Congratulations to the 2021 Innovation Challenge Winners

On August 31, 2021, PILOT announced two winners of the 2021 PILOT Innovation Challenge.

BeamOn – Beam Dynamics. BeamOn is a cloud-based product intelligence platform for broadcast stations. The platform bridges the communication barrier between product owners and manufacturers to help broadcast studios reduce costly downtime on set and extend equipment life cycles.

Reinventing Local TV News: Prioritizing Animation and Graphics – Northeastern University. Researchers at Northeastern have shown that animation and advanced graphics are effective ways to enhance broadcast journalism. Northeastern University’s team provides research data, a roadmap, expertise and ready-to-use templates for animations and graphics.

The Challenge Focus

PILOT’s 2021 Innovation Challenge will showcase emerging products or prototypes that are poised to help broadcasters seize opportunities they are likely to encounter over the next two to three years. Specifically, we are looking to highlight innovations in these areas:

  • Products that leverage edge technologies to drive new revenue opportunities for broadcasters.
  •  Technologies that enhance broadcast journalism to help viewers and listeners get more from their most trusted source of local news.
  • In-vehicle technologies that deliver more value out of broadcasting.


Submissions Open

June 7, 2021

Submissions Close

July 9, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET


July 12 – August 20, 2021

Winners Announced

August 31, 2021

NAB Show

October 10-13, 2021


If selected, winners will receive:

  • Exhibit space at the NAB Show in the “Startup Loft” area with design treatment to indicate PILOT Innovation Challenge Winner
  • Domestic travel expenses for two employees to attend the show (four-night accommodations, airfare reimbursement NTE $500 per person)
  • Identification as a PILOT Innovation Challenge winner in NAB/PILOT/NAB Show publications
  • Profile on the PILOT website
  • Opportunity to write a guest blog post on the PILOT blog
  • One-on-one coaching session with NAB’s CTO about what to expect and how to get the most out of the NAB Show
  • Additional opportunities to work with NAB member companies as part of an ongoing relationship with PILOT

Selection Process

Up to 10 finalists may be selected by a panel of industry experts based on the judging criteria. The finalists will be notified in August and continue to the final phase where they will be interviewed by a panel of judges from the PILOT team. Up to three winners may be selected and notified by September 1.

Judging Criteria

  • Readiness – How close is the product or prototype to being ready for use by broadcasters? If submission requires further development before commercial deployment, is there a clear roadmap for when and how that development will occur? (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.