Challenge Summary

The challenge consists of a 10-week idea submission period followed by a 2-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 5 small prize contest winners of up to $5,000 each*

Up to 3 runners-up winning up to $25,000 each*

Up to 3 finalists winning $50,000-$150,000*

*JPEO reserves the right to allocate fund amounts based on submission score.

For finalists who opt-in and meet further acceptability criteria, JPEO may award a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) assessment and/or third party testing. Eligible entries may be selected on a case-by-case basis.


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.

Ideation Period

The Challenge will launch with a 10-week open submission period for participants to register and enter their ideas for solutions within five problem areas:

  • Mobility – Improving the chemical biological suit’s burden, weight, and bulkiness to improve the Warfighter’s agility, range of motion, and maneuverability necessary to conduct their duties.
  • Integration – Integrating the suit materials and its various parts, which are currently are disjointed and do not seamlessly integrate. Ex. Head Mask interface, mask-helmet, glove-sleeve, or boot-pant interface, and with individual Warfighter equipment, such as accessing their watch, or pulling things out of pockets.
  • Dexterity and Tactility – Improving the design to allow the Warfighter to be skillfully tactile and dexterous during a mission. Ex. Use of hands and fingers for typing, using a touch pad, and improving foot traction on a wide range of surfaces.
  • Heat Management – Reducing the heat burden and stress during physically active tasks. Ex: thinner materials, passive cooling
  • Miscellaneous – All other ideas and solutions that relieve any burdens and hazards to the Warfighter and improve operational capabilities.

Upon registering, participants and/or teams will enter their idea under one of the five categories. Participants may enter more than one idea in the Challenge as long as only one idea is submitted within a single category. During the scoring and selection period, judges will only select one idea from a participant and/or team if multiple submissions have been made to the same category. Multiple awards will not be made to the same participant and/or team.

Collaboration and Team-Building

During the Ideation Period, prospective participants and teams may also engage on the Challenge’s Facebook page. This page is a channel for collaboration and team building for individuals seeking team members, particular capabilities or skill sets, or to share early-stage ideas. The Challenge Facebook page is also a channel where participants may ask technical questions (how to enter the Challenge, how to submit, eligibility criteria, how submissions will be evaluated, and intellectual property questions) and receive direction to the Challenge website.


Ideas and solutions posted within the Facebook page are not eligible for judging. Only submissions registered and entered through the Challenge website will be judged.

Submission Requirements

In order for a submission to be eligible for a prize it must meet the following criteria:

  • Submissions must be in English
  • Submitted by the deadline using the online platform
    • Ideas posted to Facebook or other channels are not eligible submissions
  • Include 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, up to 5 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 winners may be awarded up to $5,000 and 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.

Challenge finalists and runners-up are also eligible to win side contest awards. Side contest awards will be announced and awarded during the Winners Announcement period.

Blitz Round

Following the Ideation Period, Challenge reviewers will score all submissions. Several submissions will be selected for further refinement. These teams will be notified and invited to participate in the Blitz Round. The Blitz Round is two weeks in which teams will rapidly refine their submission based on reviewer feedback.

Blitz round selection does not predispose teams to winner selection, nor does it indicate that entries selected for refinement will move forward as semifinalists. Blitz round team members will receive aggregated reviewer feedback. Teams will re-submit their entries onto the Challenge website before the end of the Blitz Round. The Challenge submission period will close and judges will evaluate and score Blitz round entries. Winners will be selected and announced in early December.

Key Dates

  • Ideation Period August 19, 2016 to October 28, 2016
  • Blitz Round November 14 to 25, 2016
  • Winners Announcement January 2017

How to Participate


Participants can register by clicking “Sign In” above and registering anytime during the proposal submission period stated above.


The Challenge Facebook page supplements the Challenge website by allowing the general public and prospective Challenge participants to engage online, share their ideas, ask specific questions and stay up-to-date. The Facebook page ultimately drives participants to the Challenge website to enter a submission. The Challenge Facebook page will be open during the entire duration of the Challenge and will be located at: