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Tech to Protect Challenge

Coding for Emergency Responders

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $2,200,000
Type of Challenge: software and apps
Submission Start: 06/01/2019 12:00 PM ET
Submission End: 11/15/2019 05:00 PM ET

Description

challenge timeline

The Tech to Protect Challenge is an open innovation opportunity led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division. Taking place throughout 2019 in ten different cities across the country, the challenge features ten contests which allow for on-line and in-person participation. Each contest is designed to develop new, creative technologies to address issues faced by fire, law enforcement and EMS emergency responders.

The Tech to Protect Challenge is designed to engage entrepreneurs, technologists, students, programmers, designers and public safety experts to create solutions across critical technical areas of public safety communications, including secure communications, location-based services, public safety data analytics, mission-critical voice and user interface/user experience (UI/UX). The participant proposed solutions will support emergency responders’ use of advanced communications technologies in accomplishing their day to day activities, critical responsibilities in emergencies, and beyond.

Over the course of 2019-2020, the challenge will include ten unique contests, host ten codeathons in cities across the United States, and award up to $2.2 million in cash prizes to participants. The challenge invites participants of all skill levels; provides opportunities to engage with subject matter experts; and offers access to resources needed to develop viable technology prototypes and solutions. The ten in-person codeathon events will take place in two bursts, September 27-29 and November 1-3, 2019, with the Online Contest launching a rolling application period between June 1 and November 15, 2019. Ultimately, a final national award event will be hosted in April 2020 to showcase and make the final cash awards to the top performing participants.

Participants with diverse skill sets and varying levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to participate:

  • Students, professionals and entrepreneurs with technical and non-technical backgrounds including engineers, computer scientists, software developers, designers, communications experts, illustrators, project managers and others.
  • Emergency responders and others with an interest in public safety communications with technical and operational experience. This includes individuals with field experience, private and public entities that provide communications products or services, and individuals with an interest in software and hardware elements of communications technologies.

In addition to NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research Division, several co-sponsors and partnering organizations will be involved in the implementation of the challenge. The co-sponsors generally include public, private, and civic organizations such as technology solution providers, public safety-focused technology companies, public safety agencies and associations, universities, coding academies, and others — all in support of the participants and the challenge’s objectives.

Questions?

Send an email to: info@techtoprotectchallenge.org

Prizes

Prizes Anticipated for the Regional Codeathon Events and Contests

$350,000

Cash prizes per regional event (10 locations)

1st Place: $10,000 x 10 = $100,000

2nd Place: $7,500 x 10 = $75,000

3rd Place: $5,000 x 10 = $50,000

4th Place: $2,500 x 10 = $25,000

Top Participant Cash Prizes in each of the ten discrete contests, at each of the ten regional events: $1,000 x 100 = $100,000

Total Regional Cash Prizes: $350,000

Prizes Anticipated for the Online & National Awards Event Contests

$1,850,000

Cash prizes in each of the ten discrete contests

1st Place: $30,000 x 10 = $300,000

2nd Place: $20,000 x 10 = $200,000

3rd Place: $15,000 x 10 = $150,000

Seed and Progress Contest Awards: $100,000 x 12 = $1,200,000

Total National Cash & Non-Cash Prizes: $1,850,000

Rules

Below are the rules on eligibility and submissions, as well as additional terms and conditions. Please read  the Official Rules document for detailed rules on all aspects of this challenge.

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7. SUBMISSION AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

7.1 SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

In order for submissions to be eligible for review, recognition and award, Participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Deadline — The submission must be available for evaluation by the end date noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.
  • No NIST logo — Submission(s) must not use NIST's logo or official seal and must not claim NIST endorsement.
  • Each submission must address one of the ten contests that are part of the Tech to Protect Challenge.
  • Each submission must be the original work of the Participant. The Participant must not knowingly infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity in the performance of the work.
  • It is an express condition of submission and eligibility that each Participant warrants and represents that the Participant's submission is solely owned by the Participant, that the submission is wholly original with the Participant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the submission. The Participant must disclose if they are subject to any obligation to assign intellectual property rights to parties other than the contest Participant, if the Participant is licensing or, through any other legal instrument, utilizing intellectual property of another party.
  • Each Participant further represents and warrants to NIST that the submission, and any use thereof by NIST shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • While a Participant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the submission, the documentation should clearly indicate which components of the solution are the result of the Participant’s ideas and creativity (the submission) and which components are from third parties (supporting technology). The Participant must also represent that they own all rights to the submission and all supporting technology.
  • Each Submission must be in English and must contain a high-level summary of the submission for public disclosure.
  • Submissions containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of NIST, is indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, which demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, which promotes discrimination in any form, which shows unlawful acts being performed, which is slanderous or libelous, or which adversely affects the reputation of NIST, will not be accepted, and will not be evaluated or considered for award.  NIST shall have the right to remove any content from the Event Website in its sole discretion at any time and for any reason, including, but not limited to, any online comment or posting related to the Challenge.
  • If NIST, in its sole discretion, finds any submission to be unacceptable, then such submission shall be deemed disqualified.

7.2 PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the cash prizes, each Participant or team of Participants must include an individual who is age 18 or older at the time of entry and is 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. Participants may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. NIST Guest Researchers, as well as direct recipients of NIST funding awards through any Center of Excellence established by NIST, are eligible to enter, but are not eligible to receive cash awards. Non-NIST Federal employees acting in their personal capacities should consult with their respective agency ethics officials to determine whether their participation in this challenge is permissible. A Participant shall not be deemed ineligible because the Participant consulted with Federal employees or used Federal facilities in preparing its entry to the Challenge if the Federal employees and facilities are made available to all Participants on an equitable basis. Participants, including individuals and private entities, must not have been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months and must not have any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability. Participants must not be suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded from doing business with the Federal Government. 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.  A Participant is eligible to submit a single submission to each contest in Regional Codeathon Burst 1, Burst 2, and the best and final for the Online Contest.

7.3 TEAMS

Contest submissions can be from an individual or a team(s). If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prize winner, NIST will award a single dollar amount to the winning team(s) and each team, whether consisting of a single individual or multiple Participants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member Participants as they deem appropriate. NIST will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members. It will be up to the winning team(s) to reallocate the prize money among its member Participants, if they deem it appropriate. NIST will not accept duplicate or substantially identical submissions from individual Participants, or teams of Participants. If a situation arises in which a Participant knowingly submits a duplicate or substantially identical submission without an explanation of the circumstances to NIST, NIST may reject that submission or both submissions as noncompliant in its sole discretion.  If Participants are submitting as a team, they must provide a complete team roster as part of their submission. The team of Participants is eligible to submit a single submission to each contest in Regional Codeathon Burst 1, Burst 2, and the best and final for the Online Contest.

7.4 SUBMISSION RIGHTS

Any applicable intellectual property rights to a submission will remain with the Participant. By participating in the prize challenge, the Participant is not granting any rights in any patents, pending patent applications, or copyrights related to the technology described in the submission. However, by submitting a contest submission, the Participant is granting the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology certain limited rights as set forth herein.

  • The Participant grants to the Department of Commerce and to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the right to review the submission, to publicly describe the submission in any materials created in connection with this competition, and 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 Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology will also have the right to publicize Participant’s name and, as applicable, the names ofParticipant’s team members and/or organization which participated in the submission following the conclusion of the competition.
  • The Participant must provide written consent granting the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to display publicly and use for promotional purposes the Participant’s entry (“demonstration license”). This demonstration license includes posting or linking to the Participant’s entry on the website(s) of the Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its competition contractor(s), including the competition website and other media worldwide.

7.5 WARRANTIES

By submitting an  entry, the Participant represents and warrants that all information submitted is true and complete to the best of the Participant’s knowledge, that the Participant has the right and authority to submit the entry on the Participant’s own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that the Participant specifies within the entry, and that the entry (both the information and materials submitted in the entry and the underlying technology/method/idea/treatment protocol/solution described in the entry):

  • is the Participant’s own original work, or is submitted by permission with full and proper credit given within the entry and that the Participant has acquired sufficient rights to use and authorize others, including the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, to use the submission;
  • contains an accurate public summary acceptable for immediate publication worldwide;
  • does not disclose trade secrets (the Participant’s or anyone else’s);
  • does not knowingly violate or infringe upon the patent rights, industrial design rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;
  • does not contain malicious code, such as viruses, malware, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information;
  • does not and will not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule or regulation, including, without limitation, United States export laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Department of Commerce Export Regulations; and
  • does not trigger any reporting or royalty or other obligation to any third party.

8. ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

8.1 CONTEST SUBJECT TO APPLICABLE LAW

This prize challenge competition shall be performed in accordance with the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, Pub. Law 111-358, title I, § 105(a), Jan. 4, 2011, codified at 15 U.S.C. § 3719 as amended. 

All contests are subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes each Participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the contest. Eligibility for a prize award 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.

Participation is subject to all U.S. federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Participants are responsible for checking applicable laws and regulations in their jurisdiction(s) before participating in the prize competition to ensure that their participation is legal. The Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology shall not, by virtue of conducting this prize competition, be responsible for compliance by Participants in the prize competition with Federal Law including licensing, export control, and nonproliferation laws, and related 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.

All cash prize awarded to Participants by the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology are subject to tax liabilities, and no withholding will be assessed by the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology on behalf of the Participant claiming a cash prize.

8.2 RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES

The Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology is solely responsible for administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the contest.

In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the Participant. The "authorized account holder" is the natural person or legal entity assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Participants and potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

8.3 PUBLICITY

The winners of these prizes (collectively, "Winners") will be featured on the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology website, newsletters, social media, and other outreach materials.

Except where prohibited, participation in the contest constitutes each winner's consent to the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology'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. The public summary will include the project’s title, 200-word project summary, and names and titles of the project’s team members.

8.4 PRIVACY, DATA OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF PARTICIPANT INFORMATION

Participants understand that the challenge website is hosted by a private entity and is not a service of NIST or the Federal Government. The solicitation and collection of personal or individually identifiable information is subject to the host’s privacy and security policies. Personally identifiable information collected on this website will be shared with NIST for prize payment purposes only, and only for winners of the challenge.

Participants acknowledge that they have read the challenge website’s data privacy, use, security, and retention policies and understand that all data, except that expressly marked for government use, is subject to these policies. Participants agree not to hold NIST or the U.S. Government liable for the protection, use, or retention of any information submitted through this website.

8.5 LIABILITY

Participants SHALL AGREE TO ASSUME ANY AND ALL RISKS AND WAIVE CLAIMS AGAINS 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 participation in this prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

Insurance: Participants are not required to obtain liability insurance for this Competition.

Indemnification: Participants shall agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Challenge activities.

8.6. TRADE SECRET INFORMATION

By making a submission to this prize competition, the Participant agrees that no part of its submission includes any Trade Secret information, ideas or products.  All submissions to this prize competition are deemed non-proprietary.  Since NIST does not wish to receive or hold any submitted materials “in confidence” it is agreed that, with respect to the Participant’s submission, no confidential or fiduciary relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between NIST or its affiliates and the Participant, the Participant’s team, or the company or institution the Participant represents when submitting, or any other person or entity associated with any part of the Participant’s submission.

VERIFICATION OF WINNERS

ALL CONTEST WINNERS WILL BE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY, QUALIFICATIONS, AND ROLE IN THE CREATION OF THE SUBMISSION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY.

Participants must comply with all terms and conditions of the Official Rules. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The Participants will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of winning results. Each Winner of monetary or non-monetary award will be required to sign and return to the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, within ten (10) days of the date the notice is sent, an ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Enrollment Form (OMB NO. 1510-0056) and a Participant Eligibility Verification form in order to claim the prize.

In the sole discretion of the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, a potential winner will be deemed ineligible to win if: (i) the person/entity cannot be contacted; (ii) the person/entity fails to sign and return an ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Enrollment Form (OMB NO. 1510-0056) and a Participant Eligibility Verification form within the required time period; (iii) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or (iv) the submission or person/entity is disqualified for any other reason. In the event of a disqualification of a winner, the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology in their sole discretion may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner, when applicable.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panels

Three judging panels will operate in a chronological series. Panels will be composed of a diverse group of individuals with specialized skills and experience relevant to the evaluation periods’ objectives. Each individual judge is appointed by the NIST Director, and required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and conflict of interest (COI) disclosure to ensure that all participant materials are held in confidence and all judging is fair for participants.

The Judge panel consists of experts who will evaluate the participants’ submissions according to the criteria defined for each contest. The objective of the judging will be to rank and select the top submissions in each period of evaluation. The decisions of the judges for the contest will be announced in accordance with the dates noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.

In support of the judges and the evaluation process, reviewers are subject matter experts covered by NDA and COI requirements, who focus on implementing specific elements of the evaluation process. Reviewers provide evaluation support by assisting with the facilitation of the contests, implementing test and assessment activities, and other processes that generate data for the consideration of the judges, who are responsible for considering all the information and making the final decisions.

Panel 1: Regional Codeathon Judging Panel

The Regional Codeathon Judging Panel will be established to support the evaluation of submissions at each Regional Codeathon event. The judges will coordinate between individual codeathon events, in burst 1 and burst 2, to ensure consistency and uniform implementation of evaluation process.

Panel 2: Online Contest Judging Panel

The Online Contest Judging Panel will be established to support the consolidated evaluation of online submissions and the “best and final” updated versions of Regional Codeathon submissions. The consolidated evaluation will be completed between November 15, 2019 and January 27, 2020 through an online judging process.

Panel 3: National Award Event Contest Judging Panel

The National Judging Panel will be established to select the National Winners of the Tech to Protect Challenge. The final evaluation will be completed in-person at the National Award Event in April 2020.

Panel 4: National Award Event Contest Judging Panel

Following the completion of the Seed Contest, this Judging Panel will convene to evaluate the final submissions from Seed Contest Winners, and determine the Progress Contests Winners.

Evaluation Criteria

What determines the winners? This challenge includes ten unique contests and the evaluation process is designed to be as straightforward and simple as possible for participants to navigate. The graphic below represents the evaluation process that will be applied universally across all contests.

Each contest includes evaluation criteria 0-5. Criteria 0 is a basic pass/fail compliance checklist of minimum requirements for submissions. Beyond the minimum requirements check, contests include up to five technical criteria used to evaluate submissions. Each technical criterion is weighted at 10-40 points out of a total of 100 points. Criteria items 0 through 3 will be used to evaluate Regional Codeathon and Online Contest submissions. Criteria items 4 and 5 represent the most advanced criteria items and will be used to evaluate the top submissions from the Online Contest, prior to selecting the National Finalists. Each of these five criteria items represent different features and attributes that the participant submissions will need to clearly demonstrate to the judges. The same evaluation process will be used throughout the challenge, with variation by contest for criteria 4-5. Each contest area has unique criteria, but in general examples may include aspects such as the application’s UI/UX operability, accuracy, effectiveness, relevance to the contest’s sample use case, and other similar elements.

challenge evaluation table

Regional Codeathon Evaluation

Objectives:

  • Selection of up to the top 4 submissions per Regional Codeathon event.
  • Selection of one submission per contest (up to ten total) to be recognized at each Regional Codeathon event.

Process:

Regional Codeathon submissions will be evaluated by judges and reviewers at the end of each 48-hour codeathon event. Codeathon submissions will be evaluated against criteria items 0 through 3 for a total of 60 rating points out of 100. A specific judging approach will be followed at the codeathon event, as described below. Participants will not be provided oral or written feedback based on the evaluation of their submissions.

Judging Phases

Evaluation Process

Phase 1

Initial compliance check

Criteria #0

 

Objective: Initial assessment on evaluation criteria #0 items

 

       During the last day of each codeathon event, before the code freeze submission deadline, judges will review the progress of the teams towards meeting the criteria requirements of each respective contest. Judges will complete this initial review by interacting with participants. Judges will ask two questions to each participant. Judges will take notes on the progress of each participant at this stage during this initial assessment.

Phase 2

Rapid voting at code freeze

Criteria #0-3

 

Objective: 3-minute review of each project’s capabilities and selection of 4 projects or more to proceed to the next phase of evaluation.

 

       Quick, live demonstrations by the participating teams will be held in person at each participant’s station during the rapid voting phase of each Regional Codeathon event. These demonstrations should happen right after the coding freeze deadline and last no longer than 3 minutes each. Participant teams should showcase the capabilities of the solutions and prototypes developed during this phase. SMEs and judges will rotate station to station to review the project demonstrations by the various teams.

       SME reviewers and judges will evaluate participant submissions by inputting a simple yes or no for each project in a form provided by the national organizers. These votes should be an approximate reflection of whether the teams have met the criteria items 0 to 3, as described in each of the unique contests.

       These ratings will be utilized to narrow down the list of teams that present projects during the next phase.

Phase 3

Judging Part A

Participant presentations and judging

Criteria #0-3

 

Objective: Teams present their projects in front of judges and are evaluated based on criteria items 0 to 3 per unique contest.

 

       Based on the initial voting, judges will invite teams to present their projects through a live presentation and PowerPoint slides. The presentations should take no more than 3 minutes, with an additional 3 minutes being available for questions and answers by the judges.

       Judges will evaluate participant submissions based on criteria items 0 to 3. This evaluation is unique to each contest and may require interactions in addition to the presentation to confirm technical or other elements of the participant’s submission.

       Reviewers and judges will evaluate the participant’s submission by inputting ratings in a form provided by the national organizers.

Phase 4

Judging Part B

Desk review of the submissions and final judging

Criteria #0-3

 

Objective: Detailed desk review of the submissions by the judges. This review will be done remotely, not at the codeathon event.

 

       Reviewers and judges will be assigned a set of submissions to evaluate. They will evaluate the submission materials and rank them based on criteria items 0 to 3 of the respective unique contest.

       Reviewers and judges will have 2 days after the Regional Codeathon event to submit their rankings.

       Regional Codeathon winners will be formally announced one week after each respective codeathon event.

Online Contest Evaluation

Objective:

  • Phase 1: Selection of up to the top 20 submissions from each of the challenge’s ten unique contests.
  • Phase 2: Selection of up to the top 5 finalists from each of the challenge’s ten unique contests.

Process:

The Online Contest submissions, which include the “best and final” versions of Regional Codeathon submissions (the online contest only submissions and the “best and final” versions of Regional Codeathon submissions when combined are referred to as “best and final submissions”), will be evaluated to select the challenge finalists through the Online Contest evaluation. Phase 1 of the review will select up to the top 20 submissions for each contest. Phase 2 will evaluate these submissions against criteria items 4 and 5. This evaluation will be done between November 15, 2019 and January 24, 2020 through an online judging process. Up to the top 5 submissions for each contest will be invited to participate in the National Award Event and compete for the final prize awards in April 2020. Participants will not be provided oral or written feedback based on the evaluation of their submissions.

Judging Phases

Evaluation Process

Phase 1

Desk review of the best and final submissions and judging

Criteria #0-3

 

Objective: Desk review of the best and final submissions based on criteria items 0 to 3 per unique contest.

 

       Judges will be assigned a set of submissions for online evaluation through the program’s submission management and evaluation platform.

       Judges will evaluate the participant submissions (application form, video file and any attachments and deliverables required) with the specific criteria 0-3 for the contest.

       Judges will evaluate the submissions by inputting ratings in a form within the challenge’s submission management and evaluation platform.

       The judging process may be assisted by reviewers to implement specific tests, assessments, or other procedures.

Phase 2

Desk review of the submissions, testing, and final judging

Criteria #4-5

 

Objective: Desk review, testing, and technical assessment of the best and final submissions based on criteria items 4 to 5 per unique contest.

 

       Reviewers will perform an extensive technical assessment and testing of each participant submission selected in phase 1, as defined in evaluation criteria items 4-5 depending on the requirements for each specific contest.

       The results of the technical assessment and testing will be used by the judges in making their selections of the National Finalists of each contest.

National Awards Event Evaulation

Participants selected in the Online Contest will be invited to the National Awards Event. Participants will prepare for a live pitch session as part of a NIST managed public event, Demonstration (Demo) Day, to showcase their solution, market entry and scale-up strategy, and a 6-month growth plan. During Demo Day, participants will be evaluated by judges appointed by NIST and in accordance with the evaluation criteria specific to this contest.

Evaluation Criteria

The Tech to Protect Challenge includes 10 unique contests – each with a specific focus. Complete evaluation criteria are included in the Official Rules document.

How To Enter

The Tech to Protect Challenge depends on your participation. We recognize that barriers to entry can be discouraging, so we are committed to making participating the easiest part of the challenge, allowing all of your creative energy to be focused on developing your solution. Here is a step-by-step guide to participation.

  1. Visit the Tech to Protect Challenge website (www.techtoprotectchallenge.org). All the information you need to participate is on this site.
  2. Participants have options on how to participate in the Tech to Protect Challenge:

a. Option 1: Register to attend a Regional Codeathon event through the challenge website. Benefits for participants include the opportunity to: compete for cash and in-kind prizes, network and collaborate with other participants to advance public safety, and receive feedback from others on their work. The goal as a participant is to develop and submit a technology prototype or solution addressing one of the challenge’s ten unique contests. All completed application materials will need to be submitted before the Regional Codeathon submission deadline through www.techtoprotectchallenge.org. Participants will be required to submit a 3-minute narrated PowerPoint file with a summary of the project, basic information about the team’s composition, as well as the specific requirements of the contest that have been addressed. All participant materials will be managed through the challenge website. Participants may attend a Regional Codeathon event during September 27-29 and/or November 1-3, 2019. Regional Codeathon participants will be encouraged to continue working after the event and submit their “best and final” solutions by November 15, 2019 in the Online Contest.

b. Option 2: Participate in the Online Contest by developing a prototype or solution that addresses one of the challenge’s ten unique contests. Every participant who completes a submission in the Online Contest will be evaluated and eligible for the national prize. All completed application materials will need to be submitted before the Online Contest deadline of November 15, 2019 through www.techtoprotectchallenge.org. Online submissions will require participants to provide a 3-minute narrated PowerPoint file or a 3-minute video describing the submission, general information about themselves, as well as some specific deliverables depending on the contest they are responding to — all participant materials will be managed through the challenge website.

3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the challenge website will provide detailed responses to general issues that are impacting participants and cover the fundamentals of how to interact with the challenge site via text, screen share videos, and other methods to make the website as easy as possible to navigate and use.

4. Continue to engage throughout the challenge by joining our webinars featuring guest speaker emergency responders who use these technologies and can provide context around the use case, and by taking advantage of all the resources the challenge provides to enable your success.

5. Be sure to have your best and final submission submitted by November 15, 2019 — this is the “code freeze” submission deadline for all participants.

View the Official Rules document for a complete summary of important dates.

Point of Contact

Have feedback or questions about this challenge? Send the challenge manager an email