Type Of Challenge: Ideas

Timeline

  • Submission start (ET):
    03/06/2019 12:00 PM ET
  • Submission end (ET):
    05/06/2019 11:59 PM ET

Partner Agencies - Federal: Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Other Partners - Non-Federal: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, are seeking innovative methods for excluding fish from water diversions and intakes. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase effectiveness and decrease the costs associated with fish exclusion devices.  Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams.  The prize purse for this challenge is $75,000.

Fish exclusion is a way of preventing movement of fish into a water diversion or intake. Without a fish exclusion device or method, fish can be entrained into the diversion or intake which means that they are removed from their natural environment. This can result in the loss of native fishes and reduced operating capabilities of the involved infrastructure. Opportunities to reduce entrainment at diversions and intakes will promote more sustainable and reliable water resource systems that can provide greater benefits for aquatic species and the public. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase fish protection efficiencies, target a wider range of fish species and sizes, and reduce construction, operation, and maintenance costs compared to conventional fish exclusion methods. 

Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams (e.g. turbine intakes or water regulation). Submissions that address fish exclusion for one or more species of concern in the United States (e.g. salmon, steelhead, sturgeon [green, pallid, shovelnose] and paddlefish, eel, lamprey [Pacific, brook, and river], Delta smelt, shad, suckers, river herring [alewife, blueback herring], bull trout) will be accepted.

A brief video describing this Challenge can be found here.

Challenge Is set to launch Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 12:00 pm ET.  Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on May 6, 2019.  Late submissions will not be accepted.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 6, 2019.  Late submissions will not be accepted.

Eligibility

This Challenge is being conducted under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (15 U.S. Code §3719) as amended by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (PL-114-329), which states that cash prize purse awards for this prize competition may only be given to an individual that is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or an entity that is incorporated in and whose primary place of business is in the United States, subject to verification by the Seeker before cash prize purses are awarded.  See the Challenge-Specific Agreement for full details.

Solvers are not required to give up any of their intellectual property (“IP”) rights to the Seeker or Seeker’s Collaborators to be eligible to receive an award. Please note that any proposal submitted will not be treated as confidential information.  Accordingly, Solvers should protect their proprietary rights in their solutions prior to submitting their written proposal for consideration in the Challenge (e.g. filing provisional or full patent applications on the solution described in the written proposal prior to submission). See the Challenge-Specific Agreement for full details.

Cash prize purse payments:  Payments will be paid in full to the eligible registered individual, entity, or team selected as a winner.

Registering as a team:  Teams must register to compete by having the Team Leader form a Team Project Room.  The Team Leader must be a U.S. citizen, permanent U.S. resident, or representative of a U.S. entity eligible to receive a cash prize.  In the case of a team registration, the cash prize purse can be split and paid directly to eligible team members as directed by the registered eligible team leader.  Reclamation will not make payment to team members that are not eligible under 15 USC 3719 to receive a cash prize.  Team Project Room requests must be made no later than 1 week prior to the Challenge deadline.

Participation by those not eligible for cash prizes:  Submissions can be entertained from all Solvers regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or U.S. entities.  Meritorious submissions from non-U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and entities are eligible to receive non-cash prize awards, if any, and will also be recognized in publications issued by the Reclamation announcing the results of the competition, such as press releases. Full eligibility details and other restrictions are detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Participation by those not eligible for cash prizes: Submissions will be accepted from all Solvers regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or U.S. entities, and are eligible to receive non-cash prize awards, if any. Meritorious submissions from non-U.S. citizens, non-U.S. permanent residents, and non-U.S. entities may also be recognized in publications issued by Reclamation announcing the results of the competition, such as press releases.

A Judging Panel of subject matter experts will evaluate the submissions and decide which Solvers are selected for an award. The Judging Panel may be composed of Federal and/or Non-Federal scientists, engineers, and other technical experts, including subject matter experts from the listed collaborators for this Challenge.  All persons or entities that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of the submissions.  Decisions by Reclamation cannot be contested.

Please visit InnoCentive’s site for instructions on submitting.