The Challenge will reward solutions to combat wildlife trafficking from all corners of the globe and all areas of expertise. Guidance for preparing and submitting an application is below.
We encouraged applications from individuals and from organizations. Eligible types of organizations include for profit, nonprofit, and academic.
Ineligible entities include U.S. and non-U.S. governments, as well as intergovernmental institutions and treaty organizations. Colleges, universities, and research facilities that are funded by and/or affiliated with a government are not considered a government. In addition, prizes will not be awarded to an organization from or with a principal place of business in a country subject to trade and economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of Treasury or to any individual or entity subject to targeted trade and economic sanctions administered by OFAC. The current list of OFAC restricted countries includes Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan.
Written submissions were required to be completed in full to be considered eligible for review. Submissions were only accepted in English; any other language was considered ineligible.
Solutions were accepted and considered at all stages of innovation, including proof of concept, product development, and scaling.
- Proof of Concept: A stage of innovation in which the basic technical and financial feasibility of an approach has been articulated, but where an initial model remains to be built and/or validated through testing.
- Product Development: A stage of innovation in which a concept that has been technically validated refines its features and business plans and successfully enters a market.
- Scaling: A stage of innovation in which a product or service has successfully entered a market and is either expanding its number of users or entering additional markets.
The Challenge seeks innovative science and technology solutions relating to four issues: detecting transit routes, strengthening forensic evidence, reducing consumer demand, and tackling corruption. Please visit the Issue Pages to learn more about these as they relate to wildlife crime.
At every stage of the process, we encourage applicants to consider the terms science and technology broadly. Solutions can range from the application or redeployment of existing technologies to novel approaches that are tailor-made to combat wildlife trafficking. Technology does not necessarily imply “high end” solutions as the Challenge also welcomes simple products, tools, and models. Solutions are not restricted to physical gadgets; the Challenge also welcomes solutions that are science and technology enabled. Additionally, it is important that applicants consider the potential for solutions to scale. This includes considerations of affordability and accessibility, as well as any constraints that are specific to the operational contexts in which they might be deployed.
There are several types of solutions that are not a good fit for the Challenge. These include solutions that do not take advantage of science or technology in any way (e.g. public awareness campaign in a national newspaper); standard development practice (e.g. port authority capacity building); basic scientific research (e.g. observational study of orangutans); solutions that are unlikely to be successful due to established cultural, political, or legal norms; and solutions that are impractical for the intended context due to cost or other variables.
The Challenge understands that applicants may want to pursue further development and use of intellectual property that is developed as a result of a Challenge award. USAID generally retains a non-exclusive, non-transferable, irrevocable license for federal purposes and the ability to sublicense others to do the same. However, during negotiations at later stages of the Challenge, USAID may negotiate more limited rights for USAID. Regardless, applicants retain ownership rights to their intellectual property. Download the Terms & Conditions below for more information.
Applications will be evaluated for the solution's potential for impact and potential to scale. Applicants should reflect on the following questions when considering their solution's competitiveness.
Potential impact of the solution on the wildlife trafficking issues:
- How well does the solution address the issue(s)? How significant is the potential impact of the solution?
- How likely is the solution to bring about the intended outcome or how likely is it that the solution's intended pathway for change will be achieved? How significant is the assertion; is it supported by evidence?
- To how many contexts (e.g. countries, trafficked species, types of trafficking) could this solution apply?
- How is the solution innovative? How will it interact with or affect other solutions currently being deployed to solve similar problems?
Potential for the solution to reach scale:
- Has the market (i.e. customers or users) for this solution been identified and, if so, how realistic is the business model/plan?
- Has consideration been given to the price of the solution and, if so, how cost effective is the solution given the intended customer/user? Is the estimated price realistic given the cost of required inputs?
- Is the solution easily adoptable in the target context's existing systems/infrastructure and processes? If not, how significant are the departures or changes required?
- Does the solution fit with current practices, behaviors, and culture of target users and/or population? If not, how significant are the departures or changes required?
- Is the technology appropriate for the context(s) in which it will be used? Do users require additional skills and knowledge to use and maintain the solution? If so, how significant are the training requirements, costs, and dependencies?
- Is the solution appropriate for a variety of organizations and users?
- What resources (e.g. capacity, funds, time) are required to move the solution to the next stage of innovation and ultimately to scale?
Applications were evaluated by a group of technical experts. Following a detailed technical review, an expert judging panel considered all evaluations and recommended a group of Prize Winners to USAID.
Terms & Conditions