VITAL Prize Challenge

Education is a fundamental human right and is essential for personal and societal growth and development. By ensuring that all individuals have equal access to education, regardless of their background or identity, we can help to level the playing field and create a more fair and just society.

The VITAL Prize Challenge is a $6 million, one-year competition that aims to support emerging technologies and innovations for K-12 education. The goal of the prize is to promote and support ideas and concepts that focus on technology and research in ways that are equitable, innovative, and provide more opportunities to students traditionally excluded from education. Innovation is crucial for improving the quality of education, increasing access to education, and preparing students for the future.

The challenge is supported by a partnership between the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation. The initiative is managed by Digital Promise and the website is hosted on a Skipso Platform.

Applications for the VITAL Prize Challenge are now open through March 19, 2023 and the full prize challenge will run for the next year. Anyone from any field is invited to apply, including entrepreneurs, professors, students, researchers, teachers, computer scientists, and product developers. Winning teams will have the opportunity to receive training and support, and up to $320,000 in funding to support their idea.

With a strong focus on equality and innovation, the challenge strongly encourages teams with individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in designing education solutions  and who are committed to inclusive innovation to apply.

Three K-12 technology translation tracks will be available to teams: Rapid and Continuous Learning Assessment, Mathematical Literacy to Promote a Future STEM Workforce, and Other Innovations in Translational Learning Technologies. Each track will have different development and commercialization support.

In the VITAL Prize Challenge, teams from various disciplines in science and engineering research, as well as startups or small businesses, can collaborate to create potentially groundbreaking learning technologies for K-12 students. By facilitating equity and research at the heart of the design process, the prize aims to empower teams to intentionally design technology and innovations that work for historically and systematically excluded learners.

Learn more about the challenge by visiting

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