The NSF Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (NSF WINS) Challenges are sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and administered by the Mozilla Foundation to challenge the public to identify and prototype solutions to enhance wireless connectivity in two scenarios: (1) in communities affected by disasters where Internet access is compromised or (2) in communities that need greater access.
Challenge 1: Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge – How can we leverage wireless technology to keep people connected to each other and to vital information sources in the aftermath of a disaster where Internet access is unavailable or compromised? The Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge seeks solutions that can provide connectivity in one of the most challenging situations: the immediate aftermath of a major disaster. When disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes strike, communications networks are often among the first pieces of critical infrastructure to overload or fail, leaving individuals disconnected from one another and from essential services and communications. With a total of $1M in prize money, the Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge seeks solutions that help individuals wirelessly access each other and information services like maps and messaging following a disaster.
Challenge 2: Smart Community Networks Challenge – How can we leverage existing infrastructure to provide robust wireless Internet connectivity in communities that need greater access? Ten percent of all Americans — 34 million people — lack access to quality Internet connectivity. The Smart Community Networks Challenge aims to close this access gap by enhancing wireless connectivity in areas where Internet access is a challenge, whether due to geographic, financial or other factors. With a total of $1M in prize money, the Smart Community Networks Challenge seeks wireless solutions that leverage existing physical infrastructure to increase Internet connectivity in underserved areas.
NSF WINS Challenge Prize$2,000,000.00A total of $2 million in prize money will be awarded for two challenges ($1 million each). Winning entrants can receive awards of up to $400,000 each. Exceptional Design Concepts will be recognized with awards ranging from $10,000 to $60,000. Exceptional Working Prototypes will be recognized with awards ranging from $50,000 to $400,000.