Innovation Challenge

The Submission Period is Closed 

Thanks to Our Judges Who Are Evaluating Entries

The Challenge Prompt

Develop a working prototype to improve real-time decentralized collaboration while managing live and recorded audio/video from multiple sources for media production in a limited bandwidth environment. Broadcasters should be able to implement the prototype as a supporting element within their current environment.

Up to $150,000 funding will be allocated among up to two winners to develop a prototype that addresses our Challenge Prompt. Winners will be expected to build a working prototype and demonstrate it at NAB Show 2021 in Las Vegas, Nev.


Submissions Open

July 27, 2020

Submissions Close

August 28, 2020 at 5 p.m. ET


September 1-30, 2020

Winner(s) Announced

October 2020

Present Prototypes

April, 2021

What We Expect

Through this challenge, we are looking to create an implementable prototype that allows broadcasters to expand high-quality, remote TV and radio station operations in a safe, productive and effective manner over a wide range of networking conditions. The working prototype would be available for implementation by broadcasters in April 2021, the end of the development period. Broadcasters should be able to implement it within their current audio/video production system. We expect this to be a supporting element within a broadcasters’ overall production environment, not a replacement.

 Broadcasters operate robust environments for creating, managing and delivering news, information and entertainment to listeners, viewers and consumers. The push to remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic uncovered numerous areas needing innovative solutions. Content production by people physically apart coupled with varying bandwidth speeds across different locations resulted in big hurdles.

 Some specific challenges include, but are not limited to:

  • Editing and transferring audio and video files in locations where bandwidth is limited, especially low upload speed
  • Virtualizing production tasks (e.g., screening callers for on-air shows)
  • Improving communication among people working remotely while engaged in live production (e.g., radio show co-hosts and producers looking at one another during a live broadcast or news production teams directing on-air anchors while managing different audio/video sources)

 A successful entry would support the people involved in production working remotely without sacrificing communication, speed or quality of audio/video content.

 At the end of the development period, the winning entry should produce the following:

  • A working, extensible and implementable prototype and
  • Full documentation including commented code, appropriate diagrams and/or workflows.


Up to $150,000 funding will be allocated among up to two winners. Winner(s) will also receive support from PILOT, including:

  • Help interpreting the scope of the project as decision points are encountered
  • Feedback and resources from our members and partners as needed (based on partner availability; PILOT cannot guarantee meeting all requests)
  • Periodic meetings with the PILOT team to answer questions
  • Trip for two to NAB Show in Las Vegas to demonstrate a working prototype at the world’s largest media and entertainment show.

Selection Process 

Up to five finalists will be selected by a panel of industry experts based on the judging criteria. The finalists will be notified in late -September and continue to the final phase where they will be interviewed by a panel of judges from the PILOT team. Up to two winners may be selected and notified in October 2020. Once winners are notified, the teams may begin development.

Judging Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Feasibility – How clear is the outlined process and how likely is the team to produce the proposed deliverables and prototype? How realistic is the budget associated with the proposed deliverables? (1/3)
  • Relevance – How well does the proposal meet the challenge question and the needs of the broadcasting industry? (1/3)
  • Viability – How likely will this be implemented and used by broadcasters? (1/3)


Open to individuals, teams of individuals, companies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations (each a “Participant”) who are legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and are at least 18 years old at the time of submission. For more information, view the full Challenge rules.