GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge: Official Rules – (the “Official Rules”)


Challenge Name: GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge (the “Challenge”)

Challenge Website: (the “Challenge Website”)


Administrator (the “Administrator”): GBIF Secretariat, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 København Ø, Denmark.

The Administrator is the sponsor and entity responsible for the Challenge.


Challenge Submission Period: December 2, 2014 (12:00 noon Central European Time) – March 2, 2015 (12:00 noon Central European Time) (the “Challenge Submission Period”)

Judging Period: March 11, 2015 (10:00am Central European Time) – April 1, 2015 (5:00pm Central European Time) (the “Judging Period”)

Round One Winners Announced: On or around April 2, 2015 (12:00pm Central European Time)

The Administrator will be the official timekeeper for the Challenge.


A. The Challenge IS open to:

  • Individuals who are at least the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside as of the time of entry. Entries from individuals under the age of 18 require a letter of approval from a parent or guardian to be provided as part of the entry.
  • Teams of eligible individuals (with no limit on the number of eligible individuals that may be included in a team)
  • Organizations (including corporations, not-for-profit corporations and other nonprofit organizations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other legal entities) that exist and have been organized or incorporated at the time of entry (“Organizations”)

(The above are collectively, “Makers”)

An individual may join more than one team or Organization, and an individual who is part of a team or Organization may also enter the Challenge on an individual basis.

If participating in a team, the team must appoint and authorize one individual (the ‘Representative’) to represent, act, and enter a Submission, on their behalf. The Representative must meet the eligibility requirements above. By entering a Submission on the Site on behalf of a team or organization, you represent and warrant that you are the Representative, and are duly authorized to act on behalf of your team or organization. The Representative shall act on behalf of the team to assume all rights and responsibilities regarding the challenge. If a team entry is selected as a winning entry, GBIF will pay prize money to the Representative, who will bear the responsibility of distributing the prize money to team members.

B. The Challenge is not open to:

  • Members of the GBIF Secretariat
  • Individuals currently under an external contract issued by the GBIF Secretariat
  • Members of the GBIF Science Committee
  • Heads of Delegation to GBIF


Makers must do the following to participate in the Challenge:

  • Register for the GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge at http://gbif.challengepost.comby clicking the “Register” button. To complete registration, sign up to create a ChallengePost account, or log in with an existing ChallengePost account. There is no charge for creating a ChallengePost account. Registering will enable you to receive important updates and access the “Enter a Submission” page. NOTE: all team members must also create a ChallengePost account in order to be added to a Submission.
  • Visit the Challenge Data page at access information about GBIF-mediated data, GBIF web services, and potential sources of bioinformatics inspiration. 
  • Use GBIF-mediated data in way that produces new representations or insights. 
  • Create a video or screenshots that clearly explains the insights gathered from the data as well as the process and method that was used in order to reach that insight.
  • Complete and enter all of the required fields on the “Enter a Submission” page of the Challenge Website (each a “Submission”) during the Challenge Submission Period, and follow the requirements below.
A. Language Requirements

All Submission materials must be in English or, if not in English, the Maker must provide an English translation of the demonstration video, text description, and testing instructions as well as all other materials submitted.

B. Application Requirements

(i) What to Create: Makers must use GBIF-mediated data in way that produces new representations or insights. Submissions may involve a range of results—websites, stand-alone or mobile applications, or outputs of analyses—or may seek to improve issues or processes including (but not limited to) data analysis or visualization, data workflows, uploading, or annotations.

The judges must be able to access the submission at no cost or perform the same analysis/visualization using comparable alternative sources of data.

If the submission is a stand-alone application then it must operate on hardware readily available to the judges.

If the submission is a mobile app then the submission must enable the judges to access the solution, either by making it publicly available in an app store, by sending the .apk file (Android), or making it available using TestFlight (iOS).

If the submission is the output of an analysis then the analysis must be repeatable, with the submission including sufficient detail for repetition.

(ii) Use of GBIF data: While submissions need not rely exclusively on GBIF as a data source, they must, in the judgement of the Challenge jury and GBIF Secretariat staff, make significant use GBIF-mediated data. Rather than prescribe specific amounts or relative proportions of data, the Challenge organizers expect that qualifying submissions would apply GBIF-mediated data in ways that reasonable observers would consider measurable, meaningful, and important.

(iii) Novelty: The submission should be “novel” in that a significant portion of the submission should be developed for the challenge. A submission based largely (or entirely) on work published or developed prior to the challenge start date will not be eligible for submission.

(iv) Intellectual Property: In light of GBIF’s commitment to open-access data—most recently recognized in GBIF’s plans around data licensing—we encourage participants to adopt the most open licences possible for their Challenge submissions. However, each submission will remain the property of its participants, unless otherwise specified. By entering a Submission, the Makers agree to grant GBIF a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use it.

(v) Multiple Submissions: A Maker may submit more than one Submission, however, each Submission must be unique and substantially different from the others, as determined by the Administrator.

C. Text Description, Image, and Video Requirements

(i) Text Description: The text description should explain the insights represented in the submission; the GBIF-mediated (and, if any, other) data used; and the process and method used in order to complete the submission, including the tools and algorithms used.

(ii) Video and/or screenshots: The Submission’s visual elements should demonstrate its insights or functionality.

If video is included, the video clip:

a. should be no more than four (4) minutes long;

b. must include footage that clearly explains the Submission’s findings or functionality through a comprehensive demonstration, and clearly explain its use of GBIF-mediated data, the insights it provides, and the methods or tools used to develop it;

c. must not include third party trademarks, or copyrighted music or other material unless the Maker has permission to use such material.

Regardless of the format used, these visual elements must be freely accessible to the judges, whether uploaded through an external video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo or posted as a zip archive to a cloud-based file-sharing service like Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive.


A. Maker Rights

Subject to the licenses described below, any applicable intellectual property rights to a Submission will remain with the Maker.

B. Administrator Rights

By entering the Challenge, you grant to the Administrator, and any other third parties acting on the Poster’s behalf, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide perpetual license to display publicly and use for promotional purposes the Submission, in perpetuity. This license includes, but is not limited to, posting or linking to the Submission on Administrator’s, and partners’ websites and applications, including the Challenge Website, and display and promotion of the Submission in any other media, worldwide.

C. Submission Display

The following Submission components may be displayed to the public: name, description, images, video URL, website URL, team members (username only), the Submission category and platform, and submitter type. Other Submission materials may be viewed by the Administrator and Judges for screening and evaluation.

Makers represent and warrant that the Administrator and Challenge partners are free to use Makers’ Submission in the manner described above, as provided or as modified by Administrator, without obtaining permission or license from any third party and without any compensation to Makers.


A. Criteria

Eligible Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges selected by the Administrator (the “Judges”), and scored using the following equally weighted criteria (the “Judging Criteria”):

(i) Innovation: how novel is the submission?

(ii) Functionality: does the submission work and show or do something useful?

(iii) Applicability: can the GBIF community use and/or build on the submission?

The Judges will select a small set of 3-6 finalists who will receive €1,000 and will be eligible to submit and compete in Round Two for one (1) first-place prize of €20,000 and one (1) second-place prize of €5,000. Details of the Round Two competition and the selection of first- and second-place winners, planned for late 2015, at a place and time to be determined later.

The Judges may, at their discretion, choose to recognize Submissions as semi-finalists, who will not be eligible for to Round Two.

B. Submission Review

Judges are not required to test the Application and may choose to judge based solely on the text description and video or screenshots provided in the Submission.

C. Tie Breaker

If two or more Submissions are tied, the tied Submission with the highest score in the first applicable criterion listed above will be considered the higher scoring Submission. In the event any ties remain, this process will be repeated, as needed, by comparing the tied Submissions’ scores on the next applicable criterion. If two or more Submissions are tied on all applicable criteria, the panel of Judges will vote on the tied Submissions.


  • Three (3) to six (6) Round One Finalists: €1,000 each
  • One (1) First Prize, Round Two: €20,000
  • One (1) Second Prize, Round Two: €5,000


A. Verification Requirement


B. Required Forms

Potential winners will be notified using the email address associated with the ChallengePost account used to enter the Submission (the submitter is the “Representative” in the case of a team or Organization). In order to receive a Prize, the potential winner (including all participating team members in the case of a team or Organization) will be required to sign and return to the Administrator, declaration(s) of eligibility (or a similar verification document) and liability/publicity release(s), and any applicable tax forms (“Required Forms”).

Deadline for Returning Required Forms: ten (10) business days after the Required Forms are sent.

C. Disqualification

The Administrator may deem a potential winner (or participating team members) ineligible to win if:

(i) the potential winner’s Representative or any participating member does not respond to multiple emails or fails to sign and return the Required Forms by the deadline listed above, or responds and rejects the Prize;

(ii) the Prize or Prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or

(iii) the Submission or the potential winner, or any member of a potential winner’s team or Organization, is ineligible for any other reason.

In the event of a disqualification, the Administrator may award the applicable Prize to an alternate potential winner.


A. Substitutions & Changes

The Administrator has the right to make a Prize substitution of equivalent or greater value. The Administrator will not award a Prize if there are no eligible Submissions entered in the Challenge, or if there are no eligible Makers or Submissions for a specific Prize.

B. Prize Delivery

A monetary Prize will be mailed to the winning Maker’s address (if an individual) or the Representative’s address (if a team or Organization) after receipt of the Required Forms. Prizes will be payable to the Maker, if an individual, to the Maker’s Representative, if a team, or to the Organization, if the Maker is an Organization. It will be the responsibility of the winning Maker’s Representative to allocate the Prize among their team’s members, as the Representative deems appropriate.

C. Prize Delivery Timeframe

Within 45 days of the Administrator’s receipt of the Required Form

D. Taxes

Winners (and in the case of team or Organization, all participating members) are responsible for reporting and paying all applicable taxes in their jurisdiction of residence (federal, state/provincial/territorial and local). Winners are also responsible for complying with foreign exchange and banking regulations in their respective jurisdictions and reporting the receipt of the Prize to relevant government departments/agencies, if necessary.


A. By entering the Challenge, you (and, if you are entering on behalf of a team or Organization, each participating members) agree(s) to the following:

(i) The relationship between you, the Maker, and the Administrator is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship.

(ii) You will be bound by and comply with these Official Rules and the decisions of the Administrator and/or the Challenge Judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to the Challenge.

(iii) You release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Administrator, Promotion Entities, and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, the Prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Challenge, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (hereafter the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys’ fees), including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a Maker’s entry, creation of Submission or entry of a Submission, participation in the Challenge, acceptance or use or misuse of the Prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of the Submission as authorized or licensed by these Official Rules.

B. Without limiting the foregoing, the Released Parties shall have no liability in connection with:

(i) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by the Administrator’s electronic or printing error, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Challenge;

(ii) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines, internet connectivity or electronic transmission errors, or network hardware or software or failure of the Challenge Website;

(iii) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Challenge;

(iv) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Challenge or the processing of Submissions; or

(v) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the Maker’s participation in the Challenge or receipt or use or misuse of any Prize.

The Released Parties are not responsible for incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, lost, illegible, or incomprehensible Submissions or for address or email address changes of the Makers. Proof of sending or submitting will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by the Administrator.

If for any reason any Maker’s Submission is determined to have not been received or been erroneously deleted, late, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the Maker’s sole remedy is to request the opportunity to resubmit its Submission. Such request must be made promptly after the Maker knows or should have known there was a problem, and will be determined at the sole discretion of the Administrator.


By participating in the Challenge you consent to the use of personal information about you, if you are a winner, by the Administrator, and third parties acting on their behalf. Such personal information includes, but is not limited to, your name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, comments and hometown and country of residence. It may be used in any existing or newly created media, worldwide without further payment or consideration or right of review, unless prohibited by law. Authorized use includes advertising and promotional purposes.

The duration of your consent is for a period of three years following the conclusion of the Challenge. This consent applies, as applicable, to all members a Maker’s team or Organization that participated in the winning Submission.


A. Administrator reserve the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, in the event of a technical failure, fraud, or any other factor or event that was not anticipated or is not within their control.

B. Administrator reserve the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Maker it finds to be actually or presenting the appearance of tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in a manner that is inappropriate, unsportsmanlike, not in the best interests of this Challenge, or a violation of any applicable law or regulation.

C. Any attempt by any person to undermine the proper conduct of the Challenge may be a violation of criminal and civil law. Should Administrator suspect that such an attempt has been made or is threatened, they reserve the right to take appropriate action including but not limited to requiring a Maker to cooperate with an investigation and referral to criminal and civil law enforcement authorities.

D. If there is any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of the Official Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Challenge materials, including but not limited to the Challenge Submission form, Challenge Website, advertising (including but not limited to television, print, radio or online ads), the terms and conditions of the Official Rules shall prevail.

E. The terms and conditions of the Official Rules are subject to change at any time, including the rights or obligations of the Maker and the Administrator. The Administrator will post the terms and conditions of the amended Official Rules on the Challenge Website. To the fullest extent permitted by law, any amendment will become effective at the time specified in the posting of the amended Official Rules or, if no time is specified, the time of posting.

F. If at any time prior to the deadline, a Maker or prospective Maker believes that any Official Rule is or may be unclear or ambiguous, they must submit a written request for clarification.

G. The Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Should any provision of these Official Rules be or become illegal or unenforceable in any jurisdiction whose laws or regulations may apply to a Maker, such illegality or unenforceability shall leave the remainder of these Official Rules, including the Rule affected, to the fullest extent permitted by law, unaffected and valid. The illegal or unenforceable provision shall be replaced by a valid and enforceable provision that comes closest and best reflects the Administrator’s intention in a legal and enforceable manner with respect to the invalid or unenforceable provision.

H. Excluding Submissions, all intellectual property related to this Challenge, including but not limited to copyrighted material, trademarks, trade-names, logos, designs, promotional materials, web pages, source codes, drawings, illustrations, slogans and representations are owned or used under license by the Administrator. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized copying or use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property without the express written consent of its owners is strictly prohibited. Any use in a Submission of Administrator intellectual property shall be solely to the extent provided for in these Official Rules.


By entering, all Makers (including, in the case of a team or Organization, all participating members) agree to be bound by the Official Rules and hereby release the Released Parties from any and all liability in connection with the Prizes or Maker’s participation in the Challenge. Provided, however, that any liability limitation regarding gross negligence or intentional acts, or events of death or body injury shall not be applicable in jurisdictions where such limitation is not legal.


Without prejudice to the foregoing, any dispute or disagreement arising from the interpretation or execution of the Challenge shall be settled by arbitration as follows:

(i) Both parties will first endeavor to settle any difference amicably by direct dealings;

(ii) If no agreement is reached within sixty (60) days, the matter will be submitted for arbitration to the chair of the GBIF Governing Board.


Please review the ChallengePost Terms of Service at for additional rules that apply to your participation in the Challenge and more generally your use of the Challenge Website. Such Terms of Service are incorporated by reference into these Official Rules. If there is a conflict between the Terms of Service and these Official Rules, the latter terms shall control with respect to this Challenge only.

Participation in the Challenge constitutes Maker’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules. By entering, a Maker agrees that all decisions related to the Challenge that are made pursuant to these Official Rules are final and binding, and that all such decisions are at the sole discretion of the Administrator.

The Administrator collects personal information from you when you enter the Challenge. The Administrator will not share any personal information with third parties unless it is required to administer the Challenge. See the Administrator’s Data Use Agreement to understand important terms and conditions related to the use of data published through its online resources: 


Challenge winners will be posted on the Challenge Website on or about April 2, 2015.


If you have any questions or comment, or wish to send us any notice regarding this Challenge, please email us at