Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

Clinical Trials Innovation Prize

Clinical Trials Innovation Prize

Producing a breakthrough that doubles the accrual rate of clinical trials in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The Previous Phase

Ideation Phase (Closed)

Challenge Overview




Each year, in honor of World Cancer Day, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) launches a unique, international crowdsourcing challenge that leverages the power of the crowd to solve problems plaguing the oncology clinical medicine space.

We want to work with innovative, out-of-the-box thinkers and innovators who are passionate about changing the lives of thousands of people- cancer patients today, and patients of tomorrow- regardless of whether they have any direct healthcare experience.

For 2016 World Cancer Day, we want YOU to join us and #BeTheSolution!


The What?

On February 4, 2016 are launching the second phase of the Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, an international two-part, $180,000 crowdsourcing challenge that seeks to identify innovative ways to increase cancer patient enrollment in clinical trials.

Goal: The goal of the challenge is to produce breakthroughs that will increase the patient accrual rate to oncology clinical trials. ALCF is specifically looking to: 

  1. Identify prototypes of solutions that reduce a barrier to participation in clinical trials
  2. Select the best solution to be scaled in partnership with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
  • Ideation Challenge: 47 Competitors from 18 countries from all around the world submitted creative and novel ideas to double the accrual rate of cancer clinical trials, and three teams won prizes totaling $30,000 USD. Congratulations to HelynxMatt Gerber, and Noah Craft, the winners of the first phase of the challenge!  
  • Implementation/Proof of Concept Challenge: Register now, enter your idea and plans for implementation for a chance to win prizes totaling $150,000 USD when you provide proof that your ideas have indeed resulted in an increase in participation in cancer clinical trials.


The Why?

Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide! Cancer cases worldwide are forecast to rise by 75% and reach close to 25 million over next two decades


We need better ways to prevent, detect, screen and treat cancer, and we need them now!

The most reliable and the only accepted scientific method to take exciting discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside is testing the safety and efficacy of these new interventions in clinical trials -- research studies that test new methods of prevention, detection, screening and treatment of cancer.



Unfortunately, most cancer patients don't know that clinical trials may be a treatment option, and there are several myths and misconceptions associated with clinical trials!



Due to a variety of factors such as myths and misconceptions; geographic, language and socio-economic barriers; lack of awareness among patients and physicians; procedural inefficiences (such as complexities in enrolling in the trial itself, the informed consent process), etc., several trials are halted prematurely as they FAIL to enroll enough patients, thereby wasting precious research dollars and impeding the development of life-saving cancer diagnostics and treatments.



On average, 3-5% of all adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials!

Participation is even lower among particular groups, including people who are racial and ethnic minorities, over 65, lower income, and living in rural areas. As an example, ~53% of new cancer diagnoses are in people 65 or older, however, this age demographic accounts for a measly 33% of clinical trial participants. Compare this to pediatric clinical trials!


So, what can we do to increase patient accrual to oncology clinical trials?

We need YOU to help us identify breakthroughs that will allow clinical trials to accrue patients quickly, so that we can get life-saving diagnostics and treatments to patients, faster!

Resgister now and submit your breakthrough solution to this problem! #BeTheSOLUTION! 


Why an Innovation Prize/ Crowdsourcing Challenge?

We know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere! Despite 50 years of trying, members of the medical community have been unable to develop transformational solutions to these intractable problems.

So, we are trying something different! We want YOU to help us find cool ways to increase the accrual rate of cancer clinical trials!

We believe an Innovation Prize could have a profound impact on improving cancer care, too. Help us make it happen!

Register on this page and participate in this challenge to make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, and for the chance to win $150,000!


Contact Us: 

  • Have questions? Send us an email at, and we'll get back to you rightaway! 
  • If you have a solution that you believe could increase accrual rates but don’t know how to implement it, email us (). We will support you to determine how best to test the solution. 
  • We know the next breakthrough can come from anywhere and we are committed to finding a way to increase patient accrual to clinical trials!
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Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions will be on the submission form for the Proposal Round 1:


  • What barriers are you addressing?
  • Why do these barriers exist?
  • Why are you addressing these barriers?
  • How/why do the barriers prevent cancer patients from participating in clinical trials?
  • Cite 3 sources of information that illustrate/describe the problem.

Proposed Solution

  • What is your proposed solution to addressing the barriers?
  • Description
  • How will you do it?
  • How does it work?
  • What does it look like?
  • How will you implement it?
  • Where will you implement?
  • Who will be involved (stakeholders)?
  • How much will it cost to create the solution (an estimation)?
  • How much will it cost to implement the solution (an estimation)?
  • How many people will be impacted?
  • How long will it take to create the proposed solution?
  • Why will it work? Why is it viable?

Potential Obstacle(s)

  • What are potential obstacles to your solution?
  • How will you work around these roadblocks?

Potential Impact

  • What % increase in accrual rates do you anticipate?
  • Why?
  • How will you prove it?
  • How long will it take to achieve this increase with your solution?

Sustainability of Solution

  • How do you anticipate maintaining the % increase in accrual rates over time?

Regulatory Hurdles

  • How will you overcome legal/regulatory hurdles, if any?

Proposed Innovation

  • Why hasn’t your proposed solution been tried before?
  • If it has, what prevented it from succeeding?

The following questions will be on the submission form for the Proof of Concept Round 2:

Solution Implementation

  • Describe your solution. What barrier(s) to clinical trials did you address and how?
  • Who is/are your target audience(s)?
  • How did you implement or prototype it?
  • Where did you implement or prototype it?
  • How does it work?
  • Please provide links to and descriptions of any final products that you created to demonstrate your solution. This can include photos, wireframes, design plans, etc.
  • What people or organizations did you collaborate with to implement your solution? Please submit  documentation confirming this collaboration.
  • Please submit any approval documentation (e.g., Institutional Review Board) that you needed to implement your idea or collect data in accordance with law, regulation, and applicable policies.



  • Describe what it would take to make your solution available to more members of the target audience you selected.
  • How could this solution be replicated elsewhere, either with similar or different target audiences and medical systems?


Sustainability of Solution

  • After testing the solution, how do you anticipate maintaining this improvement over time?



  • How much did it cost (in US dollars) to create the solution?
  • How much did it cost (in US dollars) to implement the solution?
  • How much would it cost (in US dollars) to maintain the solution for one year, as it was implemented?
  • How much do you project it would cost to expand the solution to 1,000 members of your target audience?


Legal, Regulatory, and Other Obstacles

  • What obstacles did you encounter?
  • How did you address these obstacles?
  • What obstacles would you foresee if you expanded your solution? What steps would you take to overcome these obstacles?


Impact Measurement

  • How many people in your target audience(s) did your solution reach?
  • Describe the types of data you collected and how you collected them.
  • Within the system that you tested your solution, what was the accrual rate before and after implementation (if this data is available)? How did your solution contribute to this change?  
  • Provide additional evidence based on your data that demonstrates that your solution may succeed in improving clinical trial accrual rates (e.g., improvement in screening process).


For the Proposal Round, all submissions will remain private.

It has yet to be determined if submissions for the Proof of Concept Round will be public or private. This FAQ section will be updated with that answer once it has been finalized.