on TechConnect’s Challenge website by 8:00 pm EST on Thursday, 01/28/2021. Late Entries will not be considered. Dates are subject to change.
Entries submitted in any other manner than that described above shall be considered ineligible. Organizers will not accept any Entries or attachments submitted via email, physical mail, courier, fax or otherwise, or that are submitted beyond the deadline.
By submitting an Entry, you agree that (a) all required fields are complete and all information in your Entry is correct and accurate; and (b) your registration may be rejected or terminated and all Entries submitted by you may be disqualified if any of the information provided is (or the Organizer has reasonable grounds to believe it is) incomplete, incorrect or inaccurate. All Participants are solely responsible for their Entry. All registration information is deemed collected in the U.S.
The Organizer is not responsible for: (a) late, lost, stolen, damaged, garbled, incomplete, incorrect or misdirected Entries or other communications; (b) errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operations or transmission of information, in each case whether arising by way of technical or other failures or malfunctions of computer hardware, software, communications devices, or transmission lines; or (c) data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of Entry materials, loss or otherwise.
The Organizer is not responsible for electronic communications or emails which are undeliverable as a result of any form of active or passive filtering of any kind, or insufficient space in any email account to receive email messages. The Organizer disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participation in or accessing or downloading of information in connection with the Challenge.
Participants are solely responsible for all equipment, expenses, resources, insurance and/or costs incurred by or on behalf of any Participant while participating in the Challenge.
BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY FOR THE CHALLENGE, YOU ACCEPT THE CONDITIONS STATED IN THIS AGREEMENT AND GUIDANCE, AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE DECISIONS OF THE ORGANIZER AND THE JUDGING PANEL AND WARRANT THAT YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHALLENGE. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THESE RULES, THEN DO NOT ENTER TO THE CHALLENGE. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU PRINT A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT AND GUIDANCE FOR YOUR FUTURE REFERENCE
ENTRY CRITERIA GUIDELINES: Entry guidelines and descriptions of all items and information required to complete an Entry for the Challenge is available on the TechConnect’s Challenge webpage. See the Challenge webpage for additional details.
Point of Contact
Have feedback or questions about this challenge? Send the challenge manager an email