Announcement of Requirements and Registration for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) Prize Competition, 32620-32624 [2018-14996]

Download as PDF 32620 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES their participation; (2) a brief statement of the process used by the recipient institution to identify individuals and groups who are stakeholders and to collect input from them; and (3) a statement of how collected input was considered. There is no legislatively prescribed form or format for this reporting requirement. However, the 1862 and 1890 land-grant institutions are required to report on their Stakeholder Input Process annually as part of their Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results. Section 103(e) of AREERA requires that the 1862, 1890, and 1994 land-grant institutions establish a merit review process, prior to October 1, 1999, in order to obtain agricultural research and extension funds. Section 104 of AREERA also stipulated that a scientific peer review process be established for research programs funded under section 3(c)(3) of the Hatch Act (commonly referred to as Hatch Multistate Research Funds). This notice also revises the Plan of Work to include Extension Program Initiations and Annual Reports in the REEport platform in place of the current Planned Programs and make the current REEport Hatch and Evans-Allen approved Research Project Initiations and Annual Progress Reports as a part of the Plan of Work and Annual Report of Accomplishments. This will reduce the overall burden for Hatch and EvansAllen research grant recipients. The burden for Extension Grant recipients is estimated to remain the same. The revised Plan of Work will have the following sections: (1). Institutional Profile and Executive Summary (2). Merit Review Process (3). Stakeholder Input (4). Multistate Extension and Integrated Research and Extension (5). Critical Issues (6). Extension Program Initiations and Research Project Initiations in the REEport Platform I. Initial 5-Year Plan of Work Estimate of Burden: The Initial 5-Year Plan of Work as revised will submitted for the FY 2020–2024 Plan of Work in 2019. The total reporting and record keeping requirements for the submission of the ‘‘Initial 5-Year Plan of Work’’ is estimated to average 64 hours per response. There are six components of this ‘‘5-Year Plan of Work’’: ‘‘Critical Issues,’’ ‘‘Extension Program and Research Project Initiations in the REEport Platform,’’ ‘‘Stakeholder Input Process,’’ ‘‘Merit Review Process,’’ ‘‘Multi state Activities,’’ and ‘‘Integrated Activities.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 Estimated Number of Respondents: 75. Estimated Number of Responses: 150. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 9,600 hours. Frequency of Responses: Annually. II. Annual Update to 5-Year Plan of Work Estimate of the Burden: The total reporting and record keeping requirements for the submission of the ‘‘Annual Update to the 5-Year Plan of Work’’ is estimated to average 64 hours per response. There are six components of this ‘‘5-Year Plan of Work’’: ‘‘Critical Issues,’’ ‘‘Extension Program and Research Project Initiations in the REEport Platform,’’ ‘‘Stakeholder Input Process,’’ ‘‘Merit Review Process,’’ ‘‘Multi state Activities,’’ and ‘‘Integrated Activities.’’ Estimated Number of Respondents: 75. Estimated Number of Responses: 150. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 9,600 hours. Frequency of Responses: Annually. III. Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results Estimate of the Burden: The total annual reporting and record keeping requirements of the ‘‘Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results’’ is estimated to average 260 hours per response. Estimated Number of Respondents: 75. Estimated Number of Responses: 150. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 39,000 hours. Frequency of Responses: Annually. Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request to OMB for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Done in Washington, DC, on June 7, 2018. Thomas G. Shanower, Acting Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2018–14997 Filed 7–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–22–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announcement of Requirements and Registration for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I–FAST) Prize Competition National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA, is announcing the I–FAST prize competition (the ‘‘I–FAST Competition’’ or the ‘‘Competition’’) to develop and implement the Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I– FAST) Program. NIFA will partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) to provide entrepreneurship training to NIFA grantees under this I–FAST pilot program. The goals are to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from NIFA supported academic research. Selected NIFA I–FAST project teams will participate in the educational programs with NSF I-Corps Program. Over a period of six months the NIFA supported teams in the I–FAST program will learn what it will take to achieve an economic impact with their particular innovation. The final goal of the I–FAST Competition is to facilitate technology transfer of innovations that can make an impact in the marketplace and the global economy. DATES: Competition Submission Period—Pre-Application and Evaluation Interviews: • Pre-Application Open Period: July 10, 2018 to August 3, 2018. • Pre-Application Evaluation and Interviews: August 6, 2018 to August 9, 2018. • Full Application Open Period: August 10, 2018 to August 17, 2018. • Final Evaluation and Judging—Full Application: August 20, 2018 to August 22, 2018. • Verification of Winners: August 23, 2018. • Announcement of Winner(s): August 24, 2018. NSF I-Corps Training for Winner(s): Winning team(s) will need to be SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices available to travel to and attend one of the following NSF I-Corps training sessions with the following dates and locations: Fall 2018 COHORTS: Fall Cohort #1: Location TBD (Likely Detroit, MI) • Kickoff (on-site): September (arrive 25) 26–28, 2018. • Web sessions (online): Thursdays 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)— October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 2018. Lessons Learned (on-site): November 8–9, 2018. Fall Cohort #2: Location TBD (Likely Los Angeles or San Diego, CA) • Kickoff (on-site): September (arrive 30) to October 1–3, 2018. • Web sessions (online): Mondays 1:00–4:00 p.m. ET –October 10, 17, 24, 31 and November 7, 2018. Lessons Learned (on-site): November 15–16, 2018. The Pre-Application Phase Competition Submission Period begins July 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET and ends August 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Pre-Application Interviews will take place August 6, 2018 to August 9, 2018. The Full-Application Phase Competition Submission Period begins August 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET and ends August 17, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Competition dates are subject to change. Entries submitted before or after the Competition Submission Period will not be reviewed or considered for award. For more details, visit the www.challenge.gov website. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the Competition can be directed to Scott Dockum at sdockum@ nifa.usda.gov, or phone 202–720–6346 or Olivia Moreno at Olivia.moreno@ nifa.usda.gov, or 202–603–9186. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Subject of Challenge Competition The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA, mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. As part of this mission NIFA is charged with providing grant funding for research, education, and extension that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture. A majority of NIFA grant funding is provided to academic institutions to focus on developing research in the areas of farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 biotechnology, and conventional breeding. NIFA will partner with the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) who will provide an Entrepreneurial Immersion course and training to NIFA grantees through this I–FAST Competition. The goals of this Competition are to spur translation of fundamental research to the market place, to encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train NIFA-funded faculty, students and other researchers to understand innovation and entrepreneurship. The purpose of the I–FAST Competition is to identify NIFA-funded research teams (an I–FAST team includes the Principal Investigator (PI), the Entrepreneurial Lead, and the Mentor) who will receive additional support, in the form of mentoring, training, and funding to accelerate the translation of knowledge derived from fundamental research into emerging products and services that can attract subsequent third-party funding. NIFAfunded research teams will be required to participate in Entrepreneurial Immersion courses provided by the NSF I-Corps program. The NSF I-Corps is a program specifically designed to broaden the impact of select, basic research projects by preparing scientists and engineers to focus beyond the laboratory. Leveraging experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs and a targeted curriculum within the NSF I-Corp program, NIFA I– FAST teams will learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from NIFA supported academic research. The I–FAST Competition will help create a stronger national ecosystem for innovation that couples scientific discovery with technology development to address agricultural and societal needs. Each team that receives an I-FAST award is required to participate in the following NSF I-Corps activities: (1) Attendance by the entire team at an onsite three-day NSF I-Corps Entrepreneurial Immersion course; (2) Mandatory participation in the I-Corps weekly Webinars following the inperson three day on-site meeting; (3) Completion of approximately 15 hours of preparation per week over the duration of the program; (4) Attendance of a two day lessons learned in-person meeting at the end of the training. During the training, teams are expected to engage in at least 100 contacts with potential customers and provide a 5page summary report back to NIFA on the outcome of the training and milestones to be met by the team (i.e., PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32621 commercialization, market proposition, and lessons learned from the program). Team Eligibility Rules and Responsibilities for Participating in the Competition The I-FAST Competition is open to teams (‘‘Teams’’ or ‘‘Participants’’) that are made up of individuals from academic/university institutions that have received a prior NIFA award in a scientific or engineering field relevant to the proposed innovation that is currently active or that has been active within five years from the closing date of the Pre-Application Open Period. The prior award could range from a modest single-investigator award to a large, distributed center and also includes awards involving students. All individuals supported (i.e. Senior/Key Personnel or Other Personnel) under the prior award are eligible to serve on the Team. Individuals not eligible to serve on the Team include a Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment, individuals whose primary place of business is outside of the United States, and individuals who are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Makeup of I-FAST Competition Teams: Each Team shall consist of three members: (1) Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) (2) I-FAST Team Mentor (3) Principal Investigator (PI) I-FAST teams are made up of individuals from an academic/ university institution except for the Mentor who may reside with a nonacademic institution as described below. Also described below, are the responsibilities of each team member should the Team be selected as a winner of the competition. The Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) could be a postdoctoral scholar, graduate, or other student with relevant knowledge of the technology located at the academic/university institution and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. The EL should also be capable and have the will to support the transition of the technology to commercial viability. The EL will be responsible for: (1) Developing the team to include the mentor and PI, (2) leading the development of the pre-application, participating in the I-FAST interviews and developing the full application, if selected, (3) starting and completing all training activities in the Entrepreneurial Immersion course provided by the NSF I-Corps program, (4) communicating and coordinating with team members to achieve the goals of the team, (5) E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 32622 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices developing and monitoring team activity milestones from the Entrepreneurial Immersion course, (6) ensuring the team milestones are completed on time, and (7) ensuring the team is in communication with the NIFA I-FAST Competition Director and the NSF I-Corps Program Director as needed. Ideally, the I-FAST Teams Mentor will be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur with proximity to the academic/university institution and have prior experience developing and commercializing other products within the broader technology space related to the specific project under development. The Mentor should be selected as a third-party resource, or may be a person that has an established relationship with the team (e.g., Board Member, consultant), but cannot be an employee nor directly involved with the technology development. The EL will need to identify a Mentor that has business expertise in the proposed technology sector and has entrepreneurial experience. A Mentor will be someone with appropriate contacts in the technology area of commercialization which are critical for propelling the technology towards commercialization. The EL of the team should seek input from their University Technology Transfer Office for potential Mentors. The I-FAST Team’s Mentor will be responsible for guiding the team forward using existing entrepreneurial experience and tracking the team’s progress through regular communication with the EL, PI, the NIFA I-FAST competition director, and the NSF I-Corps Program Director, as needed. The PI is expected to have in-depth knowledge of the innovation developed under the prior NIFA Grant and, if selected, will be responsible for: (1) Coordinating with the university on the transfer of prize funds from NIFA, (2) tracking of the prize funding for team activities, (3) reporting to NIFA on disbursements and obligations of the prize funding, (4) guiding the EL and Mentor on technical aspects of the innovation, (5) communicating as needed with the NIFA I-FAST Competition Director and the NSF ICorps Program Director, (6) ensuring the EL meets the required milestones for the NSF I–CORP training, and (7) participating as a team member. The Principal Investigator who received the earlier NIFA grant for the technology is allowed to participate on the team, but cannot be the Entrepreneurial Lead. During the I-Corps course, each participating team, including all its team members, must: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 • Attend, in person, an evening reception and 3-day kick-off Entrepreneurial Immersion course; • Conduct approximately 100 customer interviews over the 6-week program, and submit interview summary reports. This process of customer discovery includes in-person face to face meetings with potential customers and requires the team to be ‘‘outside the building’’ for these activities. It is expected that the team will not use telephone or online conferencing during the customer discovery process. It is expected the team will require a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 40 hours per week for at least five weeks following the in person training; • Participate in 5 weekly webinar sessions and submit regular updates to the team’s business model canvas. In addition, it is expected that I-Corps teams will take advantage of instructor office hours; and • Attend, in person, the final 2-day course close out/lessons learned session (to be held in the same region as the kick-off course). Teams are strongly encouraged to consider the time commitments and requirements of the program before submitting an application. If one or more team members cannot meet these requirements, the team should not submit an application. Selected I-FAST Teams that fail to meet the requirements of the program must provide NIFA documented justification for failing to meet the requirements. NIFA will determine based on the justification or no justification, whether the team is subject to reimbursing NIFA for any prize funding. Amount of the Prize The NIFA I-FAST Competition Prize Purse will be a maximum of $250,000 which will be divided to provide $50,000 each to a maximum of five (5) teams. Prize Purse funds are required to be used by winning Teams to fully participate in the NSF I-Corps program curriculum. NIFA reserves the right to award less than the maximum number of available prizes. Payment of the Prize Prizes awarded under this Competition will be paid by electronic funds transfer to the academic/ university institution the Team(s) represent(s). Once prize winners are selected, NIFA will provide the winners with the forms and financial documents that must be completed and returned to NIFA to set up the electronic transfer. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 All Federal, state and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner(s). Submission Process for Participants The Competition will have a threephase selection process. Initially, Teams will submit a pre-application. From the pre-applications, NIFA will conduct phone interviews. Selected Teams will be invited to submit a full application. From the full applications, NIFA will select the winning Team(s). Teams can enter the contest by submitting the pre-application through the ‘‘Enter a Submission’’ function on www.Challenge.gov, and then send the pre-application, with name and contact info, to contest@nifa.usda.gov. The preapplication shall contain the following information: Prepare a three-page Executive Summary that describes the following: (1) Composition of the Team and roles (EL, Mentor, and PI) of the members proposing to undertake the commercialization feasibility research. (2) Contact information for ALL of the members. (3) Relevant current/previous NIFA award(s) including award number, Title of the Project, and the NIFA program the award was funded under. (4) Brief description of the potential commercial impact. (5) Brief description of the current commercialization plans for the innovation. After the interviews, Teams that are selected to submit a full application will submit it via challenge.gov through the ‘‘Enter a Submission’’ function and then send the application with name and contact info to contest@nifa.usda.gov. The full application shall include the following project description information: 1. I-Corps Team (one page limit). a. Briefly describe the I-Corps team and provide rationale for its formation, focusing on members’ entrepreneurial expertise, relevance to the innovation effort, and members’ experience in collaborating on previous projects. b. Include contact information for all team members. 2. Lineage of the Proposed Innovation (one page limit). a. Provide the current/previous NIFA award(s) including award number, Title of Project and the NIFA program that funded the award. b. Briefly describe how this research has led the Team to believe that a commercial opportunity exists for the effort moving forward. 3. Description of the Potential Commercial Impact (two page limit). a. Provide a brief profile of a typical customer of the proposed innovation. E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices b. Describe how the proposed innovation will meet the customer’s needs. c. Describe how the customer currently meets those needs. d. Your approach—What is the proposed innovation? How does it relate to the fundamental research already conducted under previous award(s)? e. How much do you think a customer would pay for your solution? 4. Brief description of the project plan (one page limit). a. Current Status—In what stage is the development: proof-of-principle, proofof-concept, prototype (alpha, beta), etc. b. Provide a brief description of the proof-of-concept or technology demonstration that will be provided at the end of the project. The total page limit for the project description full application is five (5) pages. From the Teams submitting full applications, a maximum of five Teams will be selected as winners to enter into the I-FAST Program. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Judging The information on the Competition will be provided via www.challenges.gov. NIFA will screen all entries for eligibility and completeness. Entries from Teams that do not meet the eligibility requirements and/or that fail to include required submission elements will not be evaluated or considered for award. Eligible and complete entries will be judged by a fair and impartial panel of individuals from NIFA and NSF (the ‘‘Judging Panel’’). Pre-Application Evaluation: The Judging Panel will evaluate the preapplication to determine the following: (1) Did the technology proposed receive past NIFA funding within the specified timeframe? (2) Does the team have the required team members and are the roles of each team member clearly described and meet the noted responsibilities? (3) Does the commercialization plan provide a good understanding of the team’s knowledge of the current state of the art and how the technology could enter into a potential market? (4) Were the page limits met? Following the evaluation, the Judging Panel will conduct a phone interview with each selected team. This will emphasize the time commitment and availability of the entire team to complete the NSF I–CORPS program during one of the fall 2018 cohorts. Full-Application Evaluation: The Judging Panel will evaluate the Fullapplication to determine the following and approximately equal consideration VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 will be given to each criterion except for item (3), which will receive twice the value of any of the other items: 1. I-Corps Team: Does the application clearly describe: the I-Corps team, the rationale for the team’s formation, members’ entrepreneurial expertise, relevance to the innovation effort, and members’ experience in collaborating? 2. Lineage of the Proposed Innovation: Does the application provide a table of previous NIFA awards and identify the original Principle Investigator (PI)? Does the application clearly describe how this research has led the Team to believe that a commercial opportunity exists for the effort moving forward? 3. Description of the Potential Commercial Impact: Does the application clearly describe the profile of a typical customer of the proposed innovation? Does the application describe the customer needs to be met by the proposed innovation? Does the application describe how the customer currently meets those needs with the current state of the art and does the customer believe this innovation is better than the current technology? Does the application clearly describe the proposed innovation and how it relates to the fundamental research already conducted under previous award(s)? Does the application describe how much a customer would pay for the solution? 4. Project plan: Does the project plan clearly describe the current status including the stage of development? Does the application provide a description of the proof-of-concept or technology demonstration that will be provided at the end of the project? 5. Page Limits: Did the application meet the required page limits? Additional Rules and Conditions A. General Conditions By entering the Competition, each Team certifies that its entry complies with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations. Each Team warrants that its entry is free of viruses, spyware, malware, and any other malicious, harmful, or destructive device. Teams submitting entries containing any such device will be held liable and may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Entries containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of NIFA, is indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, promotes discrimination in any form, shows unlawful acts being performed, is slanderous or libelous, adversely affects the reputations of NIFA or NSF, is PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32623 unacceptable as determined by NIFA, then such entry shall be deemed disqualified and will not be evaluated or, if evaluated, will not be considered for award. The winning Team(s) must comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding Prize Purse receipt and disbursement. NIFA’s failure to enforce any term of any applicable rule or condition shall not constitute a waiver of that term. B. Entry Conditions, Release & Liability By entering the Competition, each Team agrees to: (1) Comply with and be bound by all applicable rules and conditions, and the decisions of NIFA, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Competition. (2) Release and hold harmless NIFA and NSF and all their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives (collectively the ‘‘Released Parties’’) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability arising out of or relating to the Team’s entry or participation in the Competition and/or the Team’s acceptance, use, or misuse of the Prize Purse or recognition. Provided, however, that Participants are not required to waive claims arising out of the unauthorized use or disclosure by NIFA or NSF of the intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential business information of the Participant. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Teams, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or used in the Competition; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process for the Competition; (4) technical or human error that may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Team’s participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of the Prize Purse. If for any reason a Team’s entry is confirmed to have been deleted erroneously, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, that Team’s sole remedy is to submit another entry in the Competition. E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1 32624 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 135 / Friday, July 13, 2018 / Notices C. Termination and Disqualification NIFA reserves the authority to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond NIFA’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by NIFA in its sole discretion. NIFA reserves the right to disqualify any Team it believes to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of any applicable rule or condition. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, NIFA reserves the authority to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. D. Verification of Potential Winner(s) All potential Competition winners are subject to verification by NIFA whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition. Potential winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of the Competition rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. The potential winner(s) will be notified by email and/or telephone. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, or if the notification is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner forfeits. In the event that a potential winner, or an announced winner, is found to be ineligible or is disqualified for any reason, NIFA may make award, instead, to the next runner up, as previously determined by the Judging Panel. Prior to awarding the Prize Purse, NIFA will verify that the potential winner(s) is/are not suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded from doing business with the U.S. Federal Government. Suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded parties are not eligible to win the Competition. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES E. Intellectual Property By entering the Competition, each Team certifies that it is the author and/ or authorized owner of its entry, and that the entry is wholly original with the Team (or is an improved version of an existing project plan the Team is legally authorized to enter into the Competition), and that the submitted entry does not infringe on any copyright, patent, or any other rights of any third party. Each Team agrees to hold the Released Parties harmless for VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:47 Jul 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 any infringement of copyright, trademark, patent, and/or other real or intellectual property right that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from that Team’s participation in the Competition. All legal rights in any materials produced or submitted in entering the Competition are retained by the Team and/or the legal holder of those rights. Entry into the Competition constitutes express authorization for NIFA, NSF, and the Judging Panel to review and analyze any and all aspects of submitted entries, including any trade secret or proprietary information contained in or evident from review of the submitted entries. F. Privacy & Disclosure Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Personal and contact information is not collected for commercial or marketing purposes. Information submitted throughout the Competition will be used only to communicate with Teams regarding entries and/or the Competition. Teams’ entries to the Competition may be subject to disclosure under the FOIA. If a Team believes that all or part of its Competition entry is protected from release under FOIA (e.g., if the information falls under FOIA exemption #4 for ‘‘trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential’’) the Team will be responsible for clearly marking the page(s)/section(s) of information it believes are protected. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719. Done at Washington, DC, on July 3, 2018. Kim L. Hicks, Branch Chief, Grants and Agreements Management Branch USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Financial Management and Agreements Division. [FR Doc. 2018–14996 Filed 7–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–22–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice To Implement a Guarantee Systems User Fee for Lender Use of the Single Family Housing Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program Automated Systems Rural Housing Service, USDA. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 was signed into law on July 29, 2016. It created Section 502(i) in the Housing SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Act of 1949, later amended by Section 758 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which permits the Secretary to assess and collect a guarantee underwriting user fee (also known as a technology fee) from lenders for their use of the Rural Housing Service’s (Agency’s) automated guaranteed loan systems. The collection of the fee will enable the Agency to fund future information technology enhancements needed to improve program delivery and reduce burden to the public. The fee amount will be published in the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) Handbook HB–1– 3555, available at https:// www.rd.usda.gov/publications/ regulations-guidelines/handbooks. The fee will not exceed $50 per loan, and constitutes a reasonable and customary cost that is an authorized loan purpose in accordance with the Guaranteed Rural Housing Program. The primary method of collecting the fee will be through the Agency’s Lender Loan Closing (LLC) system when a loan goes to closing. DATES: Written or email comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before September 11, 2018 to be assured for consideration. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this proposed rule by any one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments electronically. • Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250–0742. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal Express mail, or other courier service requiring a street address to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250–0742. All written comments will be available for public inspection during regular work hours at 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250–0742. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Jensen, Finance and Loan Analyst, Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, STOP 0784, Room 2250, USDA Rural Development, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–0784, telephone: (503) 894– E:\FR\FM\13JYN1.SGM 13JYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32620-32624]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-14996]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Announcement of Requirements and Registration for U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA) Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and 
Technology (I-FAST) Prize Competition

AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA, 
is announcing the I-FAST prize competition (the ``I-FAST Competition'' 
or the ``Competition'') to develop and implement the Innovations in 
Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) Program. NIFA 
will partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation 
Corps (I-Corps) to provide entrepreneurship training to NIFA grantees 
under this I-FAST pilot program. The goals are to identify valuable 
product opportunities that can emerge from NIFA supported academic 
research. Selected NIFA I-FAST project teams will participate in the 
educational programs with NSF I-Corps Program. Over a period of six 
months the NIFA supported teams in the I-FAST program will learn what 
it will take to achieve an economic impact with their particular 
innovation. The final goal of the I-FAST Competition is to facilitate 
technology transfer of innovations that can make an impact in the 
marketplace and the global economy.

DATES: Competition Submission Period--Pre-Application and Evaluation 
Interviews:
     Pre-Application Open Period: July 10, 2018 to August 3, 
2018.
     Pre-Application Evaluation and Interviews: August 6, 2018 
to August 9, 2018.
     Full Application Open Period: August 10, 2018 to August 
17, 2018.
     Final Evaluation and Judging--Full Application: August 20, 
2018 to August 22, 2018.
     Verification of Winners: August 23, 2018.
     Announcement of Winner(s): August 24, 2018.
    NSF I-Corps Training for Winner(s): Winning team(s) will need to be

[[Page 32621]]

available to travel to and attend one of the following NSF I-Corps 
training sessions with the following dates and locations:
    Fall 2018 COHORTS:
    Fall Cohort #1: Location TBD (Likely Detroit, MI)
     Kickoff (on-site): September (arrive 25) 26-28, 2018.
     Web sessions (online): Thursdays 1:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern 
Time (ET)--October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 2018.
    Lessons Learned (on-site): November 8-9, 2018.
    Fall Cohort #2: Location TBD (Likely Los Angeles or San Diego, CA)
     Kickoff (on-site): September (arrive 30) to October 1-3, 
2018.
     Web sessions (online): Mondays 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET -October 
10, 17, 24, 31 and November 7, 2018.
    Lessons Learned (on-site): November 15-16, 2018.
    The Pre-Application Phase Competition Submission Period begins July 
10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET and ends August 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    Pre-Application Interviews will take place August 6, 2018 to August 
9, 2018.
    The Full-Application Phase Competition Submission Period begins 
August 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET and ends August 17, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. 
ET.
    Competition dates are subject to change. Entries submitted before 
or after the Competition Submission Period will not be reviewed or 
considered for award. For more details, visit the www.challenge.gov 
website.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the Competition can be 
directed to Scott Dockum at [email protected], or phone 202-720-
6346 or Olivia Moreno at Ol[email protected], or 202-603-9186.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Subject of Challenge Competition

    The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA, 
mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, 
and extension to solve societal challenges. As part of this mission 
NIFA is charged with providing grant funding for research, education, 
and extension that address key problems of national, regional, and 
multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture. A 
majority of NIFA grant funding is provided to academic institutions to 
focus on developing research in the areas of farm efficiency and 
profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and 
agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, 
human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding.
    NIFA will partner with the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) who will 
provide an Entrepreneurial Immersion course and training to NIFA 
grantees through this I-FAST Competition. The goals of this Competition 
are to spur translation of fundamental research to the market place, to 
encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train 
NIFA-funded faculty, students and other researchers to understand 
innovation and entrepreneurship.
    The purpose of the I-FAST Competition is to identify NIFA-funded 
research teams (an I-FAST team includes the Principal Investigator 
(PI), the Entrepreneurial Lead, and the Mentor) who will receive 
additional support, in the form of mentoring, training, and funding to 
accelerate the translation of knowledge derived from fundamental 
research into emerging products and services that can attract 
subsequent third-party funding. NIFA-funded research teams will be 
required to participate in Entrepreneurial Immersion courses provided 
by the NSF I-Corps program. The NSF I-Corps is a program specifically 
designed to broaden the impact of select, basic research projects by 
preparing scientists and engineers to focus beyond the laboratory. 
Leveraging experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs and a 
targeted curriculum within the NSF I-Corp program, NIFA I-FAST teams 
will learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge 
from NIFA supported academic research. The I-FAST Competition will help 
create a stronger national ecosystem for innovation that couples 
scientific discovery with technology development to address 
agricultural and societal needs.
    Each team that receives an I-FAST award is required to participate 
in the following NSF I-Corps activities: (1) Attendance by the entire 
team at an on-site three-day NSF I-Corps Entrepreneurial Immersion 
course; (2) Mandatory participation in the I-Corps weekly Webinars 
following the in-person three day on-site meeting; (3) Completion of 
approximately 15 hours of preparation per week over the duration of the 
program; (4) Attendance of a two day lessons learned in-person meeting 
at the end of the training. During the training, teams are expected to 
engage in at least 100 contacts with potential customers and provide a 
5-page summary report back to NIFA on the outcome of the training and 
milestones to be met by the team (i.e., commercialization, market 
proposition, and lessons learned from the program).

Team Eligibility Rules and Responsibilities for Participating in the 
Competition

    The I-FAST Competition is open to teams (``Teams'' or 
``Participants'') that are made up of individuals from academic/
university institutions that have received a prior NIFA award in a 
scientific or engineering field relevant to the proposed innovation 
that is currently active or that has been active within five years from 
the closing date of the Pre-Application Open Period. The prior award 
could range from a modest single-investigator award to a large, 
distributed center and also includes awards involving students. All 
individuals supported (i.e. Senior/Key Personnel or Other Personnel) 
under the prior award are eligible to serve on the Team. Individuals 
not eligible to serve on the Team include a Federal employee acting 
within the scope of their employment, individuals whose primary place 
of business is outside of the United States, and individuals who are 
not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
    Makeup of I-FAST Competition Teams: Each Team shall consist of 
three members:

(1) Entrepreneurial Lead (EL)
(2) I-FAST Team Mentor
(3) Principal Investigator (PI)

    I-FAST teams are made up of individuals from an academic/university 
institution except for the Mentor who may reside with a non-academic 
institution as described below. Also described below, are the 
responsibilities of each team member should the Team be selected as a 
winner of the competition.
    The Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) could be a postdoctoral scholar, 
graduate, or other student with relevant knowledge of the technology 
located at the academic/university institution and a deep commitment to 
investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. The EL 
should also be capable and have the will to support the transition of 
the technology to commercial viability. The EL will be responsible for: 
(1) Developing the team to include the mentor and PI, (2) leading the 
development of the pre-application, participating in the I-FAST 
interviews and developing the full application, if selected, (3) 
starting and completing all training activities in the Entrepreneurial 
Immersion course provided by the NSF I-Corps program, (4) communicating 
and coordinating with team members to achieve the goals of the team, 
(5)

[[Page 32622]]

developing and monitoring team activity milestones from the 
Entrepreneurial Immersion course, (6) ensuring the team milestones are 
completed on time, and (7) ensuring the team is in communication with 
the NIFA I-FAST Competition Director and the NSF I-Corps Program 
Director as needed.
    Ideally, the I-FAST Teams Mentor will be an experienced or emerging 
entrepreneur with proximity to the academic/university institution and 
have prior experience developing and commercializing other products 
within the broader technology space related to the specific project 
under development. The Mentor should be selected as a third-party 
resource, or may be a person that has an established relationship with 
the team (e.g., Board Member, consultant), but cannot be an employee 
nor directly involved with the technology development. The EL will need 
to identify a Mentor that has business expertise in the proposed 
technology sector and has entrepreneurial experience. A Mentor will be 
someone with appropriate contacts in the technology area of 
commercialization which are critical for propelling the technology 
towards commercialization. The EL of the team should seek input from 
their University Technology Transfer Office for potential Mentors. The 
I-FAST Team's Mentor will be responsible for guiding the team forward 
using existing entrepreneurial experience and tracking the team's 
progress through regular communication with the EL, PI, the NIFA I-FAST 
competition director, and the NSF I-Corps Program Director, as needed.
    The PI is expected to have in-depth knowledge of the innovation 
developed under the prior NIFA Grant and, if selected, will be 
responsible for: (1) Coordinating with the university on the transfer 
of prize funds from NIFA, (2) tracking of the prize funding for team 
activities, (3) reporting to NIFA on disbursements and obligations of 
the prize funding, (4) guiding the EL and Mentor on technical aspects 
of the innovation, (5) communicating as needed with the NIFA I-FAST 
Competition Director and the NSF I-Corps Program Director, (6) ensuring 
the EL meets the required milestones for the NSF I-CORP training, and 
(7) participating as a team member. The Principal Investigator who 
received the earlier NIFA grant for the technology is allowed to 
participate on the team, but cannot be the Entrepreneurial Lead.
    During the I-Corps course, each participating team, including all 
its team members, must:
     Attend, in person, an evening reception and 3-day kick-off 
Entrepreneurial Immersion course;
     Conduct approximately 100 customer interviews over the 6-
week program, and submit interview summary reports. This process of 
customer discovery includes in-person face to face meetings with 
potential customers and requires the team to be ``outside the 
building'' for these activities. It is expected that the team will not 
use telephone or online conferencing during the customer discovery 
process. It is expected the team will require a minimum of 15 hours and 
a maximum of 40 hours per week for at least five weeks following the in 
person training;
     Participate in 5 weekly webinar sessions and submit 
regular updates to the team's business model canvas. In addition, it is 
expected that I-Corps teams will take advantage of instructor office 
hours; and
     Attend, in person, the final 2-day course close out/
lessons learned session (to be held in the same region as the kick-off 
course).
    Teams are strongly encouraged to consider the time commitments and 
requirements of the program before submitting an application. If one or 
more team members cannot meet these requirements, the team should not 
submit an application.
    Selected I-FAST Teams that fail to meet the requirements of the 
program must provide NIFA documented justification for failing to meet 
the requirements. NIFA will determine based on the justification or no 
justification, whether the team is subject to reimbursing NIFA for any 
prize funding.

Amount of the Prize

    The NIFA I-FAST Competition Prize Purse will be a maximum of 
$250,000 which will be divided to provide $50,000 each to a maximum of 
five (5) teams. Prize Purse funds are required to be used by winning 
Teams to fully participate in the NSF I-Corps program curriculum.
    NIFA reserves the right to award less than the maximum number of 
available prizes.

Payment of the Prize

    Prizes awarded under this Competition will be paid by electronic 
funds transfer to the academic/university institution the Team(s) 
represent(s). Once prize winners are selected, NIFA will provide the 
winners with the forms and financial documents that must be completed 
and returned to NIFA to set up the electronic transfer. All Federal, 
state and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner(s).

Submission Process for Participants

    The Competition will have a three-phase selection process. 
Initially, Teams will submit a pre-application. From the pre-
applications, NIFA will conduct phone interviews. Selected Teams will 
be invited to submit a full application. From the full applications, 
NIFA will select the winning Team(s).
    Teams can enter the contest by submitting the pre-application 
through the ``Enter a Submission'' function on www.Challenge.gov, and 
then send the pre-application, with name and contact info, to 
[email protected]. The pre-application shall contain the following 
information:
    Prepare a three-page Executive Summary that describes the 
following:
    (1) Composition of the Team and roles (EL, Mentor, and PI) of the 
members proposing to undertake the commercialization feasibility 
research.
    (2) Contact information for ALL of the members.
    (3) Relevant current/previous NIFA award(s) including award number, 
Title of the Project, and the NIFA program the award was funded under.
    (4) Brief description of the potential commercial impact.
    (5) Brief description of the current commercialization plans for 
the innovation.
    After the interviews, Teams that are selected to submit a full 
application will submit it via challenge.gov through the ``Enter a 
Submission'' function and then send the application with name and 
contact info to [email protected]. The full application shall 
include the following project description information:
    1. I-Corps Team (one page limit).
    a. Briefly describe the I-Corps team and provide rationale for its 
formation, focusing on members' entrepreneurial expertise, relevance to 
the innovation effort, and members' experience in collaborating on 
previous projects.
    b. Include contact information for all team members.
    2. Lineage of the Proposed Innovation (one page limit).
    a. Provide the current/previous NIFA award(s) including award 
number, Title of Project and the NIFA program that funded the award.
    b. Briefly describe how this research has led the Team to believe 
that a commercial opportunity exists for the effort moving forward.
    3. Description of the Potential Commercial Impact (two page limit).
    a. Provide a brief profile of a typical customer of the proposed 
innovation.

[[Page 32623]]

    b. Describe how the proposed innovation will meet the customer's 
needs.
    c. Describe how the customer currently meets those needs.
    d. Your approach--What is the proposed innovation? How does it 
relate to the fundamental research already conducted under previous 
award(s)?
    e. How much do you think a customer would pay for your solution?
    4. Brief description of the project plan (one page limit).
    a. Current Status--In what stage is the development: proof-of-
principle, proof-of-concept, prototype (alpha, beta), etc.
    b. Provide a brief description of the proof-of-concept or 
technology demonstration that will be provided at the end of the 
project.
    The total page limit for the project description full application 
is five (5) pages.
    From the Teams submitting full applications, a maximum of five 
Teams will be selected as winners to enter into the I-FAST Program.

Judging

    The information on the Competition will be provided via 
www.challenges.gov.
    NIFA will screen all entries for eligibility and completeness. 
Entries from Teams that do not meet the eligibility requirements and/or 
that fail to include required submission elements will not be evaluated 
or considered for award. Eligible and complete entries will be judged 
by a fair and impartial panel of individuals from NIFA and NSF (the 
``Judging Panel'').
    Pre-Application Evaluation: The Judging Panel will evaluate the 
pre-application to determine the following:
    (1) Did the technology proposed receive past NIFA funding within 
the specified timeframe?
    (2) Does the team have the required team members and are the roles 
of each team member clearly described and meet the noted 
responsibilities?
    (3) Does the commercialization plan provide a good understanding of 
the team's knowledge of the current state of the art and how the 
technology could enter into a potential market?
    (4) Were the page limits met?
    Following the evaluation, the Judging Panel will conduct a phone 
interview with each selected team. This will emphasize the time 
commitment and availability of the entire team to complete the NSF I-
CORPS program during one of the fall 2018 cohorts.
    Full-Application Evaluation: The Judging Panel will evaluate the 
Full-application to determine the following and approximately equal 
consideration will be given to each criterion except for item (3), 
which will receive twice the value of any of the other items:
    1. I-Corps Team: Does the application clearly describe: the I-Corps 
team, the rationale for the team's formation, members' entrepreneurial 
expertise, relevance to the innovation effort, and members' experience 
in collaborating?
    2. Lineage of the Proposed Innovation: Does the application provide 
a table of previous NIFA awards and identify the original Principle 
Investigator (PI)? Does the application clearly describe how this 
research has led the Team to believe that a commercial opportunity 
exists for the effort moving forward?
    3. Description of the Potential Commercial Impact: Does the 
application clearly describe the profile of a typical customer of the 
proposed innovation? Does the application describe the customer needs 
to be met by the proposed innovation? Does the application describe how 
the customer currently meets those needs with the current state of the 
art and does the customer believe this innovation is better than the 
current technology? Does the application clearly describe the proposed 
innovation and how it relates to the fundamental research already 
conducted under previous award(s)? Does the application describe how 
much a customer would pay for the solution?
    4. Project plan: Does the project plan clearly describe the current 
status including the stage of development? Does the application provide 
a description of the proof-of-concept or technology demonstration that 
will be provided at the end of the project?
    5. Page Limits: Did the application meet the required page limits?

Additional Rules and Conditions

A. General Conditions

    By entering the Competition, each Team certifies that its entry 
complies with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations.
    Each Team warrants that its entry is free of viruses, spyware, 
malware, and any other malicious, harmful, or destructive device. Teams 
submitting entries containing any such device will be held liable and 
may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    Entries containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of 
NIFA, is indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrates a 
lack of respect for public morals or conduct, promotes discrimination 
in any form, shows unlawful acts being performed, is slanderous or 
libelous, adversely affects the reputations of NIFA or NSF, is 
unacceptable as determined by NIFA, then such entry shall be deemed 
disqualified and will not be evaluated or, if evaluated, will not be 
considered for award.
    The winning Team(s) must comply with all applicable laws and 
regulations regarding Prize Purse receipt and disbursement.
    NIFA's failure to enforce any term of any applicable rule or 
condition shall not constitute a waiver of that term.

B. Entry Conditions, Release & Liability

    By entering the Competition, each Team agrees to:
    (1) Comply with and be bound by all applicable rules and 
conditions, and the decisions of NIFA, which are binding and final in 
all matters relating to this Competition.
    (2) Release and hold harmless NIFA and NSF and all their respective 
past and present officers, directors, employees, agents, and 
representatives (collectively the ``Released Parties'') from and 
against any and all claims, expenses, and liability arising out of or 
relating to the Team's entry or participation in the Competition and/or 
the Team's acceptance, use, or misuse of the Prize Purse or 
recognition. Provided, however, that Participants are not required to 
waive claims arising out of the unauthorized use or disclosure by NIFA 
or NSF of the intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential 
business information of the Participant.
    The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) Any incorrect or 
inaccurate information, whether caused by Teams, printing errors, or by 
any of the equipment or programming associated with or used in the 
Competition; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not 
limited to, malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone 
lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human 
intervention in any part of the entry process for the Competition; (4) 
technical or human error that may occur in the administration of the 
Competition or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage 
to persons or property that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in 
whole or in part, from Team's participation in the Competition or 
receipt or use or misuse of the Prize Purse. If for any reason a Team's 
entry is confirmed to have been deleted erroneously, lost, or otherwise 
destroyed or corrupted, that Team's sole remedy is to submit another 
entry in the Competition.

[[Page 32624]]

C. Termination and Disqualification

    NIFA reserves the authority to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the 
Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or 
any other factor beyond NIFA's reasonable control impairs the integrity 
or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by NIFA in its 
sole discretion.
    NIFA reserves the right to disqualify any Team it believes to be 
tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or 
to be acting in violation of any applicable rule or condition.
    Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of 
the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, 
should such an attempt be made, NIFA reserves the authority to seek 
damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

D. Verification of Potential Winner(s)

    All potential Competition winners are subject to verification by 
NIFA whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to 
the Competition.
    Potential winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and 
conditions of the Competition rules, and winning is contingent upon 
fulfilling all requirements. The potential winner(s) will be notified 
by email and/or telephone. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, 
or if the notification is returned as undeliverable, the potential 
winner forfeits. In the event that a potential winner, or an announced 
winner, is found to be ineligible or is disqualified for any reason, 
NIFA may make award, instead, to the next runner up, as previously 
determined by the Judging Panel.
    Prior to awarding the Prize Purse, NIFA will verify that the 
potential winner(s) is/are not suspended, debarred, or otherwise 
excluded from doing business with the U.S. Federal Government. 
Suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded parties are not eligible to 
win the Competition.

E. Intellectual Property

    By entering the Competition, each Team certifies that it is the 
author and/or authorized owner of its entry, and that the entry is 
wholly original with the Team (or is an improved version of an existing 
project plan the Team is legally authorized to enter into the 
Competition), and that the submitted entry does not infringe on any 
copyright, patent, or any other rights of any third party. Each Team 
agrees to hold the Released Parties harmless for any infringement of 
copyright, trademark, patent, and/or other real or intellectual 
property right that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or 
in part, from that Team's participation in the Competition.
    All legal rights in any materials produced or submitted in entering 
the Competition are retained by the Team and/or the legal holder of 
those rights. Entry into the Competition constitutes express 
authorization for NIFA, NSF, and the Judging Panel to review and 
analyze any and all aspects of submitted entries, including any trade 
secret or proprietary information contained in or evident from review 
of the submitted entries.

F. Privacy & Disclosure Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

    Personal and contact information is not collected for commercial or 
marketing purposes. Information submitted throughout the Competition 
will be used only to communicate with Teams regarding entries and/or 
the Competition.
    Teams' entries to the Competition may be subject to disclosure 
under the FOIA. If a Team believes that all or part of its Competition 
entry is protected from release under FOIA (e.g., if the information 
falls under FOIA exemption #4 for ``trade secrets and commercial or 
financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or 
confidential'') the Team will be responsible for clearly marking the 
page(s)/section(s) of information it believes are protected.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719.

    Done at Washington, DC, on July 3, 2018.
Kim L. Hicks,
Branch Chief, Grants and Agreements Management Branch USDA, 
Agricultural Research Service, Financial Management and Agreements 
Division.
[FR Doc. 2018-14996 Filed 7-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-22-P