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Innovating for Conservation: Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Competitions Offer up to $100, 000 for Novel Conservation Solutions

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May 18, 2023 

Contact: publicaffairs@fws.gov 

Innovating for Conservation: Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Competitions Offer up to $100,000 for Novel Conservation Solutions 

The public can now help reimagine what drives wildlife conservation in the 21st century by participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize competitions, which open for entries today at https://www.challenge.gov/. The competitions will engage the public to help address six important conservation issues: preventing wildlife poaching and trafficking, promoting wildlife conservation, managing invasive species, protecting endangered species, managing nonlethal human-wildlife conflict, and reducing human-predator conflict. Prize winners are eligible for up to $100,000 for each winning prize solution. 

“Today’s communities and wildlife habitats face sizable conservation challenges like climate change, wildlife poaching and trafficking, habitat reduction and the loss of pollinators,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “We need innovators with a wide variety of skill sets and perspectives to help us collaboratively advance resource stewardship and conservation around the globe.” 

Through the prize competitions, the Service seeks to spark the interest and imagination of out-of-the-box thinkers across the nation, to source diverse solutions and catalyze new markets addressing complex conservation challenges. The prize competitions are open to every American and aim to build a community of innovators who can help guide the future of conservation. Last year’s winning ideas included an invasive reptile smart-trapping system, a nucleic acid barcode that identifies poached and trafficked wildlife products anywhere in the world, and a robotic technology that reduces cattle predation by encouraging natural herding behavior.  

By promoting innovation and engaging a diverse community of thought, the competitions support the missions of the Department of the Interior and the Service and contribute to achieving the goals of the Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative and work being done under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Both efforts underscore the Administration’s all-of-government approach to bolstering climate resilience and protecting natural areas for current and future generations.  

The Service is partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which has helped administer the competitions. The competition is guided by the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Advisory Council, a designated Federal Advisory Committee. The council advises competition winners on opportunities to pilot and implement their nascent technologies, helping them develop potential partnerships with conservation organizations, federal or state agencies, federally recognized Tribes, private entities and research institutions with relevant expertise or interest.  

The submission deadline for the competitions is June 27, 2023, with judging to occur July through August 2023, and winners will be announced in October 2023. The prize purse for each of the six focus areas is up to $100,000 for the winning technology innovation. The Service may also recognize additional participants with non-monetary, honorable mention awards. 

For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.challenge.gov/.  

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