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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

PROOF: The ChemBio Suit Design Challenge

Choosing the right protective gear

Department of Defense

Type of Challenge: Ideas
Submission Start: 08/19/2016 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 10/29/2016 12:00 AM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


The current chemical biological suit’s burden, weight, and bulkiness restrict the warfighter’s agility, range of motion, and maneuverability necessary to conduct their duties. It also adds additional heat stress during physically active tasks. The suit materials and its various parts are disjointed and do not seamlessly integrate. This inhibits the ability of the warfighter to be skillfully tactile and dexterous during a mission. Altogether, these challenges may increase the physical and cognitive fatigue in an already challenging environment. We are seeking innovative ideas for solutions that will increase warfighter mobility, dexterity and tactility, allowing the warfighter to complete all relevant tasks (including running, climbing, etc.) in a fast and comfortable manner, without cognitive/physiological fatigue associated with the ensemble. We are also seeking ideas for heat management that reduce heat burden and actively cool the warfighter as various physical tasks are conducted. Finally, we welcome ideas that improve the seamless integration between suit components, such as mask-helmet or glove-boot interface. Ultimately, the solution must aid in protecting the warfighter against chemical and biological warfare agents and radiological particles. The goal is to relieve any burdens and hazards to the warfighter and improve operational capabilities in combating chemical and biological wartime threats. The challenge consists of a 10-week idea submission period followed by a two-week blitz round for rapid refinement. Participants will compete for prizes within a $250,000 prize pot. The following prizes will be awarded:
  • Up to five small prize contest winners of up to $5,000 each*
  • Up to three runners-up winning up to $25,000 each*
  • Up to three finalists winning $50,000-$150,000*
  • For finalists who opt-in and meet further acceptability criteria:
    • Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) assessment and/or third party testing. Important Note: Solutions may be selected to test on a case-by-case basis given the feasibility to test the solution. The government reserves the right to not release the test data for any reason, including the data’s security classification. Data may not be made available to participants based on data security classification.
*The Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) for Chemical and Biological Defense reserves the right to allocate fund amounts based on submission score.


Finalists (Up to three)
Cash Prize Amount: $0
Up to three finalists winning $50,000-$150,000*

Runners-Up (Up to three)
Up to three runners-up winning up to $25,000 each*

Participatory Prize (Up to five)
Up to five small prize contest winners of up to $5,000 each*


During the proposal submission period, a review panel will initially screen submissions for eligibility and compliance with the rules of this challenge. A submission that fails to meet the eligibility and compliance criteria will be disqualified and will be ineligible for prizes. To be eligible to win Phase 1 of this challenge, an individual or team:
  • Must have entered a submission on
  • Must be an individual or team comprised of members each of whom are 18 years of age or over.
  • Must be (1) an individual U.S. citizen, team of U.S. citizens, or permanent resident(s) of the United States, or (2) an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States.
  • Must not be on the Excluded Parties List System located at
  • The applicant shall not be deemed ineligible solely because the applicant used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made equitably available to all applicants participating in the competition.
  • Federal grantees may not use federal funds to develop challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award. Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a challenge submission.
  • Employees of JPEO-CBD, and/or any other individual or entity associated with the development, evaluation, or administration of the challenge as well as members of such persons’ immediate families (e.g., spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the challenge.
  • Applicants must 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 competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
  • Applicants must also agree to indemnify the federal government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities.
  • No JPEO-CBD logo – The product/idea/submission must not use JPEO-CBD logos or official government, Department of Defense, or Army seals and must not claim endorsement by any federal entity.
  • A solution may be disqualified if it fails to function as expressed in the description provided by the user, or if it provides inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • JPEO-CBD reserves the right to disqualify participants from the challenge Facebook page, and potentially for the challenge and any sub-challenge entirely, for inappropriate, derogatory, defamatory, or threatening comments or communication. JPEO-CBD may disqualify the entry if, in JPEO-CBD’s sole judgment, participants have engaged in inappropriate, derogatory, defamatory, or threatening comments or communication on the challenge Facebook page.
  • Submissions must be free of security threats and/or malware. Applicants/contestants agree that JPEO-CBD may conduct testing on the product/submission to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. JPEO-CBD may disqualify the product if, in JPEO-CBD’s judgment, the app may damage government or others’ equipment or operating environment.
  • Applicants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in the challenge.
  • By participating in the challenge, each applicant agrees to comply with and abide by these official rules, terms and conditions and the decisions of the federal agency sponsors and/or the individual judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

How To Enter

Submission Requirements:
  • Submissions in English
  • Submit by the deadline using the online platform:
    • Ideas posted to Facebook or other channels are not eligible submissions
  • General information about the applicant and team members
    • Include skills, professional affiliations and achievements
  • Idea details
    • Title of the solution/idea
    • Includes an executive summary describing the specific problem being solved and how the proposed idea will improve the problem
      • May include sketches, models, process flowcharts, designs, specifications, short demo video etc.
    • Description of the methods and technologies used to develop the idea
    • Financial overview that includes projected expense budget (optional)
    • Development plan and timeline that describes key activities and resources required to further develop the idea (optional)
      • Any resources, including team capabilities, materials, processes, or others needed to further develop the idea
A panel of expert reviewers will evaluate ideas and may select the best ideas for further refinement and entry into the Blitz Round. Side Contests During the challenge, several side contests will be held and announced on the challenge website and Facebook page. Side contests will encourage creativity, collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking. Side contest awards, if awarded, will be based on the submission’s evaluation and score. Winners may be selected within the following categories:
  • Gamechanger - Holistic suit design that inspires the future of protective gear
    • The judges will evaluate all entries and identify submissions that provide a design for a holistic, full-suit and addresses one or more of the four problem areas (heat management, integration, dexterity and tactility, and mobility). Eligible submissions may score the highest within the “innovation” category when compared to other criteria.
  • Influencer - Highest quality social engagement leading to Challenge submission
    • The Challenge administrators will identify Facebook users with the highest number of likes, comments and shares (social activity) within the Challenge Facebook page. The Challenge submission with the highest social activity, and a corresponding high score per the evaluation criteria, will be eligible for this award. Runners up and finalists are also eligible for this award.
  • Honorable Mention - based on judges’ score
    • Submissions that score high in several evaluation criteria categories, but not all categories, but have an overall high score, are eligible for this award. Runners up and finalists are not eligible for this award. JPEO reserves the right to allocate fund amounts based on submission score.
Up to five challenge side contests winners will be awarded small participatory prizes of up to $5,000 each. Challenge finalists and semifinalists are also eligible to win side contest awards. Side contest awards will be announced and awarded during the winners announcement period.