Last year, S&T began reaching out to new audiences in new ways, including hosting prize competitions. The idea behind prize competitions is to reach innovators, like you, to solve some of DHS’ most complex homeland security challenges. We held two competitions last year, and following their success I am excited to announce our third crowd-sourced prize competition. This time, we are partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard to reach out to innovators to help us develop a more Environmentally Friendly Buoy Mooring System.
Launched on January 6, this competition offers a maximum award of $250,000 for those who find a way to change an outdated system. For decades, our buoy mooring system has revolved around a concrete block and a heavy chain. And this block is dragged along the ocean floor, causing problems for our ocean floors and hurting the ecosystem. What we’re looking for, is out-of-the-box thinking and innovation in technology to bring this process into the 21st century.
With that in mind, S&T, along with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center, want to hear from innovators in the private sector. You’re doing this type of work every day, and we want to hear your best ideas for this multi-phase competition. For Phase I, the Ideation Phase, there is a total cash purse of up to $40,000, with at least one cash prize of $10,000 and no award less than $10,000. Additional cash amounts would be awarded to successful competitors invited to participate in the Pilot Approach Plan and Pilot demonstration phases.
You have until February 12 to submit your proposals, making sure to highlight the impact your idea will have on the environment. I look forward to seeing the numerous ways in which you want to revamp our system while allowing us to take care of our ocean floors and serve its ecological system as a whole.