What are Prize Challenges and Scouting Challenges?

By Henry Crabtree

Posted on

From June 2023, you’ll notice some changes to the Wazoku Crowd Challenge Center. We’re introducing Prize Challenges and Scouting Challenges, changing our Challenge Specific Agreements into Challenge Agreements, and making other user journey improvements where you will have the opportunity to solve problems directly in Communities with the potential for access to the Seeker.

Let’s tackle them one by one:

Prize and Scouting Challenges

In the near future, you’ll begin to see new types of Challenges on our open innovation Challenge Center. Eventually, nearly all Challenges presented to our Wazoku Crowd will come into these two categories, and they are designed to make the entire experience more streamlined for Solvers, Seekers, and Wazoku. Prize Challenges will be used to meet Challenge needs requiring an idea, concept or solution where a Solver can be awarded a cash prize and Scouting Challenges are designed to support finding relevant partners, start-ups, and collaboration opportunities.

Question: How will I know the requirements for a Prize Challenge?
Answer: Challenge requirements – both for your solution and the associated IP rights sought by the Seeker, and for how you submit your solution – will be found within the ‘Solution Requirements’ and ‘Your Submission’ sections of a Challenge statement on our Challenge Center.

We’re also introducing a version of the Technology Readiness Levels to help guide the required maturity of your submissions in the transition from Ideation (early-stage ideas), Theoretical (designs), RTP (prototypes), and eRFP (collaboration proposals) Challenge submissions towards Prize Challenges and Scouting Challenges.

Q: What are Wazoku’s ‘Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)’?
A: Based on NASA and other leading research institution’s work, Technology Readiness Levels are a measurement scale for the maturity of a particular technology, system, product, or solution. At Wazoku, we’ve adapted these guidelines into a measurement scale so that Solvers can know exactly what stage of development Seekers are looking for from your proposed solutions.

Levels 1-3 (What)
The fundamental ideas, research, and concepts that can solve problems and explore opportunities.
Challenge requirements: your ideas, research, and supporting evidence.

Levels 4-6 (How)
The proposed technology or methods to meet the specific criteria needed to develop into successful solutions.
Challenge requirements: your development plans, reasoned arguments, precedents, proofs of concept, and demonstrations.

Levels 7-9 (Who)
The best person, company, or connection to provide a system, product, or the support needed for rapid outcomes.
Challenge requirements: your qualified results to confirm solution maturity, partnership credentials, and interest in commercialization.

Q: Does this mean legacy Challenge types (Ideation, Theoretical, RTP, eRFP) are changing too?
A: For the initial launch, we’ll be running Prize Challenges and Scouting Challenges alongside our legacy Challenge types. This will mean that you may see Prize, Scouting, Ideation, Theoretical, RTP, and eRFP Challenges running at once. You can refer to our Challenge FAQs for more information or find out more about a particular Challenge in its ‘Solution Requirements’ and ‘Your Submission’ sections detailed in the challenge text.

Q: What does this mean for Intellectual Property (IP) requirements? Wasn’t that why we had the old Challenge types?
A: Our legacy Challenge types were a way that we could guide submissions from Solvers and to Seekers through established concepts. For instance, Ideation Challenges were ‘the brainstorm’ – by submitting the Solver granted the Seeker a non-exclusive license to use the information in their proposed solution. However, IP rights for both Solvers and Seekers are always stated in the Challenge text and agreed upon by the signed Challenge Agreement (formerly Challenge Specific Agreement or CSA).

Now, with Prize Challenges and Scouting Challenges, when required the Challenge Agreement will still bind Solver and Seeker to the required IP terms or collaboration rules, with each Challenge’s primary requirements clearly outlined in the Challenge text.

Challenge Agreements – formerly Challenge Specific Agreements

When you click on a Challenge you are prompted to sign a ‘Challenge Specific Agreement’ to find out more details of the Challenge and submit your solution. Now, with Challenge Agreements, we’re doing things slightly differently.

Challenge Agreements have been refined to single versions of our previous legal agreements, one for Prize Challenges and one for Scouting Challenges, that outline a Solver’s rights and responsibilities if you elect to submit a solution or collaboration proposal to a Challenge. Challenge Agreements, if appropriate, will still specify if and how IP rights will be transferred between Solver and Seeker, as well as detailing any special rules. The primary information will also be available in the text of the Challenge.

More information about each Challenge will also be provided on the Challenge page before you are required to sign the agreement. Then, if you are ready to start preparing your proposal, perhaps have some questions on the Challenge, or are ready to submit a solution, you’ll be prompted to ‘Register Interest and Accept Agreement’, by clicking the button.

The reason for flipping the order of proceedings is to give Solvers access to more information about a Challenge earlier in the process, so that you know exactly the problem in front of you as a Solver. There will continue to be cases where certain Challenge text is viewable only after the agreement has been accepted.


On our Challenge Center, you will see Communities – formerly Showcases – collections of Challenges by a Seeker company or by a Challenge topic or area. Going forward, for the majority of Challenges all Seekers will have their own Community – meaning you will see Challenges in the main view of the Challenge Center AND you can also dive deeper into that organization or topic’s information within their Community.

This change gives Seekers more control over their Challenges, and therefore more visibility on the solutions throughout the process, with the Seeker’s evaluators also being able to send messages directly to Solvers. For anonymous Challenges, however, the system will remain the same, and they will only be present within the Challenge Center. Communities have the potential to enhance communication between Seeker and Solver: a topic we will cover in more detail in the near future.

Do you have any other questions about these upcoming changes? Please log in or register to join our Circle Community and join the conversation!

By Henry Crabtree

Wazoku's Community Marketing Manager, Henry is also a life-long Manchester United fan - but we still love him, regardless. When he's not cheering the Reds on, he's working his way through an extensive reading list. Need a book recommendation? He's your man!