Bring Down Counterfeiting 2022:
Bring Down Counterfeiting 2022:
Registration for this challenge is closed.
Registration for this challenge is closed. Please note the deadline for submissions is Thursday, Oct 13, 5 pm EST. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Counterfeiting is an industry-wide, global issue, that affects all retail channels. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that pirated and counterfeit products make up 2.5 percent of world trade—that’s $464 billion a year, or roughly the gross domestic product of the country of Belgium. Counterfeiters deprive brand owners of the value of their intellectual property and compete unfairly with honest entrepreneurs. They are criminals that may also be associated with transnational networks engaged in a wide range of illicit behavior, including trafficking in narcotics, arms, persons, and wildlife. Billions of dollars from these activities flow through the global economy each year, distorting local economies, diminishing legitimate business revenues, eroding social conditions, harming public safety and security, and fueling conflict.
The Internet has provided new opportunities and mechanisms for trading goods and services via e-commerce. At the same time, the openness of the Internet and the anonymity that surrounds many online transactions also make it attractive to counterfeiters, providing them with easy access to markets, with low risk of detection and, if caught, relatively low penalties in many jurisdictions. As highlighted by OECD research, in many jurisdictions “counterfeiting goes largely unpunished due to difficulties in coordinating effective responses and perceptions that these are ‘victimless’ crimes that do not warrant significant action,” among other challenges. Combating these crimes takes agile, multilateral, multidisciplinary teams using a full range of innovative tools. Cross-domain experts from government, industry, law enforcement, and social sciences together with technologists specializing in data mining and analysis, AI/ML, IP rights or other areas can make huge in-roads in detecting counterfeits and disrupting supply chains.
We challenge you to present a solution that enhances, or overcomes policy blockers (legal, regulatory, administrative) to effective public-private collaboration in the fight against counterfeiting. Ideas that enhance data sharing and operational collaboration among the private-sector and state, local, and federal law enforcement entities are of particular interest in this event. The results of this policy hackathon will provide input for a technology-focused follow up challenge.
Photo Credit: Top: Shutterstock, Middle: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bottom: ICE.gov, Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
“The problem of counterfeits is a massive problem with serious consequences that deserves more attention from academia. George Mason University is thrilled to host this policy hackathon which represents a collaborative effort across the GMU campus and with numerous and diverse organizations across the US.”
Dr. Gregory Washington
José F. Santiago
US Council on Transnational Organized Crime (USCTOC)
Submissions must reflect the original work of the project team alone and must consist of the following components:
* A prototype should demonstrate the idea and how it works. It is a visual representation and should be functional in the sense that it might be clickable but does not require a database. It should NOT be a set of slides. Teams do not need to submit code but can if they desire to do so. A separate Slack channel will be provided for prototyping tips and suggestions for tools.
**Submissions must be in English
Submissions will be judged based on the following criteria:
Projects will be evaluated based on the criteria outlined above. Winning teams must designate one team member who is able to receive the prize(s) on behalf of the team. This team member must be able to complete an IRS Form W-9 in order to receive a cash prize on behalf of the team. If a team member is a minor, a parent may complete the form on behalf of the team member.
All prizes are subject to change.
Participants are permitted to use any commercially known open source tools. Participants are also encouraged to use their own proprietary solutions to develop creative and efficient products. If you are representing a company, your company’s proprietary software assets are also allowed to be used with the appropriate permission from your organization. Please reference the Terms and Conditions to confirm that all IP rights remain with the participant and/or the organization they are representing.
All participants must agree to the Terms and Conditions listed.
Teams that are selected to present their solutions on Demo Day should be prepared to present live for the judges on that day at the designated time. Teams that are not in the Washington D.C. area can join by video conference.
No, travel funds cannot be provided due to funding restraints. Teams that are not in the Washington D.C. area can join by video conference.
A select number of teams will be invited to present their solutions to the judging panel. Each team will have a set number of minutes to present, followed by a short Q&A. Your team’s recorded video pitch may be included as part of your presentation but is not required. The exact number of minutes for Demo Day presentations will be shared with the selected teams before Demo Day.