The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, are seeking innovative methods for excluding fish species found in freshwater rivers and/or estuaries in the United States from water diversions and intakes. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase effectiveness and decrease the costs associated with fish exclusion devices. Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams.
This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.
Challenge Orientation Video: Subject matter experts from Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office discuss the need for improved devices and methods to prevent fish entrainment at water diversions and intakes. A brief video describing this Challenge can be found here.
This web site is hosted by a private entity and is not a service of the Bureau of Reclamation or the Department of the Interior (DOI). The solicitation and collection of your personal or individually identifiable information is subject to the host’s privacy and security policies and will not be shared with Reclamation or DOI unless you win the Challenge. To collect an award, Challenge winners’ personally identifiable information must be made available to Reclamation. Please consult the Challenge-Specific Agreement.
Fish exclusion is a way of preventing movement of fish into a water diversion or intake. Without a fish exclusion device or method, fish can be entrained into the diversion or intake which means that they are removed from their natural environment. This can result in the loss of native fishes and reduced operating capabilities of the involved infrastructure. Opportunities to reduce entrainment at diversions and intakes will promote more sustainable and reliable water resource systems that can provide greater benefits for aquatic species and the public. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase fish protection efficiencies, target a wider range of fish species and sizes, and reduce construction, operation, and maintenance costs compared to conventional fish exclusion methods.
Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams (e.g. turbine intakes or water regulation). Submissions that address fish exclusion for one or more fish species of concern in the United States (e.g. salmon, steelhead, sturgeon [green, pallid, shovelnose] and paddlefish, eel, lamprey [Pacific, brook, and river], Delta smelt, shad, suckers, river herring [alewife, blueback herring], bull trout) will be accepted.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 6, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.
After the Challenge submission deadline, a Judging Panel will evaluate the submissions and make a decision with regard to the winning solution(s). The Judging Panel may be composed of federal and/or non-federal scientists, engineers, and other technical experts, including subject matter experts from the listed collaborators for this Challenge. All persons or entities that submit a proposal will be notified as to the status of their submission. Decisions by Reclamation cannot be contested.
IMPORTANT ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
This Challenge is being conducted by the Seeker under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (15 U.S. Code §3719) as amended by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (PL-114-329), which states that cash prize purse awards for this prize competition may only be given to an individual that is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or an entity that is incorporated in and whose primary place of business is in the United States, subject to verification by the Seeker before cash prize purses are awarded. See the Challenge-Specific Agreement for full details.
Solvers are not required to give up any of their intellectual property ("IP") rights to the Seeker or Seeker's Collaborators to be eligible to receive an award. Please note that any proposal submitted will not be treated as confidential information. Accordingly, Solvers should protect their proprietary rights in their solutions prior to submitting their written proposal for consideration in the Challenge (e.g. filing provisional or full patent applications on the solution described in the written proposal prior to submission). Challenge-Specific Agreement for full details.
Cash prize purse payments: Payments will be paid in full to the eligible registered individual, entity, or team selected as a winner. Please see Payment of Award to Winners in the Challenge-Specific Agreement
Registering as a team: Teams must register to compete by having the Team Leader form a Team Project Room. The Team Leader must be a U.S. citizen, permanent U.S. resident, or representative of a U.S. entity eligible to receive a cash prize. In the case of a team registration, the cash prize purse can be split and paid directly to eligible team members as directed by the registered eligible team leader. The Seeker will not make payment to team members that are not eligible under 15 USC §3719 to receive a cash prize.
Team Project Room requests must be made no later than 1 week prior to the Challenge deadline. Once registered, click on ‘Form a Team’ at the top of the Challenge page for further instructions.
Participation by those not eligible for cash prizes: Submissions will be accepted from all Solvers regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or U.S. entities, and are eligible to receive non-cash prize awards, if any. Meritorious submissions from non-U.S. citizens, non-U.S. permanent residents, and non-U.S. entities may also be recognized in publications issued by Reclamation announcing the results of the competition, such as press releases.
Full eligibility details and other restrictions are detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement
ABOUT BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
The Bureau of Reclamation is the sponsoring agency for this prize competition and is an agency of the United States Federal Government with a mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS
Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are collaborating with Reclamation on various aspects of this Challenge such as design, technical review, judging, and promotion.
What is a Theoretical Challenge?
An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.