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Solicitation for Annual Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award

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Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation.




The annual Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award (the award) incentivizes an increase in human trafficking awareness, training, and prevention among transportation stakeholders. The award is a component of the Department's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative. Additional information regarding the Department's counter-trafficking activities can be found at​stophumantrafficking.

The award serves as a platform for transportation stakeholders to unlock their creativity, and to empower them to develop impactful and innovative counter-trafficking tools, initiatives, campaigns, and technologies that can help defeat this heinous crime. The award is open to individuals and entities, including non-governmental organizations, transportation industry associations, research institutions, and State and local government organizations. Entrants compete for a cash award of up to $50,000 to be awarded to the individual(s) or entity selected for creating the most impactful counter-trafficking initiative or technology. The U.S. Department of Transportation intends to incentivize individuals and entities to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry, and to share those innovations with the broader community.


Submissions accepted January 28, 2021 through midnight PST on March 1, 2021.

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For more information, and to register your intent to compete individually or as part of a team, visit​stophumantrafficking, email, or contact the Office of International Transportation and Trade at (202) 366-4398.

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Award Approving Official: The Secretary of Transportation (Secretary).

Subject of Award Competition: Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award will recognize impactful and innovative approaches to combating human trafficking in the transportation industry.


As many as 25 million men, women, and children are held against their will and trafficked into forced labor and prostitution. Transportation figures prominently in human trafficking enterprises when traffickers move victims, which uniquely positions the industry to combat the crime.


The Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award is looking for the best innovators to develop original, impactful, and innovative human trafficking tools, initiatives, campaigns, and technologies that can help defeat this heinous crime in the transportation industry.


To be eligible to participate in the Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award competition, private entities must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and individuals must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. There is no charge to enter the competition.

Rules, Terms, and Conditions

The following additional rules apply:

1. Entrants shall submit a project to the competition under the rules promulgated by the Department in this Notice;

2. Entrants must indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Federal Government from and against all third-party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to or arising from participant's submission or any breach or alleged breach of any of the representations, warranties, and covenants of participant hereunder. Entrants are financially responsible for claims made by a third party;

3. Entrants may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of employment;

4. Entrants may not be an employee of the U.S. Department of Transportation;

5. Entrants shall not be deemed ineligible because an individual used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals participating in the competition on an equitable basis;

6. The entries cannot have been submitted in the same or substantially similar form in any other previous Federally sponsored promotion or Federally sponsored competition;

7. Entrants previously awarded first place are not eligible to reenter for the same or substantially similar project;

8. Entries, which at the Secretary's sole discretion, are determined to be Start Printed Page 7455substantially similar to another entity's entry submitted to this competition may be disqualified;

9. The competition is subject to all applicable Federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes the entrants' full and unconditional agreement to these rules and to the Secretary's decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this competition;

10. Entries must be original, be the work of the entrant and/or nominee, and must not violate the rights of other parties. All entries remain the property of the entrant. Each entrant represents and warrants that:

  • Entrant is the sole author and owner of the submission;
  • The entry is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  • The entry does not and will not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party; and
  • The entry does not and will not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or, “worms”).

11. By submitting an entry in this competition, entrants agree to assume any and all risks and waive any claims against the Federal Government and its related entities (except in the case of willful misconduct) for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in this competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence of otherwise. Provided, however, that by registering or submitting an entry, entrants and/or nominees do not waive claims against the Department arising out of the unauthorized use or disclosure by the agency of the intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential information of the entrant;

12. The Secretary or the Secretary's designees have the right to request additional supporting documentation regarding the application from the entrants and/or nominees;

13. Each entrant grants to the Department, as well as other Federal agencies with which it partners, the right to use names, likeness, application materials, photographs, voices, opinions, and hometown and state for the Department's promotional purposes in any media, in perpetuity, worldwide, without further payment or consideration;

14. If selected, the entrant and/or nominee must provide written consent granting the Department and any parties acting on their behalf, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to display publicly and use for promotional purposes the entry (“demonstration license”). This demonstration license includes posting or linking to the entry on Department websites, including the Competition website, and partner websites, and inclusion of the entry in any other media, worldwide;

15. Applicants which are Federal grant recipients may not use Federal funds to develop submissions;

16. Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop applications or to fund efforts in support of a submission; and

17. The submission period begins on [the date of FRN publication]. Submissions must be sent by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on [30 days after the FRN publication]. The timeliness of submissions will be determined by the postmark (if sent in hard copy) or time stamp of the recipient (if emailed). Competition administrators assume no responsibility for lost or untimely submissions for any reason.

Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit entries via email or by mail. Electronic packages may be transmitted by email to Hard copies should be forwarded with a cover letter to the attention of: Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award (Room W88-121), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Expression of Interest: While not required, entrants are strongly encouraged to send brief expressions of interest to the DOT prior to submitting entries. The expressions of interest should be sent by [10 days after the FRN publication] to, and include the following elements: (1) Name of entrant/s; (2) Telephone and email address; and (3) A synopsis of the concept, limited to no more than two pages.

Complete submission packages shall consist of the following elements:

1. Eligibility Statement

A statement of eligibility by private entities indicating that they are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, or a statement of eligibility by individuals indicating that they citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

2. Summary (1-2 pages)

An overall summary of the project that includes

A. Entity: The name of the submitting individual(s) or organization, their title, phone, and email. If the point of contact for the project is different, also specify their name, title, phone, and email.

B. Title: The project title.

C. Mode: Specify which transportation mode(s) the project will focus on.

D. Summary: A brief one-paragraph synopsis of the proposed project.

E. Impact: A description of how the project will be evaluated and its potential impact on human trafficking in the transportation industry.

F. Background: Brief background regarding the submitting individual(s) or organization(s) that includes project-related expertise.

G. Partners: If applicable, list partners who will be engaged in project development and/or implementation.

3. Supporting Documents (no page limit)

The paper(s) and/or technologies, programs, video/audio files, and other related materials, describing the project and addressing the selection criteria. As applicable, this can include a description of success of a previous or similar project and/or documentation of impact. You may also submit supporting letters, which may be from subject matter experts or industry, which may address the technical merit of the concept, originality, impact, practicality, measurability and/or applicability. DOT may request additional information, including supporting documentation, more detailed contact information, releases of liability, and statements of authenticity to guarantee the originality of the work. Failure to respond in a timely manner may result in disqualification.

Initial Screening

The Office of International Transportation and Trade will initially review applications to determine that all required submission elements are included, and to determine compliance with eligibility requirements.


After the Initial Screening, the Office of International Transportation and Trade, with input from the relevant Operating Administrations, will judge entries based on the factors described below: Technical merit, originality, impact, practicality, measurability, and applicability. All factors are important and will be given consideration.

The Secretary will make the final selection.

The Department reserves the right to not award the prize if the selecting Start Printed Page 7456officials believe that no submission demonstrates sufficient potential for sufficient transformative impact.

Technical Merit

  • Presents a clear understanding of the issue of human trafficking in the transportation industry.
  • Presents a logical and workable solution and approach to addressing human trafficking in the transportation industry.
  • Survivors of human trafficking were consulted in the development of the project.


  • The concept is new or a variation of an existing idea.
  • The concept possesses and clearly describes its unique merits.


  • The project can make a significant impact and/or contribution to the fight against human trafficking in the transportation industry.
  • The project clearly describes the breadth of impact.


  • The project clearly identifies anticipated beneficiaries of the project.
  • The project clearly outlines anticipated resources and all costs to be incurred by executing the concept.
  • The project can be implemented in a way that requires a finite amount of resources (specifically, the submission has fixed costs, low or no marginal costs, and a clear path to implementation and scale beyond an initial investment).


  • The submission clearly outlines how the project will be measured.
  • The project will result in measurable improvements.


  • The project is national and/or can be scaled nationally.


Up to three winning entries are expected to be announced. The first-place winner will receive up to a $50,000 cash prize. A plaque with the first-place winner(s) name and the date of the award will be on display at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and a display copy of the plaque(s) will be sent to the first-place award winner's headquarters. At the discretion of the Secretary, up to two additional plaques may be awarded to recognize two runners up. At the option of the Secretary of Transportation, DOT may pay for invitational travel expenses to Washington, DC for up to two individuals or representatives of the first-place winning organization and runners up organizations should selectees be invited to present their project/s for DOT officials.

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Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719 (America COMPETES Act).

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Joel Szabat,

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Aviation and International Affairs.

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[FR Doc. 2021-01807 Filed 1-27-21; 8:45 am]