Technology Open Challenge

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Introducing the MovieLabs Technology Open Challenge!

The MovieLabs Technology Open Challenge is an effort to find creative solutions to technical obstacles by challenging researchers and technologists to offer ideas and win grants for promising new technologies.

What are the current MovieLabs Technology Open Challenges?

How does it work?
The basic idea is simple. MovieLabs has identified technology challenges and will offer grants to technologists who propose the most promising solutions. The challenges will focus on technology obstacles facing the film and video industry, and the grants will range from $25,000 for early ideas to as much as $100,000 for fully developed prototypes or products ready for commercialization.

Who can participate?
The MovieLabs Technology Open Challenge is open to individuals, corporations, and university, government, or private laboratory researchers. It is intended primarily as a way to foster the development of new ideas and technologies, not as a tool for funding business plans.

How do you participate?
The steps to participate are: (1) familiarize yourself with the MovieLabs Technology Open Challenge program by reviewing information on this site, (2) read the details of each posted challenge, including the goals, technical criteria, and any other information specific to the challenge, (3) develop your submission in a form that meets the technical criteria, (4) review our Submission Guidelines and send a write-up of your submission to MovieLabs according to those guidelines.

Selection process and criteria
MovieLabs will review submissions and award grants only if submissions (1) meet the technical criteria for each challenge and (2) in our judgment offer the film industry a promising and viable new solution to the identified technical obstacle. We may contact you to request further information or ask clarifying questions about your submission. As a general rule, only one grant will be awarded for the most promising solution to each challenge. However, if more than one promising submission is received, MovieLabs may choose to award multiple grants at its discretion.

Eligibility for grants
Winning submissions will be eligible for grants based on MovieLabs' assessment of the development phase and overall promise of the submission. If the submission is a clever idea not yet developed into a prototype or product, the grant may be a small incentive award in the amount of $25,000. If the submission is a more fully developed prototype or a product ready for commercialization, the grant may be a larger sum ranging as high as $100,000. The exact amount of each grant will be determined by MovieLabs alone on a case-by-case basis according to our judgment of the status and promise of the winning submission. The purpose of each grant will be to enable further development of the idea or technology.

If I submit my idea, do I give MovieLabs any rights to the technology?
No. Nothing about your submission will constitute a grant to MovieLabs of any intellectual property rights owned by you. Please see the Submission Guidelines.

When should I apply?
Please apply as early as you can. Do not wait for the deadline unless absolutely necessary. We plan to offer grants based on the merits of each proposal independently, and grants may be awarded on a rolling basis before the final deadline.

Will MovieLabs sign an NDA to receive the submission?
No. MovieLabs will not sign an NDA for any submission. If your idea is promising and we are interested in deeper discussion around the submission, we may sign an NDA if necessary to enable those deeper discussions. Please see the Submission Guidelines.

Will I jeopardize my patent rights if I submit an idea?
Disclosure rules can be complex, so we recommend that you ask your attorney for specific information on this issue if you have concerns.

If I build a great prototype or product, will MovieLabs commit to buying products from me?
MovieLabs is a non-profit research organization, not a commercial operation. Other than potential grant funding, you should not expect any other compensation from MovieLabs for your participation in this program.

If I have other questions, how do I learn more?
Please send questions to We will attempt to respond, but we are not staffed to answer all inquiries. If you are a member of the press and have questions, please send an email to