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GSA and OMB Announce Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center Challenge

Prize competition seeks project ideas to solve challenges facing government outlined in
President’s Management Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a competition to create a Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center to address today’s challenges facing the federal government. The GEAR Center will be a public-private partnership that brings together top talent from diverse fields for applied research to improve mission delivery, citizen services, and stewardship of public resources.

The GEAR Center competition challenges problem solvers from the public, academia, and industry to build cross-sector, multidisciplinary teams to demonstrate the potential of the GEAR Center. These teams will describe how this model would tackle one or more of the major challenges facing government outlined in the President's 2019 Management Agenda. This challenge’s goal is to test the feasibility of the model before further investment and will inform how the GEAR Center could work to deliver these impacts.

“Today’s digital economy has transformed how citizens interact with government. By leveraging technology and innovation, the GEAR Center will ensure our government connects to cutting-edge thinking and real-world solutions,” said OMB’s Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert. “This Administration is improving the federal government’s ability to provide better citizen-centered services better positioned to address new and complex challenges.”

"The uniquely American research and development system that brings together universities, federal labs, private companies, and non-profits has made us a global leader in most fields.” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “The GEAR Center provides a common ground to bring those same partnerships together to help solve the biggest challenges facing our government and improve how we serve citizens.”

The competition opens May 2 and runs through August 1, 2019. Prizes of $300,000 each will be awarded to the grand prize winners. Proposals will be evaluated in three phases with initial concept papers due at 5 p.m. ET on May 24, 2019. Up to 20 problem solvers from phase one will be invited to submit more detailed plans in phase two, and up to 10 finalists will deliver phase-three presentations to a panel of federal executives. Awardees will be announced August 1, 2019.

GSA and OMB will host a webinar to answer questions and allow interested solvers to connect with experts working on President’s Management Agenda challenges. The webinar will be held May 13, 2019, and questions can be submitted to in advance.

More information about the challenge, its rules of participation, and the webinar can be found here:

About GSA: The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government.

About challenge prize competitions: Members of the public compete to help the U.S. government solve problems big and small. Since was launched in 2010, more than 102 federal agencies have run more than 900 challenges.