Hard Real-Time Containerized Computing

Challenge details

Name: Hard Real-Time Containerized Computing
Challenge type: Reduction to Practice (RTP)
Award: $30000
Deadline: Under Evaluation

Challenge overview


Modern software development often utilizes a containerized environment in which the software code is bundled with supporting libraries, dependencies, and configuration files in an isolated package to create a lightweight and portable application that can run on a variety of operating systems and hardware.  Currently available containerization technology, such as Docker, does not allow for real-time computing that is a requirement in many embedded systems applications in the aviation, automotive, and automation industries.  The Seeker is looking for a real-time container engine technology for generation of hard real-time applications and microservices in a DevSecOps environment.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, proof-of-concept demonstration, and delivery of source code and/or binaries upon request of the Seeker.



Software applications are increasingly moving toward cloud computing environments.  Modern software development technology allows for implementation of processing in either a virtual machine (VM) or containerized environment.  The small, lightweight nature of containers allows them to be moved easily across bare metal systems as well as public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments and they’re the ideal environment to deploy today’s cloud-native applications.  However, the layered nature of containerized environments does not allow them to operate as real-time processes.  Embedded applications with hard real-time requirements require the deterministic performance offered by a real-time operating system (RTOS), and development of these applications would benefit greatly from the existence of real-time containerization technology.  With hardware and software development moving faster than ever before, the ability afforded by containerization to focus on the application rather than the underlying hardware allows the reuse of existing certified code to speed development of new capabilities in embedded systems.  To support light weight composable real-time processing systems the Seeker desires a real-time containerization technology that allows the generation of hard real-time applications and microservices in a modern DevSecOps environment.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Technical Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Proof-of-concept demonstration as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge.
  3. For the top ranked submissions, the Seeker may request source code and/or binaries with sufficient documentation to enable the Seeker to compile, execute, and validate the proposed solution using additional test scenarios.

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and testing/validation of the submitted solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 21-Apr-2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also, the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, please see the Challenge Specific Agreement.