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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 Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge Phase II has launched!  EPA, in collaboration with other Agencies is seeking demonstrations of the use of data and information from nutrient sensors to inform and improve decisions and actions that address nutrient management.  The total prize amount for this Challenge is $100,000; up to two winning teams will share the prize.  This is Stage II of the challenge;  Stage I was a call for action plans, which was completed September 2017.  This Challenge is open to all communities and organizations in the United States regardless of participation in Stage I! Find out more about Stage II here and more information about the overall Challenge here.

The Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge: Phase II, Prototype Testing window for application is open! 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 are due by December 7, 2018. Find out more information about the challenge here.

Stage 1 Winners of Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge have been announced! - 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. Learn more about the winning proposals 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