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GEAR Center Challenge Idea Submission Guidelines

Details on How to Submit Your Solutions Across Each Phase Are Provided Below:

The competition will run through three phases. In the first, Solvers will be evaluated on their proposal (including any proposal to scale or grow existing initiatives) to deliver a relevant solution to a PMA-related challenge. The second phase will evaluate invited semi-finalists to share a more in-depth project plan and how this could be executed, as well as how this project supports a longer-term GEAR Center vision. In the third phase, finalists will be invited to present their proposals to a panel of Federal executives through 60-minute virtual meetings.

In both phases requiring documents, entries must consist of PDF files with font size no smaller than 11-point Arial. All submissions must be in English. The participants must not use GSA’s or OMB’s logos or official seals in the submissions and must not otherwise give an appearance of Federal government endorsement.

Phase I: Project Proposal, Opens May 2nd – Deadline to Submit by May 24th at 5:00 PM EST

Solvers submit a no more than two-page proposal (inclusive of any visual representations or graphics), plus the cover sheet specified below, providing the following information:

Problem Statement: Describe the PMA-related challenge(s) that your project tackles and any relevant background information. Address the impact and innovation potential of your GEAR Center solution given the status quo.

  • Project Summary: What will your project do over a one year period? How does this align to the vision of the GEAR Center (as described on pp 112-114 of the PDF, Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations?
  • Anticipated Project Results: How can success be measured after one year? How can you use existing administrative data rather than new data collections? Who will ultimately benefit?
  • Ideal Team to Implement the Proposal: Describe the core team and partners or types of partners that would make for a successful project bringing diversity of industry, affiliation, geography, etc. (important: please write this in a way such that we can redact any organizational names for review).
  • Resource Requirements: Describe what might be needed to implement your GEAR Center proposal (resources, stakeholder buy-in, other requirements, etc.). Address the feasibility of your idea. Note that the solution must be able to be delivered within current Federal operations and existing relationships - this award does not enable new Federal authorities or privileged access.

During Phase I review process, the concept paper will be redacted for both applicant and any specific organizational partner names referenced (versus broader categories of organizational partners), and reviewed by Federal evaluators screened to avoid conflicts of interest.

Submission deadline: 5:00 PM ET May 24th, 2019

Email your submissions to GEARCenter@gsa.gov:

  • Title the email subject line "GEAR Center Phase I Proposal"
  • Email Sender (person and email address) must be Official Representative/person of contact for the team
  • Following documents should be attached:
    • Proposal cover sheet as PDF
    • Proposal document as PDF
  • In the Proposal cover sheet, include:
    • Title of submission
    • 1 sentence summary of PMA-related challenge that the solution tackles
    • Solver Official Representative (person of contact) contact information (full name, email, phone)
    • Name of organization(s) and all team member(s) submitting entry
    • Industry affiliations (ex. Academia, health care, consulting) of each organization / team member

On May 13th, 2019 we will host a webinar to answer questions and allow interested Solvers to connect with experts working on PMA challenges (details will be posted on this site and the webinar will be broadcast publicly). Questions to be answered on the webinar can be submitted to GEARCenter@gsa.gov in advance and a FAQ will be summarized and posted after this date.

Notification date of advancement of Semi-Finalists to Phase II: June 3rd by 5PM ET


Phase II: Project and GEAR Center Plan, Opens June 3rd – Deadline to Submit by June 28th at 5:00 PM EST

Up to 20 Solvers from Phase I will be invited to submit a no more than ten-page plan (inclusive of any visual representations or graphics), plus cover page, providing the following information:

  • Project Plan: Provide a more detailed explanation of a proposed first year GEAR Center project and how it will tackle the PMA challenge(s) your team selected in terms of milestones and activities
  • Project Feasibility and Inclusivity of Disciplines Referenced in Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century reform plan: Provide evidence of capabilities and initiatives occurring in this space by Solver partners; demonstrate ability to deliver on the project by leveraging existing efforts and networks
  • GEAR Center Model: How does your GEAR Center year one proposal support a longer term vision of how the GEAR Center could operate? Describe the current state of your model. How will the project involve diverse partners and stakeholders? How would you expect the Federal government to be involved?
  • GEAR Center Impact: What are longer term outcome measures of your GEAR Center model? What is the theory of change of your one year GEAR Center proposal to deliver this impact?
  • GEAR Center Sustainability: What is the sustainable funding model for your GEAR Center model, and is it reliant upon exclusively Federal funding? How will diverse collaborators continue to be brought to the table and be interested in remaining involved?

Submission deadline: 5:00 PM ET on June 28th, 2019

Email your submissions to GEARCenter@gsa.gov:

  • Title the email subject line "GEAR Center Phase II Proposal"
  • Email Sender (person and email address) must be Official Representative/ person of contact for the team. The same email address MUST be used as was used for the initial entry.
  • Following documents must be attached:
    • Plan cover sheet as PDF
    • Plan document as PDF
  • In the Plan cover sheet, include:
    • Title of submission
    • 1 sentence summary of PMA-related challenge solution tackles
    • Solver team leader (primary point of contact) contact information (full name, email, phone)
    • Name of organization(s) submitting entry
    • Industry affiliations (ex. Academia, health care, consulting) of each partner

Q+A Webinar for semi-finalists: June 17th, 2019 (details will be posted on this site). Semi-finalists will receive instructions on how to submit questions to be answered on the webinar in advance and a FAQ will be summarized and posted after this date. While only semi-finalists will participate in the June 17th webinar, the live event will be made publicly available on the https://challenge.gov/a/buzz/challenge/1023/ideas/top.

Notification date of advancement of Finalists to Phase III: July 12th by 5PM ET


Phase III: July 22nd – July 26th

Up to a total of 10 Solvers from Phase II will be invited to present to a panel of Federal executives through 60-minute virtual presentations. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an opportunity for evaluators to ask important questions about your plan and gain a deeper understanding of the innovation and feasibility of the project along with the ability of the Solver team to deliver. The format will be a 60 minute virtual presentation including up to 20 minutes for uninterrupted presentation by the Solver, and 40 minutes for questions and discussion with the panel.

Date awardees announced: August 1st by 5PM ET

See "Rules" section.