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Big Ocean Button Challenge

Mobile apps to turn ocean data into the products and services we need. Read Overview...
Total Prize Amount
$100,000
Entries
Overview

THE PROBLEM

A wealth of ocean data has been and is being collected. Many of the datasets are open, yet very few are being used for resource management, business, or conservation. Most businesses, let alone individuals, do not have the time or ability to translate ocean data into actionable information, yet large industries and millions of people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods and well-being.

So long as ocean data remain disconnected from services that people and markets can use, we will be unable to engage the numbers of actors needed to address critical ocean challenges. Data collection is not evenly distributed across the ocean — some regions are in need of data acquisition, a need that could be addressed through the development of demand for data services, which will in turn drive demand for data collection tools. Overall, there is a market failure for meaningful data services, and the time is ripe for market development.

COMPETITION OVERVIEW— Developing Mobile Apps to Unlock Ocean Data.

What: A competition to develop mobile apps using ocean data sets. A total of $100,000 in prizes will be awarded for apps in the following categories: Fishing, Shipping and Trade, Ocean Acidification, Public Safety, and Exploration.

Why: Bring app developers to the trove of available ocean data in order to catalyze the growth of a potentially multi-billion-dollar industry in ocean data products.

How: Develop a mobile app that unlocks ocean data for public and/or private benefit, ideally while supporting responsible use and protection of our ocean.

When: Prize launches 9 November 2016. Teams register and submit app concepts by 31 March 2017. Semifinalists submit apps by 31 August 2017. Finalists submit second version of apps in Fall 2017. Winners announced in late 2017/early 2018.

SCOPE OF COMPETITION

The goal of the Big Ocean Button Challenge is to advance development of and investment in ocean data products and services. Many sectors can benefit from solutions for organizing and standardizing ocean data. Some applications that are in need of ocean services include:

  • Monitoring and enforcement (of laws, regulations, or protected areas)
  • Resource management (biological, mineral, habitat, etc.)
  • Education and awareness
  • Sustainable seafood and fishing or aquaculture/mariculture activities
  • Navigation and shipping
  • Recreation
  • Public health and ecosystem health
  • Safety and security
  • Climate, weather, and hazards
  • Energy production

CHALLENGE BREAKTHROUGHS

  • Catalyze development of an economic sector around services utilizing ocean data, thereby generating exponentially more demand for ocean data, and the curation of such data into accessible databases and resources.
  • Ensure valuable information about the ocean becomes accessible to millions more people than it is today.
  • Bridge gaps among entities and sectors that can make use of ocean data, including the scientific community, the tech community, ocean resource managers and governments, and the private sector.
  • Engage new participants and foster new collaborations to move this field forward.
  • Accelerate the transition of ocean data collection from a parochial activity performed by only end-users and into a broader information technology paradigm.
  • Identify gaps in data and challenges in data accessibility.
  • Most broadly, to create a vision of an ideal future ocean data services industry that can catalyze the sustainable economic valuation of our ocean needed to drive toward ensuring healthy oceans.

GET INVOLVED

  • Click "Follow the Challenge" above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.
  • Click "Yes Sign Me Up!" above to register for the challenge. You will be notified of any status updates and be able to create an entry to the challenge when it opens.
  • Click on the "Share" button or social media icons above to share this challenge with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Leave a comment in our Comments Thread to join the conversation, ask questions, suggest available data sets or connect with other innovators.

CONTACTS

For general dialogue about this challenge please start a discussion on the comments thread for the Big Ocean Button Challenge HeroX page.

For questions about registering or using the website contact HeroX.

For adding additional datasets you want listed email bigoceanbutton@xprize.org or leave a comment in the Comments Thread. 

Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.

Guidelines

CATEGORIES

The mobile apps must focus on one or more of these five broader categories – Fishing, Shipping and Trade, Ocean Acidification, Public Safety and Exploration – though note that the use examples below are far from comprehensive. Teams are challenged to be creative, and think of additional uses for ocean data that fall within these broad challenge categories.

1. Fishing — Apps focused on sustainable use and management of fishing, seafood traceability, species identification, combating illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, or enforcement of marine protected areas.

2. Shipping & Trade — Apps focused on ship tracking, efficiency of trade routes, port information, available docks, citizen science, and uses for empty shipping containers.

3. Ocean Acidification — Apps related to an early warning system about changing pH levels and the potential impacts to local biology and marine resources. This is a follow on to the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE awarded in 2015 to develop breakthrough ocean pH sensors.

4. Public Safety— Apps related to public health, safety, and recreation, water quality, tsunami and tide warnings, jellyfish or harmful algal blooms, and beach closures.

5. Exploration —Apps related to bathymetry (seafloor maps), bio-prospecting for medicines, species discovery, education, and biodiversity.

AWARDS

Category Winners - $15,000 to the winner of each category – Fishing, Shipping and Trade, Ocean Acidification, Public Safety, and Exploration.

Judge's Award - $10,000 to the app that impresses judges with its particularly creative or elegant use or visualization of ocean data.

Bonus Prizes — $5,000 each:

  • Best app for conservation
  • Best app for education
  • Best app integrating multiple data sets

Notes: All finalists are eligible for the bonus prizes and judge’s award, teams are eligible to combine and potentially win mutliple categories with one app. 

TIMELINE

  • 9 November 2016: Competition launch
  • 31 March 2017: Register and submit app concept and mockup. A team may submit up to 3 concepts.
  • 31 May 2017: Expert evaluators and public voting selects top 50 concepts as semifinalists.
  • 31 August 2017: Semi-finalists submit app prototype (v1.0) and narrative.
  • Fall 2017: Judges select 15 finalists (3 per category).
  • Fall 2017: Finalists submit v2.0 of app and narrative.
  • Fall 2017: Judges select winners (1 per category).
  • Early 2018: Winners announced.

Note: The above dates are subject to change and competitors will be kept informed.

DATA SETS

There are thousands of potentially useful data sets that teams can utilize. To begin, data sets can be obtained from the websites below. Teams may also use other available data from reliable sources, and/or their own data. Teams should use observational data, not modeling data. To contribute datasets for use in the list below, please contact us or leave a link in the comment thread. Please check back regularly for more links to useful data sets.

OCEANOGRAPHY/EXPLORATION/BIG DATA

FISHERIES AND ANIMAL POPULATIONS

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION

PUBLIC SAFETY

SHIPPING AND TRADE

ADDITIONAL DATA AND RESOURCES

JUDGING CRITERIA FOR CONCEPTS

Innovation: Is the solution novel? Does it solve a problem, fill a gap, or start a solution in a creative and/or never-seen-before way? Does it provide added value over what is currently available through existing applications? If you have an existing app product, how are you improving it within the scope of the competition categories?

Impact: What is the potential impact of your solution? What are the potential benefits to communities, the economy, industries, the environment, or human well-being? Where and how would these benefits be realized? Judges will consider number of users, market size, and potential price/market value.

Popularity: Popular votes on the concept during public voting.

Note: Entrants submit a short narrative to explain the “solution” and “impact.”

JUDGING CRITERIA FOR SEMI-FINALISTS AND FINALISTS

Innovation: (See “Innovation” section above.)

Impact: (See “Impact” section above.)

Technical Achievement: Is the app accurately representing the data? What is the quality of the coding? Did the participants solve a hard technical problem? Could it adapt to/incorporate new data streams? Does it run quickly and crash rarely?

User Interface (UIX): Describe the practical usability of your solution. How can it be used by specific users to achieve the goals you've identified?

Service: How will the app provide an actionable product or service to users? What will that service enable users to do? How will the service circumvent the need for interpretation of data by providing decision support, actionable information, specific direction, or other (E.g., a weather app gives the likelihood of rain, which is actionable information)    

Note: Entrants will submit a short narrative to explain the “solution” and “impact.”

JUDGING PANEL

The Judging Panel will be made up of individuals that represent a diversity of expertise, such as oceanography, marine conservation, app development, economics, information technology, ocean law and policy, public health, and ocean industries.

No Judge, nor any member of Judge’s immediate family, shall participate, nor have any financial or other material interest, in any Team or Team Member. All members of the Judging Panel shall promptly disclose to HeroX any such current, former, or expected future conflict of interest with HeroX, XPRIZE, and/or any Team or Team Member.

Each Judge will enter into a Judging Agreement with HeroX that will: (i) outline the Judge’s duties and obligations; (ii) require each Judge to maintain confidentiality of HeroX’s and Team’s Confidential Information in accordance with the Competitor Agreement; and (iii) require each Judge to acknowledge that he or she shall make no claim to any Team’s Intellectual Property.

Official decisions made by the Judging Panel will be approved by a majority vote of the Judges, following careful consideration of the criteria, results, and scores, and these Guidelines. If any vote of the Judges results in a tie, then the Judging Panel shall determine the mechanism to settle the tie.

RULES

Who Can Participate: The Challenge is open to individuals and teams from all backgrounds. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

Voting: All votes are subject to review. Any competitor using unfair methods to solicit votes will be automatically disqualified from the challenge.

Submission Format: Must be mobile apps which can be developed for Android 4.4 (KitKat – API version 1) or higher, or using iOS SDK to be downloadable on iOS compatible products from Apple.

Submission Deadlines: No submissions will be accepted after the deadlines. All submissions must be received online, via the Challenge website.

Concept phase: Deadline 31 March 2017 at midnight UTC.

Semifinalist phase: Deadline 31 August 2017 at midnight UTC.

Finalist phase: Deadline TBD

Note: Challenge Guidelines and Rules are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made. However, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.

SUPPORT PROVIDED — What are the benefits for participating teams?

Data: Finalists will get access to expert “ocean data mentors.”

Feedback: Expert judges will evaluate and validate concept.

Community: Fostering of and access to community of practitioners in this new field. Networking with experts and potential future collaborators.

Publicity: Finalists and semifinalists receive recognition via online repository of concepts. Finalists and semifinalists receive PR as a leader in this new and burgeoning field.

Prize Money: $15,000 for each category, $5,000 bonus prizes for conservation, education, and integrating multiple data sets, $10,000 judges’ award.

Intellectual Property: Participants will retain all intellectual property for the apps.

Etc.: Additional benefits/support depending on development of partnerships or advanced market commitments.

DESIGN CREDITS

This challenge was designed in coordination with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and her consultancy Ayana Elizabeth Consulting LLC. 

SPONSOR

This HeroX challenge builds on the success of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, and is part of the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative with the vision to make the ocean healthy, valued and understood. This challenge is made possible through generous contributions to XPRIZE by Wendy Schmidt.

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