The judges used the finalist selection criteria to select five (5) finalists from the pool of eligible entries in Stage 1, which were submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for final approval. Judges will use the winner selection criteria to select the winner(s) from the pool of finalists at the conclusion of Stage 2, which will also be submitted to DHS for final approval.
Finalist Selection Criteria
When evaluating Stage 1 entries, judges will assign each submission one to five points in each of the criteria categories below (for a total of up to 30 points):
- Originality. Presents a novel approach to the problem, and offers creative solutions and unique hypotheses.
- Impact. Has the potential to significantly advance current city-level practices and resources for identifying biothreat signals, and simultaneously complements existing resources.
- Feasibility. Demonstrates significant potential to rapidly detect patterns with a high degree of confidence, ideally within a day of exposure and no longer than ten days from exposure, and uses technically sound methods that are backed by credible supporting evidence.
- Sustainability. Makes use of freely available and/or low-cost data sources that are readily accessible to city-level operators and DHS on a consistent and long-term basis.
- Scalability. Has the ability or potential to expand to other geographic areas, or signals indicative of biothreat incidents or other scenarios of concern for homeland security.
- Team. Demonstrates an appropriate level of experience, commitment, and ability to move from concept to system design within the timeline of the Challenge.
Winner Selection Criteria
When evaluating Stage 2 entries, judges will assign each submission one to five points in each of the criteria categories below (for a total of up to 30 points):
- Empathy. Extent to which the system demonstrates an understanding of and is clearly designed to support a city-level end-user’s needs, workflow and decision-making process, both day-to-day and in the instance of a public safety emergency.
- Impact. Submission details how the system will measurably advance current city-level practices, as well as how the system will integrate with and complement existing local and/or national systems and technologies.
- Feasibility. Submission demonstrates a reasonable path for implementation, and a clear method for validating data-driven signals with a high degree of confidence, backed by credible supporting evidence.
- Sustainability. Extent to which the submission illustrates a plan to maintain consistent long-term access to the system for city-level and national-level decision-makers, and adequately addresses potential constraints and possible unintended consequences of the system’s use.
- Scalability. Offers a plan as to how the system will expand to other geographic areas, to different signal types indicative of biothreat incidents, or to other scenarios of concern for public safety.
- Team. Demonstrates significant evolution and improvement of the initial concept over the course of the Virtual Accelerator. Exemplifies the commitment and ability to bring the system design to fruition.