A contestant (whether an individual, private entity, or team (“Contestant” herein)) must have registered to participate and complied with all of the requirements under Section 105 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-358), as amended by Section 401 of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2016 (Pub. L. No. 114-329) and codified in 15 U.S.C. §3719 (hereinafter “America COMPETES Act” or “15 U.S.C. §3719”) as contained herein.
A Contestant who registers or submits an entry (whether an individual, private entity, or team or anyone acting on behalf of a private entity or team) to participate in this Challenge represents that they have read, understood and agree to all terms and conditions of the Official Rules.
To be eligible to win a cash prize, a Contestant must register as an individual, private entity, or team as defined below:
Contestants not eligible for cash prizes: a contestant that enters the challenge without the ability to claim a cash prize based on the eligibility requirements above. Contestants not eligible for cash prizes must be age 18 years or older at time of entry and cannot be individuals on the denied persons list nor from entities or countries sanctioned by the United States Government.
In order for submissions to be eligible for review, recognition and award, contestants must meet the following requirements:
Submissions containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of NIST, is indecent, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in 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 an award. NIST shall have the right to remove any content from the challenge 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.
For all Contestants, general eligibility requirements include:
At the time of entry, all contestants must designate one individual to serve as their Official Representative and one individual to serve as an alternate to assume the role and requirements of the Official Representative if, and only if, the first individual has resigned from their role as Official Representative or has failed to respond to NIST communications for 30 consecutive days. The Official Representative will be the only individual with authority to officially interact and communicate with NIST regarding the contestant-created materials, completion of tasks as part of the challenge, signing official documentation related to the challenge, providing information to process prize payments, and any other administrative requests related to the challenge.
The eligibility of a contestant is determined by the Contestant’s registration status (individual, private entity or team) as defined above – the Official Representative does not determine the Contestant’s eligibility.
The Official Representative will be authorized to interact with NIST and be responsible for meeting all entry, evaluation, and administrative requirements of the challenge.
If a contestant decides to withdraw their submission from consideration, the Official Representative must notify NIST in writing of their decision.
If a contestant (whether an individual, private entity, or team) is selected as a prize winner, NIST will award a single dollar amount to the account named in the standard form 3881 (ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form) by the Official Representative. The named account must belong to an individual or private entity as defined above in the eligibility requirements for Individual or Private Entity.
On behalf of the team as defined above, the Official Representative shall be solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among the members of the team. NIST will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between team members.
A qualified panel of experts selected by the Director of NIST will judge the submissions. The panel consists of experts from within NIST and outside of NIST; they will evaluate the submissions according to the criteria identified above to select winners. Judges will not have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a registered contestant in a challenge; or have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered contestant. The decisions of the judging panel for the contest will be announced in accordance with the dates noted in these rules. NIST PSCR will not make evaluation results from the judging panel available to contestants or the public.
In the event of a tie between contestants, the judges will review the evaluations of the contestant submissions to assess if there is a means based on the evaluation data to differentiate the submissions in order to break the tie. If the submissions cannot be differentiated to break the tie based on the evaluation data, the contestants shall split equally the combined prize amounts of the tie (for example, a tie for 1st place, where the 1st place prize is $30,000 and the 2nd place prize is $20,000 will result in the two contestants each being awarded $25,000 (equaling ($30,000 + $20,000)/2). If this tie-breaking provision is applied, the tied contestants will share the highest-placed prize, and the next lower place prize will be “skipped” (for example, 1st, 1st, 3rd, etc.). This tie-breaking provision will be applied to all ties involving two or more contestants. In resolving all ties, the total cumulative value of prizes awarded will not change.
ALL POTENTIAL CHALLENGE 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.
Contestants must comply with all terms and conditions of the Official Rules. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The potential winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of winning results. Each potential winner of a 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) calendar days of the date the notice is sent, an ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Enrollment Form (OMB NO. 1510-0056) and a Contestant 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 Contestant 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 that a potential or announced winner is found to be ineligible or is disqualified for any reason, the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, in their sole discretion, may award the prize to another contestant.
Winners who are found to be ineligible for cash prizes may still be publicly recognized. In the event that the prize award normally allotted to the place or rank of an ineligible winner occurs, the cash prize will be awarded to the next eligible winner in the series or ranking. Throughout the challenge, winners who are ineligible for cash prizes will continue to have opportunities to have their work viewed and appreciated by stakeholders from industry, government and academic communities.
You agree that nothing in these Rules grants you a right or license to use any names or logos of NIST or the Department of Commerce, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights of NIST or the Department of Commerce or their employees or contractors.
Any applicable intellectual property rights to a submission will remain with the contestant. The contestant is not granting any rights in any patents, pending patent applications, or copyrights related to the technology described in the entry. However, the contestant is granting the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology certain limited rights as set forth herein.
Each contestant represents and warrants that the contestant is the sole author and copyright owner of the submission; that the submission is an original work of the contestant; and that the contestant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, to use the submission, as specified throughout the Official Rules, that the submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the contestant is aware; and that the submission is free of malware.
The contestant represents and warrants that all information submitted is true and complete to the best of the contestant’s knowledge, that the contestant has the right and authority to submit the entry on the contestant’s own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that the contestant 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):
Each contestant agrees and warrants that no part of its submission includes any trade secret information, ideas or products, including but not limited to information, ideas or products within the scope of the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1905. All submissions to this prize challenge are deemed non-proprietary. Since NIST will not accept or hold any submitted materials “in confidence” it is agreed that, with respect to the contestant’s entry, no confidential or fiduciary relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between NIST and the contestant, the contestant’s team, or the company or institution the contestant represents when submitting an entry, or any other person or entity associated with any part of the contestant’s entry.
This document outlines the Official Rules for the mFIT Challenge. Nothing within this document or in any documents supporting the mFIT Challenge shall be construed as obligating the Department of Commerce, NIST or any other Federal agency or instrumentality to any expenditure of appropriated funds, or any obligation or expenditure of funds in excess of or in advance of available appropriations.
All challenge phases are subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes each contestant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the challenge. 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. Contestants are responsible for checking applicable laws and regulations in their jurisdiction(s) before participating in the prize challenge 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 challenge, be responsible for compliance by contestants in the prize challenge 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.
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 challenge.
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 contestant. 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. Contestants and potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.
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 challenge constitutes each winner’s consent to the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s, its agents’, and any challenge co-sponsors’ use of each winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state information for promotional purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further permission, payment or consideration.
The prize challenge winners will be paid prizes directly from the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Prior to payment, winners will be required to verify eligibility. The verification process with the agency includes providing the full legal name, tax identification number or social security number, routing number and banking account to which the prize money can be deposited directly.
All cash prizes to contestants 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 contestant claiming a cash prize.
Any and all information provided by or obtained from the Federal Government is without any warranty or representation whatsoever, including but not limited to its suitability for any particular purpose. Upon registration, all contestants agree to assume and, thereby, have assumed any and all risks of injury or loss in connection with or in any way arising from participation in this challenge, development of any application or the use of any application by the contestants or any third-party. Upon registration, except in the case of willful misconduct, all contestants agree to and, thereby, do waive and release any and all claims or causes of action against the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), arising from their participation in the challenge, whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract, tort, or loss through negligence or otherwise. Upon registration, all contestants agree to and, thereby, shall indemnify and hold harmless the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury, death, and damage of any nature and against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Challenge activities.
Contestants are not required to obtain liability insurance for the mFIT Challenge.
All materials submitted to the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology as part of a submission become official records and cannot be returned. Any confidential commercial information contained in a submission should be designated at the time of submission. Submitters will be notified of any Freedom of Information Act requests for their submissions in accordance with 29 C.F.R. § 70.26.
The mFIT Challenge website is hosted by a private entity, Sensis, and is not a service of NIST. The solicitation and collection of your personal or individually identifiable information is subject to the host’s privacy and security policies and will not be shared with NIST unless you win the challenge. Challenge winners’ personally identifiable information must be made available to NIST in order to collect an award.
Contestants should keep in mind that the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology considers universal access to information a priority for all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. The Department is strongly committed to meeting its compliance obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. This obligation includes acquiring accessible electronic and information technology. When evaluating submissions for this challenge, the extent to which a submission complies with the requirements for accessible technology required by Section 508 will be considered.
All challenge and prize competitions shall be performed in accordance with the America COMPETES Act.
The Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the challenge, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the challenge, as determined by the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology in its sole discretion. The Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology is not responsible for, nor is it required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit votes, including those secured through payment or achieved through automated means.
NIST reserves the right in its sole discretion to extend or modify the dates of the challenge, and to change the terms set forth herein governing any phases taking place after the effective date of any such change. You agree to the terms set forth herein and to all decisions of NIST and/or all of their respective agents, which are final and binding in all respects.
ALL DECISIONS BY the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE CHALLENGE.