Clinical Trials Innovation Prize

Producing a breakthrough that doubles the accrual rate of clinical trials in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Read Overview...
Total Prize Amount

The Previous Phase

Ideation Phase (Closed)




Each year, in honor of World Cancer Day, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) launches a unique, international crowdsourcing challenge that leverages the power of the crowd to solve problems plaguing the oncology clinical medicine space.

We want to work with innovative, out-of-the-box thinkers and innovators who are passionate about changing the lives of thousands of people- cancer patients today, and patients of tomorrow- regardless of whether they have any direct healthcare experience.

For 2016 World Cancer Day, we want YOU to join us and #BeTheSolution!


The What?

On February 4, 2016 are launching the second phase of the Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, an international two-part, $180,000 crowdsourcing challenge that seeks to identify innovative ways to increase cancer patient enrollment in clinical trials.

Goal: The goal of the challenge is to produce breakthroughs that will increase the patient accrual rate to oncology clinical trials. ALCF is specifically looking to: 

  1. Identify prototypes of solutions that reduce a barrier to participation in clinical trials
  2. Select the best solution to be scaled in partnership with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
  • Ideation Challenge: 47 Competitors from 18 countries from all around the world submitted creative and novel ideas to double the accrual rate of cancer clinical trials, and three teams won prizes totaling $30,000 USD. Congratulations to HelynxMatt Gerber, and Noah Craft, the winners of the first phase of the challenge!  
  • Implementation/Proof of Concept Challenge: Register now, enter your idea and plans for implementation for a chance to win prizes totaling $150,000 USD when you provide proof that your ideas have indeed resulted in an increase in participation in cancer clinical trials.


The Why?

Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide! Cancer cases worldwide are forecast to rise by 75% and reach close to 25 million over next two decades


We need better ways to prevent, detect, screen and treat cancer, and we need them now!

The most reliable and the only accepted scientific method to take exciting discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside is testing the safety and efficacy of these new interventions in clinical trials -- research studies that test new methods of prevention, detection, screening and treatment of cancer.



Unfortunately, most cancer patients don't know that clinical trials may be a treatment option, and there are several myths and misconceptions associated with clinical trials!



Due to a variety of factors such as myths and misconceptions; geographic, language and socio-economic barriers; lack of awareness among patients and physicians; procedural inefficiences (such as complexities in enrolling in the trial itself, the informed consent process), etc., several trials are halted prematurely as they FAIL to enroll enough patients, thereby wasting precious research dollars and impeding the development of life-saving cancer diagnostics and treatments.



On average, 3-5% of all adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials!

Participation is even lower among particular groups, including people who are racial and ethnic minorities, over 65, lower income, and living in rural areas. As an example, ~53% of new cancer diagnoses are in people 65 or older, however, this age demographic accounts for a measly 33% of clinical trial participants. Compare this to pediatric clinical trials!


So, what can we do to increase patient accrual to oncology clinical trials?

We need YOU to help us identify breakthroughs that will allow clinical trials to accrue patients quickly, so that we can get life-saving diagnostics and treatments to patients, faster!

Resgister now and submit your breakthrough solution to this problem! #BeTheSOLUTION! 


Why an Innovation Prize/ Crowdsourcing Challenge?

We know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere! Despite 50 years of trying, members of the medical community have been unable to develop transformational solutions to these intractable problems.

So, we are trying something different! We want YOU to help us find cool ways to increase the accrual rate of cancer clinical trials!

We believe an Innovation Prize could have a profound impact on improving cancer care, too. Help us make it happen!

Register on this page and participate in this challenge to make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, and for the chance to win $150,000!


Contact Us: 

  • Have questions? Send us an email at, and we'll get back to you rightaway! 
  • If you have a solution that you believe could increase accrual rates but don’t know how to implement it, email us (). We will support you to determine how best to test the solution. 
  • We know the next breakthrough can come from anywhere and we are committed to finding a way to increase patient accrual to clinical trials!
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June 25, 2017, 8:45 a.m. PDT
You are here
May 11, 2017, midnight PDT
Winners Announced
April 7, 2017, midnight PDT
Judging Close
March 24, 2017, midnight PDT
Judges will evaluate all top 25 submissions on the following criteria: Impact, Solution Implementation, Scalability & Sustainability, Innovation, Cost, and Analyses of Obstacles.
March 23, 2017, 4 p.m. PDT
Submission Deadline
Deadline for the submission of proof-of-concept materials, impact measurement data analyses and implementation write-ups
Jan. 6, 2017, 1:51 p.m. PST
Happy New Year everyone! The Clinical Trials Innovation Prize finalists are hard at work on their final submissions for the Implementation Phase. Since they all have such amazing ideas to help increase enrollment rates, we are granting them an exten ... Read More
July 13, 2016, 4:44 p.m. PDT
Dear Participants, Clinical trial participation rates for oncology trials sit around 3-5% for adult cancer patients. These numbers need to change for innovative new cancer diagnostics and therapeutics to be approved for use, and for us to be able to ... Read More
June 20, 2016, 1 p.m. PDT
Proof of Concept Phase Begins
The Proof-of-Concept round of the Implementation Challenge will run for 6 months during which all 25 teams will be mentored by the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, as well as our mentoring committees of key experts in the clinical trials space. ALCF will provide all 25 teams access to any resources they might need to test and implement their ideas to increase patient accrual to clinical trials.
June 17, 2016, noon PDT
New Finalists Announced
Top 25 Finalists for the Proof-of-Concept round of the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize Implementation phase will be announced.
May 10, 2016, 2:05 p.m. PDT
Dear Innovators,  Just a quick update on the announcement of the finalists for the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize. Our judges are reviewing all the fantastic solutions you proposed, and need a little bit more time as they reach their final decisio ... Read More
May 2, 2016, 5:58 p.m. PDT
Dear Innovators,  The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation would like to thank you all for submitting such well thought out, comprehensive and engaging proposals for the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize! We are extremely impressed by the overwh ... Read More
April 8, 2016, midnight PDT
Judges Review of Proposals & Updates
All submissions to the Proposal Round will be evaluated by our panel of judges and a total of 25 applicants will proceed into the Proof-of-Concept round of the challenge.

Top 12 finalists from the first phase or Ideation phase of the challenge, and 13 new applicants will be selected to enter the Proof-of-Concept round of the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize
April 6, 2016, midnight PDT
Proposals from New Entrants & Updates from Phase 1 Finalists Due
Proposal Round Deadline: Deadline for submission of updates from Phase 1 finalists as well as proposals from new entrants.

All applicants who wish to participate in the $150,000 Implementation Phase of the Challenge need to submit a two-page proposal describing their solution, the specific barriers it addresses and how these will be overcome
April 4, 2016, 11:55 a.m. PDT
Dear Innovators,  Hope you are all working on finalizing your submission for Round 1 of the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize Implementation Challenge! The deadline for submitting proposals by new entrants, and updates from the Ideation Phase Finali ... Read More
April 1, 2016, 11 a.m. PDT
 A meta-analysis—a study of studies—published in BMC Medicine in 2015 found that 31% of clinical trials did not stick to the measurements they had planned to use. Another paper, published in PLOS ONE, also in 2015, examined 137 medical trials over a ... Read More
March 31, 2016, 3:47 p.m. PDT
Dear Innovators, The deadline for submissions for the first round of the Implementation Challenge of the Clinical Trials Innovation Prize is upon us- Tuesday, April 5th! 4 more days to go! Here's a quick primer on the different phases of a Clinical ... Read More
March 15, 2016, 2:15 p.m. PDT
Hi Innovators,  An interesting concept to get you motivated to submit your ideas by April 5th to win $150,000!  Pablo Graiver, a former executive at the travel search engine kayak.com, has designed a tool called TrialReach that pools information ab ... Read More
March 4, 2016, 10:53 a.m. PST
  March 3, 2016. PHILADELPHIA-- Twitter may be an effective, untapped resource to stimulate interest in cancer clinical trials and boost enrollment, physicians at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania suggest in a new research ... Read More
Feb. 4, 2016, 12:35 p.m. PST
Here's an interview with a lung cancer patient that describes the significance of clinical trial participation: https://twitter.com/foxandfriends/status/695240607854268416  We're so excited to see your solutions to increase accrual rates in this 2nd ... Read More
Feb. 3, 2016, 11 p.m. PST
World Cancer Day 2016.

Implementation phase of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation's (ALCF's) Clinical Trials Innovation Prize launches, and registrations open.

Applications may be submitted either individually or by teams of innovators. There are no restrictions on age, country of origin, gender, educational accomplishments, etc.

We are looking for brilliant, out-of-the-box thinkers and innovators to help us solve the problem of patient accrual to oncology clinical trials.

The Implementation Phase is divided into two rounds:
Proposal Round
Proof-of-Concept Round
Jan. 28, 2016, 1:51 p.m. PST
Here's a great blog post by Marsha B. Henderson on why it's important for women to participate in clinical trial research: http://womenshealth.gov/blog/participate-in-a-clinical-trial.html 
Feb. 3, 2016, 9:58 a.m. PST
Date Launched
Updates (11)
Forum (6)