GSA Seeks Support for Challenge Sites, Including Potential New Challenge X Lab


The crowdsourcing and need program support, as does a potential new testbed for agencies.

The Technology Transformation Service—the IT-focused arm of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service—wants help managing its crowdsourcing challenge sites, including potentially launching a new challenge laboratory to act as an agency testbed.

TTS issued a request for quotes Tuesday searching for program management support for GSA’s Open Innovation Program, which manages two public-focused crowdsourcing initiatives: and

The two sites facilitate “public engagement and problem solving through the use of crowdsourcing, citizen science and prize competitions,” according to the performance work statement. “Through open innovation, the federal government can connect with experts and harness available knowledge that exists outside of the government to discover new ways to solve problems, advance research and discovery, and improve services for the American people.”

GSA launched in 2010 as part of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act that passed Congress that year.

“For almost 10 years, has facilitated the federal government’s use of prize competitions as an innovation sourcing tool and has provided a portal that incentivizes the public to engage with and solve problems for the government,” according to the performance work statement.

During that time, more than 100 federal agencies have listed more than 1,000 challenges on the platform.

Subsequently, in 2017, GSA launched in response to the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Like, looked to tap the public’s expertise and creativity, this time with a focus on “the inclusion of crowdsourcing and citizen science into federally sponsored research projects and the scientific discovery process,” the solicitation states.

In less than three years, the program has hosted more than 400 citizen science projects.

The contract is focused on full program management support, including managing daily program operations. That includes developing “cohesive program vision, goals and objectives to unify the crowdsourcing, hackathons, citizen science and prize competition efforts,” and supporting “day-to-day program operations related to data collection, program and performance measurement, and reporting.”

This work must be done in an agile manner, specifically using the Kanban method.

The winning vendor will also be expected to improve customer support and capacity building by working with existing agency customers and encouraging more to participate, and strategic public engagement to get more public participation.

“The contractor must use their subject matter expertise to effectively analyze various engagement strategies to appropriately prioritize the most effective, efficient and powerful messaging to amplify the program’s intended goals and objectives,” the performance work statement reads.

The solicitation also includes an optional deliverable: program consultancy support for a potential new program being called Challenge X.

“If established, Challenge X would offer expert-level professional services to help federal agencies design, manage, and execute prize competitions” in what GSA is calling a “Challenge laboratory,” the solicitation states. “These consultation services would include high-touch, in-depth stakeholder engagement, including problem definition and discovery, challenge design, management, communications, partnerships, technical assistance, incubation, acceleration, and impact assessments.”

The contract will run for a base 12 months, with four one-year add-on options for a total potential period of 60 months. The kick-off is expected 14 days after the contract is awarded.

TTS officials expect to spend between $200,000 and $340,000 per year on the contract, though the ceiling tops out around $3.9 million.

Bids are due no later than 12 p.m. May 19.