VA Center for Innovation

Competitions
About

Industry Competition

The Industry Innovation Competition is an opportunity for the private sector to help solve VA's most pressing challenges. This year, our goal is to improve mental health care for Veterans. We're interested in solutions from all types of organizations, from established leaders in industry to new start-ups, non-profits, and academic institutions.

If we select your proposal, we'll award a contract to demonstrate the value of your innovation via pilot implementation or prototype. The most successful will go on to broader deployment within VA—a nationwide organization of more than 300,000 employees who provide health care and benefits to over eight million Veterans. We selected 48 ideas for award out of the nearly 800 submitted in the first three Industry Innovation Competitions.

To get started, review the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for instructions and detailed descriptions of the topic areas. Then submit a four-page concept paper electronically to VA's Virtual Office of Acquisition. Subject matter experts from VA, other government agencies, and industry will review your submission. If we think your concept holds promise, we'll invite you to submit a full proposal for a second round of review.

We will continue to accept and review concept papers on a rolling basis from February 4, 2014 through May 30, 2016, as long as funding is available.

Topic Areas

We've organized the competition into three challenge areas around the central theme of improving mental health care for our Veterans:

  • Upstream Suicide Intervention: An estimated 22 Veterans die from suicide each day. Considering that suicide rates for Veterans without access to health care services are significantly higher than for those utilizing health care services, connecting Veterans to available services is paramount. VA is looking for novel, upstream interventions and strategies that build upon existing knowledge of risk factors and their relationship to service use/treatment.
  • Improving Veterans Receptivity to Mental Health Care to Promote Treatment Engagement and Participation: Many individuals who seek mental health care do not return after the first session of care. The decision to enter into or persist in a treatment plan can be hindered by many factors, such as perceptions of stigma and lack of awareness. VA is interested in improving the receptivity of Veterans to embrace available extensive, evidence-based treatment programs.
  • Innovative Methods of Incentivizing Behavior to Improve Mental Wellness: There are significant challenges associated with motivating individuals to adhere to personal treatment plans. In light of the growing role of technology in people's daily lives, VA seeks innovative methods for engaging Veterans in mental health programs through the integration of contemporary technologies with processes that reduce symptoms and increase functional behavior.

Click on the topic titles for detailed descriptions and resources.

Competitions