European Regional Hackathon to Promote U.S.-Europe Cooperation in Space

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Funding Opportunity ID:330608
Opportunity Number:PAS-UKRAINE-2021-003
Opportunity Title:European Regional Hackathon to Promote U.S.-Europe Cooperation in Space
Opportunity Category:Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type:Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity:Arts (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA)
Environment
Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s):19.900
Eligible Applicants:Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Additional Information on Eligibility:
Agency Code:DOS-UKR
Agency Name:Department of State
U.S. Mission to Ukraine
Posted Date:Dec 31, 2020
Close Date:Feb 17, 2021
Last Updated Date:Dec 31, 2020
Award Ceiling:$100,000
Award Floor:$50,000
Estimated Total Program Funding:$100,000
Expected Number of Awards:1
Description:Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications for funding to arrange a two-to-three-day space-themed hackathon for young space experts and university students interested in pursuing space-related careers. You should incorporate established space experts from the United States and participating countries as mentors. You should plan to include participants from the United States, Ukraine, and at least ten other European countries. You will coordinate with the U.S. Embassies in these countries, as well as their host-country governments, academia, and civil society. You will be responsible for building into your program pre-hackathon and follow-on activities to harness and maintain the momentum of this program. Cost-shares are highly encouraged. Please carefully follow all instructions below. Detailed Description: The European Regional Space Hackathon is a unique opportunity to crowdsource innovative technological solutions to space-related issues, develop the next generation of American and European space experts, and promote U.S.-Europe cooperation in this sector. Space exploration and security have become increasingly important in recent years, and it is paramount that the United States and Europe work in tandem to ensure a safe future for global space endeavors. Thus, it is also critical that the next generation of American and European space experts learn to think innovatively, collaboratively, and strategically to address these ever-evolving challenges. This program seeks to facilitate such innovation and collaboration through a two-day workshop and two-to-three-day hackathon in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine; other U.S. embassies in Europe; and key academic, government, private sector, and non-profit stakeholders throughout Europe and the United States. The workshop and hackathon should bring together university students, software and technology professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, and space enthusiasts from the United States, Ukraine, and at least ten other European countries, which the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine will determine in consultation with other U.S. government stakeholders. Registrations, event communications, project submissions, and judging for this hackathon will happen virtually on a central online platform, which the grantee will be responsible for generating. Throughout the two-day workshop and two-to-three-day competition, participants in inter-country teams will tackle one of several “problem statements” linked to space exploration or security. These themes could address, for instance, cybersecurity in space exploration and research, rocket manufacturing (including through 3D-printing), Moon or Mars exploration and development, space law, atmospheric monitoring, space debris, space robotics, satellite construction and launching, etc. The grantee will be responsible for proposing the final problem statements in consultation with space experts and participating U.S. embassies. The two-day workshop should introduce the participants to one another, introduce the participants to the “problem statements,” walk participants through what makes successful hackathon projects, train participants in how to pitch projects, and divide participants into the inter-country teams in which they will compete during the hackathon. During the subsequent two-to-three-day hackathon, these teams will compete to generate the most practical and innovative technological solutions to whatever problem statement they choose to address. At the end of the competition, the teams will present their solutions to an international panel of experts. The grantee will be responsible for developing concrete incentives for the winning teams, for instance, mentorships, internships, technological know-how or capacity building, software or hardware, gift cards, travel, receptions, etc. To implement this program effectively, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv seeks partners with technology or space expertise and the capacity to mobilize hackathon participants and contributors to cover the below criteria. Successful applicants should have strong, multi-country organizational capacity. Your responsibilities will include: Before the event: Developing “problem statements” relevant to space exploration and security Establishing an online platform for the hackathon (should be ready for advertising, recruitment, registration, hackathon itself) Promoting the event and recruiting participants (e.g., from universities, coding communities, IT companies, etc.) Communicating with registered participant teams about event rules, expectations, etc. Recruiting mentors to advise participants during the event Recruiting judges and evaluators to help select winners Securing prizes Note: The best prize ideas will help the winners realize their technological solution or develop professionally. Developing pre-program events to generate excitement about the hackathon, such as at least 2-3 of the following: Public expert lectures related to the hackathon themes Networking events for those registered Space or technology skills-building workshops for those registered During the event: Monitoring the program Ensuring space mentors are on-hand to provide advice to the teams Facilitating interventions, programming Troubleshooting participant access to the hackathon platform Reminding participants and mentors of rules and expectations After the event: Facilitating access to prizes Coordinating after-event publicity and outreach (including a strong multi-national media component) Organizing follow-on events, such as at least 2-3 of the following: An in-person alumni conference should travel restrictions lift. It would be preferable for the grantee to cover these costs, either via the grant money or via cost-share. Virtual alumni networking events with each other and guest speakers. A space speaker series or mentorship opportunities exclusively for program alumni. Educational travel for top teams in Europe or the United States. Opportunities for the winning teams to mentor younger space enthusiasts. Applicants must demonstrate their capacity for conducting virtual events, providing expertise on space or technology topics, reaching youth audiences, and working in a multi-stakeholder environment with Ukrainian, other European, and U.S. partners. The award recipient will be responsible for the oversight and management of performance of all sub-award recipients under the award. Note: If working with a sub-awardee, the sub-awardee cannot receive more than $25,000 total. U.S. Embassy Kyiv reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal project configurations, budgets, participating countries and regions, and participant numbers in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. All events will be conducted in English. Please incorporate locally sourced interpretation and translation costs for at least Ukrainian and Russian. Sample timeline: February 2021 – Awardee announced February – April 2021 – Planning/coordination April 12, 2021 OR May 7, 2021– Program launch (timed with International Day of Human Space Flight OR Space Day) April/May – June/July 2021 – Registration period, hype/publicity events September 2021 – Hackathon September/October 2021 – Pitching October 4-10, 2021 – Follow-on activities during Space Week November – December 2021 – Evaluation of program, close out of grant Participants and Audiences: This program targets university students, software and technology professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, and space enthusiasts from the United States, Ukraine, and at least ten other European countries. The program also seeks to engage the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine; other U.S. embassies in Europe; and key academic, government, and private, and non-profit stakeholders throughout Europe and the United States to spur innovation, raise awareness, and ensure sustainability.
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