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Challenges & Prizes

Challenges and prizes represent tools for EPA to find solutions by tapping into the ingenuity and creativity of crowds. EPA outlines the specifications and criteria for a problem, and the public can submit ideas and proposals for successful solutions. Look below for ways you can get involved.

Prizes provide one new tool for federal agencies to spark innovation.


The Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge: Phase II, Prototype Testing has launched! The goal of this challenge is to inspire innovators to develop a sensor to monitor nitrogen discharged from advanced septic systems. Sensor developers can now apply to have their sensor prototype screened and field tested.  Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2018. Find out more information here.

Stage 1 Winners of Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge to be announced soon! - On July 26, 2017 the Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge was announced. This technology-accelerating challenge is a federal partnership to demonstrate how nutrient sensors can be used by states and local communities to help manage nutrient pollution. Stage 1 of the challenge closed September 20, 2017. Stage 1 winners will be announced Winter 2017. Find more information here


The Wildland Fire Sensor Challenge is closed On April 6, 2017 EPA and five other federal agencies announced a Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge seeking an accurate, lower-cost, and low-maintenance air quality monitoring system that can be used during a wildfire or controlled fire. Step 1 of the challenge closed  November 22, 2017. Find more information here

EPA and partners have announced the Stage Two winners of the Transform Toxicity Challenge.

The Challenge asked teams of scientists develop techniques to retrofit existing chemical screening technologies to incorporate processes that reflect how chemicals are broken down and metabolized or processed. Read more about the winners here.