Royalty Free March-In Government Rights?

Is it worth winning $30K giving out prime technology in exchange of losing your intellectual property of which the sole purpose is to enrich private catfish farmers? If it were to remove blue-green algae off the coast of Florida then that is a different goal. But then again $30K for my thoughts? A penny for a kiss? Let us debate the pros and cons.
9 Replies

Jeffrey Silverstein
The Challenge Specific Agreement explains the applicable terms and conditions of this incentive-based competition. It is important that individuals understand these terms and conditions before registering for this challenge.

Some benefits of entering the challenge are: (1) an opportunity for your idea to get discovered; and (2) potential to win prize of up to $30,000 and (3) potential to engage in collaborative research with federal scientists.

Let me re-phrase it:

The background mentions: A Global Aquaculture Alliance article estimates that US catfish farmers lose as much as $47M a year due to off-flavors.

Now, if this competition pays $30K and the farmers save $47M (per year) then they are basically getting free technology because that $30K is around less than 1% of the profits they would make if the algae issue is solved. $47M is calculated per year profit. $30K is one time prize payment. I see something wrong in the picture.

In the Guideline it says in Big Print (take note of the inclusion of the words Royalty Free):

If Challenge Sponsor notifies Innovator that Submission is eligible for a Prize, Innovator will be considered qualified as a finalist (“Finalist”). To receive a Prize, Finalist must agree to grant The United States Government an irrevocable, royalty free, perpetual, sublicensable, transferable, and worldwide license to any Intellectual Property developed by the Innovator as part of or demonstrated by the Submission and to use and permit others to use all or any part of the Submission including, without limitation, the right to make, have made, sell, offer for sale, use, rent, lease, import, copy, prepare derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, and distribute all or any part of such Submission, modifications, or combinations thereof and to sublicense (directly or indirectly through multiple tiers) or transfer any and all such rights. Notwithstanding granting The United States Government such license for any Intellectual Property demonstrated by the Submission, Finalist retains title (e.g., ownership) of such Intellectual Property.

@Jeffrey pls do not look at my post like a glass half full. Instead I think there are many technological knowledge out there that can easily fix this issue - people who think outside of the box. I'm trying to point out that maybe this competition will bring all possible solutions - if the "teaser" is fair to the idea that a contestant brings. The prize money no matter how big that is will not cut it. It is the after-the-competition-business that the contestants are aspiring to have that is more valuable for us. Like Dell said - "ideas are commodities, execution of them is not". Our group has an idea to solve this problem, but is discouraged of the "march-in" rights in the guidelines. Remove the "royalty free" statement and let the inventors actually profit from their own ideas. Thank you for hearing us out.

Natalie York
HeroX team
Hi, thank you for voicing your concerns.

This is an ideation challenge, so we're looking for proposed solutions and ideas, with the expectation that the government will need to help innovators get to the final stages of their technology.

It is not the intention the USDA-ARS to take these solutions to market, but rather, as mentioned in the guidelines, "to *facilitate* the implementation of new technologies in the field to the benefit of the industry" ... with the possibility of engaging in "collaborative work to further develop proposed technologies" between ARS scientists and winners.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing certain aspects of your solution due to the legal agreement, then we encourage you to only submit what you're comfortable with, as it is a great opportunity to further develop your solution and possibly win prize money!

Oscar Rodgers
Hey solution finders,

Are the ponds oxygenated in any form, build up water fountains, add oxygen plants if there are non?
Please check up Chrisal probiotic products. You will be wowed!

Pictures would be good to see what the ponds look like?

Oscar Rodgers
Video seen thank you!

Oscar Rodgers
The probiotics will assist tremendously with improving the condition of the water biofilms, and improve the health of the fish.

The oxygen plants can be placed or grown in specific areas of the ponds or float on the surface in floating crates.

Artificial water fountains may be used to improve oxygen levels as well?

Oscar Rodgers
By use of the floating crates with water plants this would also block out the sun to some extent.
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