Q&A Topic: Challenge Intellectual Property License

We have received some questions regarding the Intellectual Property license for the Reach Higher Career App Challenge.

The Department of Education (ED) is holding this competition to spur the development of mobile solutions to help students navigate education and career paths, and increase the capacity of career counselors.  The finalist evaluation criteria for the Challenge specify that submissions will be evaluated in part based on the ability for the solution to scale and the team’s commitment to build out the solution into a fully functional app.

Following the Challenge, ED intends to demonstrate the winning app and highlight its features with educators, counselors, and the educational technology community. ED does not intend to release a federal app nationwide, but instead, ED will present the winning app in the hopes of maximizing the adoption of the app to serve as many students as possible.

Thus, under the intellectual property provisions, the Challenge winner(s) would not receive additional payment from ED if ED presents or describes a winning process or technology. ED hopes that the winner will be involved in this process and will benefit from it, but if the winner chooses not to pursue this work, the IP provisions provide ED the right to move the concept and design of the submission forward without the involvement of the winner.

Regardless if the winner chooses to participate in outreach efforts with ED, the owner of the winning submission is free to commercialize its product.  As a reminder, all submissions are subject to the Publicity Release as described in the Official Rules, Terms & Conditions.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at, and remember to submit your entry by Monday, December 7, 2015, 11:59:59 PM EST!