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Open Innovation Prize Challenges 


Creativity is critical to solving complex problems, developing new strategies, facilitating innovation, and driving organizational change.

PSCR's Open Innovation program focuses on advancing public safety communications by leveraging the creativity, expertise, and innovative solutions from a diverse array of contributors and collaborators across the globe through financial awards and incentive-based activities. The program looks to solve discrete and well-defined problems surrounding: Crowdsourcing, Prize & Challenge Competitions, Hack-a-thons, Data Jams, Ideation, Collaborative Iteration & Design, and Team-building Activities.

Recently Completed Challenges:

Read about past prize challenges here.


Terese Manley accepted an award from Topcoder on behalf of NIST PSCR. NIST PSCR was recognized for Public Sector Open Innovation by Topcoder.
NIST PSCR Wins the Public Sector Open Innovation Award from Topcoder (November, 2019)

Current and Upcoming Challenges

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Tech to Protect Challenge

Hosted in 10 cities across the U.S., the Tech to Protect Challenge is a national innovation contest that will bring together a diverse and talented community of collaborators to develop technology solutions to help first responders improve the safety of communities. Join fellow researchers, entrepreneurs, technologists, students, programmers, designers, and public safety experts to create solutions across critical technical areas of public safety communications. Design new applications and tools to support secure communications, location-based services, public safety data analytics, mission-critical voice, UI/UX and more. Winning solutions will receive cash prizes and national recognition. For more information, click here

Listen to a recording of a Tech to Protect panel from the 2019 Stakeholder Meeting in Chicago: Tech to Protect: Designing Apps that Further the Mission of Emergency Responders. 

The Automated Streams Analysis for Public Safety (ASAPS) Prize Challenge 

This spring, PSCR is anticipating launching a new challenge program series focused on stimulating research in the detection and analysis of emergency events from live streaming multimodal public safety data. 

The Automated Streams Analysis for Public Safety (ASAPS) Prize Challenge is an open innovation program focused on the development of algorithms to detect and analyze a variety of emergency events from unstructured public safety data served from a live streaming data processing framework. The framework will leverage an extensive and unique staged dataset designed to stimulate a day in the life of a busy city as viewed through the lens of many parallel, multimodal, unstructured data streams. The data is planned to include streams spanning CCTV video, mobile video, social media text and multimedia, audio and textual communications between first responders, 911 and dispatch audio and textual communications, and sensor data such as GPS and gunshot detector output.

The overall goal of this program is to stimulate research in technologies that will foster innovative AI-based streaming analytic approaches, algorithms, and products to provide public safety with advanced real-time emergency detection, situational awareness, and decision-making capabilities from many live, fast-moving, unstructured data streams. In addition to supporting research in novel, real-time multimodal streaming data analytics capabilities, the program will also support research in technologies to deliver analytic-derived information in an actionable form through innovative and interactive information visualizations and user interfaces designed for public safety.

For more information visit:

View our past challenges, funding amounts, and winners.


Additional Information

Learn about the vehicles in place to support PSCR Prize Challenges.
For questions - or to volunteer as a Subject Matter Expert - email
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Stay up-to-date with Open Innovation Prize Challenges.


Created November 9, 2016, Updated February 25, 2020