Bright Minds Challenge

Terms and Conditions

1. The purpose and objective of the Challenge

The Bright Minds Challenge 2016/2017 “Fast Forward Renewables: Solar and Energy Storage Solutions” (the “Challenge) is an international science-based competition that seeks scientific solutions related to the societal challenge “Fast Forward Renewables: Solar and Energy Storage Solutions”.

The Challenge is created, implemented and organized by DSM (the “Sponsor”) together with partners. The Bright Minds Challenge 2016/2017 partners are the following companies and institutes: Accenture; Chinese National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Solar Photovoltaic Products Quality (CPVT); Greentown Labs; the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; SolarAid; Solarcentury and Sungevity (collectively the “Partners”). The Partners may possibly be extended to include any company and/or institute within the field, provided that the inclusion of such company(ies) and/or institute(s) will have been publicly announced by the Sponsor and the Partners on the Bright Minds Challenge Website and via a press release, prior to 14 December 2016.

2. Entry Criteria

Entries should be submitted in accordance with the guidance provided in the entry criteria form (the “Entry Form”) as well as the instructions on the website www.sciencecanchangetheworld.org (the “Bright Minds Challenge Website”).

3. Selection of Applications

Round 1:  Submission Applications (12:00 CET 26 October 2016 – 23.59 CET 1 February 2017) The Challenge will commence on 26 October 2016, 12:00 CET. As of that date, participants can enter the Challenge by registering and submitting a completed application at any time before 2 February 2017, 00:00 CET. Registration must be done online through the online portal at the Bright Minds Challenge Website. Registrations by means other than the online portal or late registration will be automatically rejected. Any information you provide in Round 1 of the application process must be non-confidential. Prior to commencing to Round 2, the Sponsor will perform a short eligibility check. The eligibility check relates to whether the candidates fulfil the entry criteria specified on the Bright Minds Challenge Website. The Sponsor’s decision is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the eligibility check. The participant’s contact person will receive a notification of the approval or rejection of the registration.

Candidates submitting the application must be present at Jury event in April and in June to perform their pitch. Any application of which the candidate/ a team member cannot be present at the jury events in April and June will be replaced by another candidate of another application at the sole discretion of the eligibility check committee, the Expert Jury and/or the Final High Profile Jury.

Round 2: Top 10 Public Vote (00:00 CET 8 February  2017 – 23:59 CET 28 February 2017) The public shall vote online for their favorite participant, with the participants campaigning to win their vote. This public vote will take place online on the Bright Minds Challenge Website. This public vote will reduce the proposals received to a short list of 10 semi-finalists which will be invited to advance to Round 3. The short list will be announced on 1 March 2017 on the Bright Minds Challenge Website. In addition the Sponsor will notify the participants by sending a notification to the contact person of each submission. The public vote is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the public vote.

Round 3: Final 3 Selection (April 2017) In Round 3, the selected 10 semi-finalists will be:

  • Invited to pitch their idea in a live face-to-face meeting with a jury consisting of experts in the field (the “Expert Jury”) in April 2017. The exact date will be confirmed latest by 31 December and will be published on the Bright Minds Challenge website as soon as this is known. During this event the candidates are expected to discuss their technology and business model in much greater detail.

The Expert Jury will select the 3 finalists from the 10 semi-finalists pursuant to the assessment criteria set forth below:

  1. Societal impact: clear and demonstrable benefits for society – not least a significant contribution to the ultimate objective of 100% renewable energy;
  2. Commercial scalability: the potential of the participant’s solution and business model to be scaled and for the participant to benefit from the kind of expert support that’s on offer to the final 3 in the Challenge;
  3. Uniqueness: how original and innovative is the participant’s solution is – whether it is significantly different from what is on the market already and approaches a real problem from a new angle;
  4. Technical quality: assessment of the technical merits of the prototype and the submission as a whole;
  5. Presentation/ pitch quality: assessment of the quality of your presentation and your pitch.

The Expert Jury will select the final 3 solutions they believe have the most potential to scale, achieving rapid and advanced societal progress.

The Expert Jury will select the winners on a consensus basis. The Expert Jury will be headed by a non-voting chair appointed by the Sponsor. The Expert Jury reserves the right not to select any finalist if the Expert Jury finds that none of the Challenge entries submitted by the participants fulfills the assessment criteria.

The Expert Jury is sovereign and is not required to provide any reasons for its decisions. Accordingly, all decisions of the Expert Jury will be final and binding and may not be appealed or challenged. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the decisions of the Expert Jury.

The travel, hotel accommodation and conference registration costs will be reimbursed for 1 person per team for each of the 10 semi-finalists and will be booked by the Sponsor.

Round 4: Winner Selection in Final (June 2017) In Round 4 the participants, who have made it to the final, will be offered invaluable face and brain time with expert mentors to help them to further develop their proposals and to prepare a final pitch to the final jury consisting of high profile representatives within the field (the “Final High Profile Jury”). The Final High Profile Jury will select the #1, #2 and #3 winner from the 3 finalists pursuant to the assessment criteria set forth below.

In order to select the #1, #2 and #3 the Final High Profile Jury will consider the following five areas:

  1. Societal impact: clear and demonstrable benefits for society – not least a significant contribution to the ultimate objective of 100% renewable energy;
  2. Commercial scalability: the potential of the participant’s solution and business model to be scaled and for the participant to benefit from the kind of expert support that’s on offer to the final 3 in the Challenge;
  3. Uniqueness: how original and innovative the participant’s solution is – whether it is significantly different from what is on the market already and approaches a real problem from a new angle;
  4. Technical quality: assessment of the technical merits of the prototype and the submission as a whole;
  5. Presentation/ pitch quality: assessment of the quality of your presentation and your pitch.

The winner selection will take place during a high profile event in June 2017, the location of this final event will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The Final High Profile Jury will select the winners on a consensus basis. The Final High Profile Jury will be headed by a non-voting chair appointed by the Sponsor.

The Final High Profile Jury is sovereign and is not required to provide any reasons for its decisions. Accordingly, all decisions of the Final High Profile Jury will be final and binding and may not be appealed or challenged. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the Challenge.

Travel, hotel accommodation and conference registration costs will be reimbursed for 2 persons per team for each of the 3 finalists and will be booked by the Sponsor.

Round 5 – Awards (June – 31 December 2017) Three prizes will be awarded as follows:

  1. A first prize for the ultimate winner, consisting of: Package of 500 hours in expertise. This may include coaching, mentoring, lab facilities, IP counsel, technical support/expertise, marketing, commercial, funding, access to networks and investors, etc. This package will be provided by the Sponsor together with the Partners.  The package of expertise will take into account the needs and wishes of the winner, which will be communicated by the winner ultimately by 1 July 2017, 23:59 CET, to the Sponsor, and is available till 31 December 2017 (the “Expiry Date”). The winner will agree upon the exact contents of the package with the Sponsor and the Partners in reasonableness and fairness. The expertise shall be spread evenly over the period of availability in order to avoid unexpected peaks.  After the Expiry Date any unused hours cannot be claimed anymore by the winner. This price is non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative.
  2. A second prize, consisting of: Package of 250 hours in expertise. This may include coaching, mentoring, lab facilities, IP counsel, technical support/expertise, marketing, commercial, funding, access to networks and investors, etc. This package will be provided by the Sponsor, together with the Partners. The package of expertise will take into account the needs and wishes of the winner, which will be communicated ultimately by 1 July 2017, 23:59 CET by the winner to the Sponsor. The package is available till the Expiry Date. The winner will agree upon the exact contents of the package with the Sponsor and the Partners in reasonableness and fairness. The expertise shall be spread evenly over the period of availability in order to avoid unexpected peaks. After the Expiry Date any unused hours cannot be claimed anymore by the winner. This price is non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative.
  3. A third prize, consisting of: Package of 125 hours in expertise. This may include coaching, mentoring, lab facilities, IP counsel, technical support/expertise, marketing, commercial, funding, access to networks and investors, etc. This package will be provided by the Sponsor, together with the Partners. The package of expertise will take into account the needs and wishes of the winners, which will be communicated ultimately by 1 July 2017, 23:59 CET, by the winner to the Sponsor. The package is available till the Expiry Date. The winner will agree upon the exact contents of the package with the Sponsor and the Partners in reasonableness and fairness. The expertise shall be spread evenly over the period of availability in order to avoid unexpected peaks. After the Expiry Date any unused hours cannot be claimed anymore by the winner. This price is non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative.

Deadlines All deadlines are final. No requests for extensions, including due to technical difficulties with downloads or uploads, will be considered.

4. Confidentiality

Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Challenge: Since the Sponsor, the Partners, the Expert Jury and the Final High Profile Jury do not wish to receive confidential information, nor hold any submitted materials in confidence, it is agreed that, with respect to the entrance to the Challenge by any participant, no confidential relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between the Sponsor, Partners, the Expert Jury, the Final High Profile Jury and such participant, the company such participant is representing when submitting an application, or with the owner of any part of an application. The Sponsor and the Partners shall have no liability or responsibility for use by any other individual or entity or any aspect of any application.

Round 5 of the Challenge (Awards): Any information which the winners need to disclose in connection with the package of expertise they have won, which has been explicitly marked as confidential at the time of disclosure, or when disclosed orally has been identified as confidential at the time of disclosure and has been confirmed and designated in writing within 15 calendar days from oral disclosure at the latest as confidential information, shall be treated as “Confidential Information”. The term Confidential Information shall not include such portions of Confidential Information, which: (i) become publicly available by means other than a breach of the recipient’s confidentiality obligations; (ii) is communicated to the recipient without any obligation of confidence by a third party who is to the best knowledge of the recipient in the lawful possession thereof and under no obligation of confidence to the winners; (iii) was, at any time, developed by the recipients completely independently of any such disclosure by the winners; (iv) was already known to the recipients prior to the disclosure; or (v) the recipient  is required to disclose in order to comply with applicable laws or regulations or with a court or administrative order. The experts shall undertake to use the Confidential Information received from the winners exclusively for the purpose of rendering the agreed expertise as part of the specifically tailored winning package and for no other purposes. The experts will not pass, comment or analyze any Confidential Information to/with any individual within the Sponsor or its Partners or any of their respective affiliates, who is not part of the team of experts involved in rendering the agreed expertise under the specifically tailored winning package, unless with the participant’s prior written permission. At the winner’s request, the experts shall return or destroy the Confidential Information received after they have provided the agreed expertise.

5. Warranties

By submitting an application, the participant represents and warrants that all information in its application and all information that the participant will submit or share during the Challenge  is true and complete to the best of its knowledge, that it has the right and authority to submit the application and to disclose the information therein on its own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that the applicant has specified in its application, that it is not involved in any lawsuit with any competitors, former employers or other third parties and that the application submitted (both the information and materials submitted and the underlying technology/method/idea described):

  • Is its own original work, or is submitted with  permission from the owner(s) and with full and proper credit given within the participant’s application;
  • Does not, to the best of its knowledge, violate or infringe upon any intellectual property or other rights of any third parties;
  • Does not and will not violate any applicable legislation and regulations; and
  • Does not trigger any reporting or royalty or other obligation to any third party.

A breach of any warranty set out in this Article 5 will result in the corresponding application being invalid. In addition, the participant agrees to indemnify the Sponsor and the Partners against all loss, damage and costs incurred arising from its breach of warranty.

6. Limitation of Liability

By participating in the Challenge, participants agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor, the Partners and their respective affiliates and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively the “Indemnitees”) from and against any and all injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions and any liability resulting from or arising out of their participation in, association with or submission to the Challenge (including any claims alleging that their entry infringes, misappropriates or violates any third party’s personal or proprietary rights).

The Sponsor and Partners are not responsible for (i) any miscommunications such as technical failures related to computer, telephone, cable and unavoidable network or server connections, related technical failures, or other failures related to hardware, software, or virus, (ii) any events beyond the control of the Sponsor and/or the Partners that may cause the Challenge to be disrupted, (iii) any printing or typographical errors in these Terms and Conditions or any other materials or medium associated with the Challenge, (iv) entries, award claims or notifications that are lost, late, incomplete, misdirected, illegible, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient, in whole or in part.

Any compromise to the fair and proper conduct of this Challenge may result in the disqualification of an entry, termination of the Challenge, or other remedial action, at the sole discretion of the Sponsor and Partners.

If for any reason, the Challenge is not capable of being run as planned, the Sponsor, together with the Partners, reserves the right in its sole discretion to change these Terms and Conditions governing any round or portion thereof, to extend or modify the dates of the Challenge, to appoint a suitable replacement for a jury member that is dropping out for any reason whatsoever, or to modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Challenge.

7. Rights to use

By entering the Challenge, participants explicitly grant the Sponsor, the Partners, the Expert Jury and the Final High Profile Jury an unrestricted right to use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze their entry and all of its contents solely in connection with the Challenge and for the duration of the Challenge only.

By simply submitting an entry and participating in the Challenge, the participant is not granting the Sponsor and its Partners any rights to any intellectual property rights related to the technology described in its entry and the Sponsor and its Partners will make no claim to ownership of the participant’s entry or any intellectual property rights contained therein.

Participants acknowledge that multiple participants may submit entries that contain designs, concepts that are similar to their own entry and that the Sponsor, the Partners and their respective affiliates and business partners may already be investigating or developing technical solutions or business activities that are related or similar to those that are disclosed in their entry. Participants acknowledge and agree that the actions of the Sponsor, the Partners and their respective affiliates and business partners with respect to another entry or one of their own solutions or business activities, shall not create any liability towards such participant. Further, the Sponsor, the Partners and their respective affiliates and business partners shall not be restricted in any way from pursuing, developing, or commercializing, in any way that they see fit, independent of the participants and at their sole discretion, any technology that is created independent of such participant’s entry.

Participants agree not to use the names or trademarks of the Sponsor, the Partners and their respective affiliates for any purposes, except in relation to the Challenge and with their explicit prior written consent. The Sponsor and the Partners may refuse this right at any time and at their sole discretion.

8. Personal Data

By entering the Challenge, the participants explicitly agree that certain personal data will be processed by the Sponsor, in accordance with applicable data protection legislation and for no other purpose than the smooth running of the Challenge and as part of the communication campaign for the Challenge. The members of the Expert Jury and the Final High Profile Jury will get access to the personal data under an assignment of the Sponsor, solely for the purpose of assessing the participants of Round 3 through 5. Since the members of the Expert Jury and the Final High Profile Jury may have residence in countries outside the EU, the participants explicitly agree that their personal data may be processed in those countries which may have another level of data protection.

The information provided under the chapter “Your account details” on the Entry Form shall be visible for the Sponsor only and will be used for no other purpose than the eligibility check, smooth running of the Challenge and communications with the applicants. The Sponsor and the Partners will get access to some basic personal data such as email address and telephone number of the winners, solely for the purpose of being able to render the agreed expertise as part of the award package in Round 5 to such winners. Personal data processed for aforementioned purpose shall (i) not be used by the Sponsor and the Partners for any other purposes, (ii) not kept longer by the Sponsor and the Partners than is necessary for such purpose  and (iii) not be disclosed by the Sponsor or the Partners to any third party.

The information provided under the chapters which are indicated as being visible for everyone on the Bright Minds Challenge Website will be published by the Sponsor on the Bright Minds Challenge Website for the public voting in Round 2. Throughout the Challenge the Sponsor and the Partners will communicate on the identity of the participants and the progress of their entries in the Challenge based on the information submitted by the participants in the Entry Form. Accordingly, the participants undertake to provide, and explicitly consent to and grant the Sponsor and the Partners the right, without any limitation or further permission or compensation, to publish the data provided under the public chapters of the Entry Form on the Bright Minds Challenge Website, the Sponsor’s website, the Partners’ websites and on their respective social network accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Blogs, media, etc. as part of the communication campaign for the Challenge until the end of 2017.

The ultimate three winners expressly agree to the free usage and publication of these data on the Bright Minds Challenge Website, the Sponsor’s website, the Partners’ websites and on their respective social network accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Blogs, media, etc. , for any advertising or promotional campaign related to the Challenge until the end of quarter 1 of 2018.

In accordance with applicable data protection legislation, the participants shall enjoy a right of access, rectification or deletion of the data that concerns them.

9. Severability

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Terms and Conditions shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any of the other provisions of these Terms and Conditions, which remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

10. Applicable law and Jurisdiction

Participants agree that these Terms and Conditions, including all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability thereof, as well as the rights and obligations of the participants and the Sponsor and the Partners in connection with the Challenge, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Netherlands, excluding principles of conflict laws. Any disputes, arising out or in connection with these Terms and Conditions or the Challenge, which cannot be settled amicably, shall be exclusively referred to the competent courts of Maastricht, the Netherlands.