TechConnect Challenge Rules & Participant Agreement

These Challenge Rules & Participant Agreement (“Agreement”) apply specifically to the Lunar Deep Freeze Challenge. In order to participate in this Challenge, you (“You” or “Participant”) are required to read and understand the terms of this Agreement. The Official Rules also incorporate by reference any additional terms specified at:

1. ORGANIZER AND SPONSOR. TechConnect Ventures (“TechConnect” or “Organizer”) is the administrator for this Challenge. NASA (“NASA” or “Sponsor”) is the Sponsor for this Challenge.

2. LEGAL TERMS: By submitting a response (“Response”, “Submission”, “Entry”) to this Challenge, You are agreeing to be bound by the following legal rules, terms and regulations (“Rules”) which constitute a binding agreement between the Participant, the Sponsor and the Organizer. THESE OFFICIAL RULES SUPERSEDE ANY OTHER RULES OR TERMS & CONDITIONS ON THE WEBSITE OF TECHCONNECT, TECHCONNECT VENTURES OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES OR SUBSIDIARIES TO THE EXTENT THERE IS ANY CONFLICT OF TERMS. BY YOUR ENTRY AND PARTICIPATION IN THE CHALLENGE YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THESE RULES.

The Organizer reserves the right to cancel or amend all or any part of the Challenge or Rules as it deems fit and without notice. The Organizer reserves the right to add, amend, or assert any additional Rules or modifications to Rules under the Guidelines of the Challenge. The Organizer reserves the right to remove from the Challenge Website any comments, postings or other information related to the Challenge, at any time and for any reason. It is the Participant’s responsibility to remain informed as to any changes to the Challenge or the Rules. In the event of any question or matter arising out of any point not expressly provided for in any of the Rules, the decision of the Organizer shall be final. In the event of any dispute regarding the Rules, the Challenge, or any matter relating to the Challenge, the Organizer’s decision shall be final and unchallengeable and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into, comment issued, or reason given in respect of any decision made by the Organizer.

3. CHALLENGE DATES: The Challenge commences on September 16, 2020 and shall be held according to the timelines and end date described on the Challenge webpage. 

4. GENERAL INFORMATION: Participation is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Multiple Entries are permitted. Entries will be reviewed independently and shall have no bearing on the review of additional Entries submitted by the Participant. You are responsible for checking applicable laws and regulations in your jurisdiction before participating in the Challenge to make sure that your participation is legal. You are responsible for abiding by your employer’s policies regarding participation in the Challenge. Organizers disclaim any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between you, your employer and any other party related to this Challenge. You are responsible for all taxes and reporting related to any award received as part of the Challenge.

5. ELIGIBILITY: The Challenge is open to all individuals over the age of 18 at the date of entry and to all validly formed legal entities. Responses from any Participants, including but not limited to, companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, accelerators, incubators, technology transfer firms, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. Responses from teams and collaborative groups of Participants (“Teams”) are welcome. For all Teams, a primary contact must be designated for the submission and any follow-up communications. Organizer is not responsible for any engagement of or communication with Team members not designated as the primary contact. Organizer shall not be held responsible for or party to any teaming agreements, verbal, written or implied, between members of a Team in generation or submission of an Entry. All working relationships related to your Team are your own.

NASA employees are eligible to submit an Entry for this Challenge and to be publicly acknowledged as a Winner, but are prohibited under Federal statutes and regulations from receiving any Awards or Prizes. If You are a NASA Employee and wish to submit an Entry, please contact the Challenge Organizer who will connect you with the sponsoring NASA representative. If your Entry meets the requirements of the Challenge, any attributable information will be removed from your submission and your solution will be evaluated equally alongside all other Entries to the Challenge. Based on your solution, you may be eligible for separate awards under the NASA Awards and Recognition Program, or for other Government Award and Recognition Program if you meet the criteria of both this Challenge and the applicable Awards and Recognition Program. If you are an Employee of another Federal Agency, contact your Agency’s Office of General Counsel regarding your ability to participate in this Competition.

If you are a Government contractor or are employed by one, your participation in this Competition may also be restricted. If you or your employer are receiving Government funding for similar projects, you or your employer may not be eligible for award under this challenge.  We encourage you to speak with an appropriate representative of your employer to determine whether a submission to this challenge would be considered within the scope of your employer’s specific contract or other agreement, or whether your employer anticipates a related submission under the terms of a contractor other agreement. 

Employees and family members of TechConnect and any of their respective affiliates and subsidiaries are not eligible to enter this Competition.

8. HOW TO ENTER: To enter, you must submit an Entry through the designated Challenge Submission Page on the Challenge Website. The Submission Page will provide further instructions, requirements, criteria, fillable fields, uploads and other details regarding the required response format. All Entries must be in English, without exception. Where applicable, Entry attachments maybe be submitted in .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, docx, .ppt, or .pptx formats. All Entries must be submitted through the Submission Page by:

  • Completing all fields of the Submission (or Registration) webform;
  • Uploading required files via the provided upload field at the time the Entry is submitted;
  • Completing submission by clicking the “Submit” button.

Entries submitted in any other manner than that described above shall be considered ineligible.  Organizer will not accept any Entries or attachments that are attempted to be submitted via email, physical mail, courier, fax or otherwise, or that are submitted beyond the Deadline.

By submitting an Entry, you agree that (a) all required fields are complete and all information in your Entry is correct and accurate; and (b) your registration may be rejected or terminated and all Entries submitted by you may be disqualified if any of the information provided is (or the Organizer has reasonable grounds to believe it is) incomplete, incorrect or inaccurate. All Participants are solely responsible for their Entry. All registration information is deemed collected in the United States of America.

The Organizer is not responsible for: (a) late, lost, stolen, damaged, garbled, incomplete, incorrect or misdirected Entries or other communications; (b) errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operations or transmission of information, in each case whether arising by way of technical or other failures or malfunctions of computer hardware, software, communications devices, or transmission lines; or (c) data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of Entry materials, loss or otherwise.

The Organizer is not responsible for electronic communications or emails which are undeliverable as a result of any form of active or passive filtering of any kind, or insufficient space in any email account to receive email messages. The Organizer disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participation in, or accessing or downloading of information in connection with the Challenge. 

Participants are solely responsible for all equipment, expenses, resources, insurance and/or costs incurred by or on behalf of any Participant while participating in the Challenge.


9. ENTRY CRITERIA GUIDELINES: Entry guidelines and descriptions of all items and information required to complete an Entry for the Challenge is available on the Challenge webpage. See the Challenge webpage for additional details.

10. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: By submitting an Entry and participating in this Challenge, you affirm that the Entry is yours/your team’s original work and that you have the necessary rights to submit the Entry. You further warrant that the submission does not violate any law or regulation or any rights of any third party. The Organizer reserves the right to disqualify any Participant in a scenario where the Organizer believes in its sole and absolute discretion that the submitted Entry or any part thereof infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party. You shall indemnify and hold harmless the Organizer, the Sponsor and their respective officers against any claims or costs relating to a breach of this term.

Your submission of an Entry and participation in this Challenge grants the Organizer certain rights. Upon submission, you agree and thereby consent to the use, by Organizers and their affiliates, agents and representatives, of your name, likeness, image, biographical information, award and award information (if an Award winner), your company or institution name (if your Entry is from a company or institution), any personal data submitted with your Entry, and the contents in your Entry (including any created works), in connection with the Challenge, in any media or format, in any and all locations worldwide, and without any payment to you or further approval from you. You agree that this consent is perpetual and cannot be revoked. For uses beyond the consent that you grant herein, you agree that Organizer’s use of your personal data will be governed by the Privacy Policy posted on the Challenge Website.

You agree that nothing in the Official Rules grants you the right or license to use of any intellectual property of Organizer, including without limitation the Organizer’s trademarks or service marks. Your submission thereby grants to Organizer the limited right to include your name or company or institution name (if your Entry is from a company or institution) as a Participant on the Challenge Website and in materials related to Organizer’s promotion or fulfillment of the Challenge. Other than for these uses, you are not granting Organizers any rights to your trademarks by submitting an Entry.

By accepting an Award, you agree and thereby grant to the Sponsor, an irrevocable, royalty free, perpetual, sublicensable, transferable, and worldwide license to use and permit others to use all or any part of the winning solutions including, without limitation, the right to make, have made, sell, offer for sale, use, rent, lease, import, copy, prepare derivative works, publicly display, publicly perform, and distribute all or any part of such solution, modifications, or combinations thereof and to sublicense (directly or indirectly through multiple tiers) or transfer any and all such rights. You agree to promptly execute, prior to receiving any Award, any documents required by Organizer and Sponsor to effectuate the License. Participant hereby represents and warrants that it has the unrestricted right to grant the License, and that no further action by Participant or any other person or entity is required. 

11. PRIVACY: When submitting an Entry to the Challenge, Participants will disclose personal information which may constitute “Personal Data” for the purposes of applicable information privacy and data protections laws. Each Participant is deemed to have consented to the Organizer’s collection, use and processing of the said Personal Data for the purposes of administering and conducting the Challenge, and further consents to the receipt of marketing material from the Organizer and/or any Challenge Partner(s) and any of its related companies.

By entering this Challenge, you acknowledge and agree that the Organizer will have access to and use of any personal data provided in connection with your Entry for purposes as described in the Official Rules and as governed by the Privacy Policy posted on the TechConnect website here: You further agree that the Organizer may share this personal data in connection with your Entry with designated third parties for purposes as described in the Official Rules.

12. CONFIDENTIALITY: ENTRIES MUST INCLUDE ONLY NON-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. Since the Organizer does not wish to receive or hold any submitted materials “in confidence,” it is agreed that, with respect to your Entry, no confidential relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between the Organizer and you, the company you represented when submitting an Entry, or the owner of any part of your Entry. The Organizer shall have no liability or responsibility for use by any other individual or Entity of any aspect of your Entry. Furthermore, you acknowledge that Organizer may share in part or whole details of your Entry with designated third parties for purposes as described in the Official Rules.

13. WARRANTIES: By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that all information in your Entry and all information that you submit via the Challenge Website is true and complete to the best of your knowledge, that you have the right and authority to submit the Entry and disclose the information therein on your own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that you specify within the Entry, and that your Entry (both the information and materials submitted in the Entry and the underlying technology/method/solution described in the Entry): 

a)     is your own original work and representative of your capability, or is submitted by permission with full and proper credit given within your Entry; 

b)    does not contain confidential information or trade secrets (yours or anyone else’s); 

c)     does not, to the best of your knowledge, violate or infringe upon the patent rights, industrial design rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; 

d)    does not contain malicious code, viruses, malware, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information; 

e)     does not and will not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, confidentiality agreement or other agreement; and 

f)     does not trigger any reporting of royalty or other obligation to any third party for which Organizer would have any liability. 

A breach of any warranty set out in this provision of the Official Rules will result in the corresponding Entry being invalid. In addition, you agree to indemnify the Organizer against all loss, damages and costs incurred by Organizers arising from your breach of any such warranty. 

14. CHALLENGE JUDGING: Entries submitted to the Challenge will be evaluated by a panel comprised of individuals who are competent in the subject matter of the Challenge (the “Judging Panel” or “Judges”). Organizer reserves the right to assign or remove Judges at any time. Organizer is under no obligation to notify Participants of any changes to the Judging Panel. Organizer is under no obligation to disclose any information about any Judges.

Entries will be evaluated based on compliance with the Challenge requirements, Entry criteria and with the information provided on the Challenge webpage. Judging of Entries will occur after the Challenge Entry Deadline and will be completed in advance of the announcement of any Winners or Finalists. All decisions of the Judging Panel, including any decisions to name no Winners, will be final and binding on all matters relating to this Challenge.

15. AWARDS: The Organizer will announce the Challenge winners and their respective cash award (“Award”) via the Challenge Website. There will be two Award categories: 1) The Small Transportable Cryogenic Containment Systems Challenge (“Category #1”); and 2) The Innovations for Long-Term Cryogenic Stowage & Transportation Challenge (“Category #2”). For Category #1, up to two (2) winners will be selected to receive top prizes of US$10,000 each. For Category #2, up to four (4) winners will be selected to receive top prizes of US$5,000 each. Additionally, Winners may also receive:

  • Recognition through published announcements and individual profiles
  • A virtual conference with one or more members of the NASA Challenge team to discuss your winning solution
  • The opportunity for future collaboration with NASA

Participants are invited to submit Entries under both Challenge categories, at their own discretion. Any Participants selected as Winners for Category #1 shall not be eligible for Awards related to Entries submitted under Category #2. Participants are eligible to win multiple Awards within a single Category provided that the Entries are clearly distinguishable as novel and different from one another as determined by the Judging Panel.

All Winners will be notified by the e-mail address provided in the Entry. Return of any Award notification as “undeliverable” will result in disqualification. All Awards are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. The Organizer reserves the right to examine Entries for compliance with the Challenge Rules. Failure of Participant to demonstrate eligibility will result in disqualification. Prior to distribution of any awards, cash or prizes, all Winners must agree in writing to accept the Award and to grant NASA a royalty free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide license in all Intellectual Property. After verification of eligibility and receipt of requisite agreements, Awards will be issued to the official Winner representatives specified in the Entry. No substitution or transfer of Award is permitted. 

If a winner is unable to accept an Award due to requirements of its organization, Organizer will continue to acknowledge the Winner on the Challenge webpage. Organizer is not obligated to provide Winners with alternative Awards, regardless of circumstances. Organizer may choose to issue one, more or no Awards for any reason and at its own discretion, including if it determines that no Entries sufficiently exceed the Challenge requirements.

This is a voluntary contest of skill and innovation and no fee is required to enter or participate. Whether or not your Entry is determined as a Winner depends on how your Entry addresses the Challenge, and how your Entry compares to the other Entries submitted in the Challenge when evaluated based on the sole judgment of the Judging Panel and Organizer. All Awards are final and this is a one-time offer. There is no offer of a license, royalty, or other financial compensation implied beyond the award described above. No costs or expenses of a Participant for any aspect of this Challenge will be paid by the Organizer. Each Award Winner is responsible for any and all tax reporting obligations and any and all tax payments as applicable. 

16. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By participating in the Challenge, you agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless, the Organizers, Seekers and all of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotions agencies, and each of their respective agents, representatives, officers, directors, shareholders, and employees (collectively, “Entities”) from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions and any liability of any kind (including attorneys’ fees) resulting from or arising out of your participation in, association with, or submission to the Challenge (including any claims alleging that your Entry infringes, misappropriates, or violates any third party’s intellectual property rights). Entities are not responsible for any technical failures related to communication or submission failures, such as unavailable networks or server connections; other failures related to hardware, software, viruses, or incomplete, late or misdirected Entries. Any compromise to the fair, proper and legal conduct of this Challenge may result in the disqualification of an Entry, the termination of the Challenge, or other remedial or legal action at the sole discretion of Organizers. Organizers reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to extend or modify the dates of the Challenge and to change the terms of the Official Rules governing any phase or portion thereof. By entering, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and acknowledge that all decisions of Organizers, and their respective agents and representatives are final and binding in all respects. 

17. NO OBLIGATION: You acknowledge that multiple Participants may submit Entries that contain concepts, approaches, or technologies similar to your Entry and that the Organizer, Sponsor, and/or their respective subsidiaries and partners may already be investigating or developing solutions or have business activities that are related to or similar to those disclosed in your Entry. You acknowledge that Organizer’s actions with respect to another Entry or one of its own solutions, investigations, or business activities, even if similar to your Entry, shall not create any liability, of any kind, by Organizer to you or others. Further, Organizer is not or shall not be restricted in any way from pursuing, developing, or commercializing, in any way that they see fit, independent of you and at its sole discretion, any activity or technology that is created independent of your Entry. For the avoidance of doubt, you acknowledge that Organizer is not obligated to take any action whatsoever with regard to your Entry. 

18. SEVERABILITY: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision was not contained herein. 

19. WAIVER: By entering the Challenge, you thereby waive all rights to seek injunctive or equitable relief, or to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or attorneys’ fees against Organizers or their affiliates, employees, agents or representatives. 

20. ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This is the parties’ entire agreement on this matter, superseding all previous negotiations or agreements and can only be modified by written agreement.

21. APPLICABLE LAW: You agree that these terms and the relationship between you and Organizers shall be governed and construed under the laws of the State of Texas, U.S.A. You acknowledge and agree that all aspects and content of your Entry, including all information, developments, inventions, and works of authorship, shall be treated as if made in the United States of America and U.S. laws relating to patents, inventions, assignments, and innovation compensation shall supersede the relevant laws of any country in which the Entry may have been conceived, developed, or reduced to practice. 

For Participants living outside the United States of America, you expressly acknowledge that this Challenge is free and voluntary. By entering this Challenge, you accept Texas State law as governing law, the specific terms, conditions and policies outlined in the Official Rules, and consent to having your Entry data, including all provided personal information, transferred to, processed in, and stored in the United States of America pursuant to the TechConnect Privacy Statement.

Download a PDF version of the rules here: