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VA Center for Innovation

Competitions
Competitions

Competitions

VACI hosts three types of competitions and challenges to identify and select ideas from every corner of the nation, capturing the most promising innovations to address both emerging and long-standing issues that impact Veterans.

All submissions undergo a rigorous review process and are balanced against a general set of criteria:

  • The potential impact, benefits, and contributions of the proposed solution
  • The quality of the proposed solution design
  • The quality of the proposed implementation plan
  • The scalability of the proposed solution
  • The offeror's capabilities, related expertise/experience, facilities, techniques, or unique combinations of these of these that will contribute to execution
  • The cost-effectiveness of the solution in proportion to its potential impact/benefits

Industry Competitions

The current Industry Innovation Competition aims to improve mental health care for Veterans. Learn how to participate ›

Industry Innovation Competitions start with a big question, and ask the public for solutions. We believe that those outside of government have a unique perspective on overcoming the challenges government faces, and this competition enables us to bring in that outside perspective. We welcome solutions from all types of organizations—from established leaders in industry to start-ups, non-profits, and academic institutions.

The four competitions held to date have resulted in nearly 900 ideas submitted across 18 topic areas. In total, 45 projects have been selected and are in various stages of project design, development, testing, and evaluation.

Employee Competitions

VACI holds employee competitions each year. They tend to target innovations for health care and VA business processes and practices.

Our more than 330,000 talented employees—a third of whom are Veterans themselves—use the Employee Innovation Competitions to contribute to VA innovations. VA employees dedicate their lives to improving Veteran care, and winning innovators amplify their contributions with ideas that transition into regular practice and spread across the country.

Because our employees are attuned to Veterans' needs and VA processes, we crowd-source the employee submissions so that other employees can weigh in on what innovations seem most important, promising, and impactful. The enthusiasm and interest that surround the internal competitions testifies to the dedication and innovative spirit of VA's workforce.

Prize Contests

Since the President signed into law the America COMPETES Act in early 2011, we have spearheaded use of the new prize authority the Act gives VA and other agencies. VA uses this path when the problem needing to be solved would benefit from the wisdom of the crowd. Veterans get great results, and taxpayers pay only for those results. We've held three prize challenges to date.