Blockchain for Logistics and Supply Management Innovation Challenge

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May 20, 2019


The purpose of this challenge is to develop practical solutions to supply chain security problems, particularly the need for a distributed, unalterable database of transactions. Many blockchain applications enhance the ability to track and trace items in a supply chain. This is valuable, but the industry needs more. The Blockchain Innovation Challenge invites participants to develop practical solutions that build trust in the integrity of both items and information in a supply chain.

The Opportunity

The Blockchain Innovation Challenge invites you to develop an innovative system that uses blockchain or blockchain-related technologies to solve a logistics or supply chain management security problem. Topics include:

  • Tracking and tracing
  • Visibility across the supply chain.
  • Counterfeit prevention and identification.
  • Prevention of supply chain insertion.
  • Information sharing, integration and integrity.

Development Requirements

  • The solution or platform needs to work across a large enterprise. Integration across multiple systems is critical and must be a simple, straightforward process.
  • The blockchain must link to the physical asset, i.e., you must assure that the asset is tied to the ledger.
  • The solution must be scalable, meaning that it cannot be prohibitively expensive or labor intensive. Enterprise-level supply chains typically have millions of unique parts and hundreds of millions of items.
  • The blockchain solution should have a wide reach, but does not have to apply to every item.

The Contest

Teams are required to submit a team information ledger and completed proposal by the date specified in the challenge schedule.

Teams that want to participate in the pitch competition must:

  • Complete this registration form
  • Attend a kickoff meeting.
  • Participate in boot camps


Submit Proposal



Winning Team:

Team Chain Reaction

Runner Up Team:



Blockchain Innovation Challenge overview

Teams will take part in a series of boot camps, address key training areas and develop a project plan. Challenge teams will then take part in a pitch competition to refine their offering. Teams that complete the pitch competition will receive $1,000 in funding to develop the prototype. Teams will implement their plans during the course of the challenge using The Agile Method. Finally, teams will demonstrate their prototype to government, academic and industry representatives.

Innovation Challenge Objectives

The challenge has a number of objectives:

  • Effect change for social good.
  • Develop innovative solutions to problems identified during the challenge.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate teamwork, leadership and commercial skills as well as technical competence.
  • Foster collaboration between organizations in the challenge technology space.
  • Provide a forum for interdisciplinary research.

Competition Overview

Blockchain Innovation Challenge

Teams enter the challenge by completing the Blockchain Innovation Challenge registration form at TEAM REGISTRATION FORM. Teams submit completed forms to

By submitting, participants agree to abide by Blockchain Innovation Challenge rules, and to all decisions made by ASURE.

ASURE reserves the right to change, postpone or cancel any part of the competition.

Submissions must be received no later than the date and time specified in the program schedule. Submissions received after this time are not eligible to take part in challenge.

Eligibility and Team Structure

The competition is open to participating organizations, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. Participants must be 18 years old or older. There is no size constraint to the number of people allowed on each team.

Each team must include:

  • A faculty adviser. One faculty member may advise multiple teams. A team’s faculty adviser is responsible for providing adequate and appropriate space for system design, coding, development and testing.
  • A team manager. The manager is the team’s official liaison with ASURE, and is responsible for scheduling the team’s activities and acting as a central point of contact for the team.
  • A team safety lead. The safety lead ensures members operate in a safe manner by reinforcing safe practices, leading the appropriate safety briefing and following the safety procedures.


There is no entry fee to participate.

Teams selected to move forward with design development will be able to procure items to support their proposed design solution. An evaluation committee will determine the funding amount based on the number of teams selected.

Teams will submit an order form to purchase an item. Procurement will occur twice a week. Teams must plan procurement from a financial and lead-time perspective.

Each team will be required to keep a Bill of Materials workbook documenting the use of the funds. Each purchase will include quantity, unit cost and a link to the product or service.

Innovation Challenge Support

Teams (or members from each team) shall attend each challenge event.

Teams that bring a viable solution to the demonstration event have a greater chance of succeeding. To support this goal, ASURE provides support to individual teams, including answering requests for specific support, program management assistance and issue resolution.


Points of Contact


Innovation Challenge administration, execution and procurement:

Jamie Shores

ASU's Intellectual Property point of contact:

Shen Yan


Intellectual Property

Each team’s parent organization governs intellectual property arising out of the Innovation Challenge.

The Arizona Board of Regents owns intellectual property generated by ASU teams. ASU finalists will declare and protect existing IP at the kick-off meeting at SkySong Innovations. SkySong Innovations will manage ASU intellectual property arising out of the Innovation Challenge. Participants may contact its liaison at any time.

ASU, ASURE and the developing team will share revenue generated by IP developed during the challenge. Teams should not publish on topics related to their designs or post images of their system to social media or other public venues until they have discussed this information with SkySong Innovations. Failure to do so may result in loss of certain IP rights.


Innovation Challenge Schedule

Date Event Description
August 26, 2019 Innovation Challenge is open for proposal submissions through the website
October 16, 2019 Innovation Challenge is closed for proposal submissions.
October 18, 2019 Finalist selection.
October 30, 2019 Kickoff and start of boot camps. Teams are briefed on program details at the kickoff. Boot camps provide the basic skills necessary to commercialize a concept and develop the prototype.
November 5, 2019 Second bootcamp.
November 13, 2019 Scheduling for preliminary design review. Each 20-minute presentation is on a first-come, first-scheduled basis.
December 12, 2019 Preliminary design review. Teams will take part in a lean version of a formal preliminary design review.
February 6, 2020 Scheduling for critical design review. Each 20-minute presentation is on first-come, first-scheduled basis.
March 6, 2020 Critical design review. Teams will take part in a lean version of a formal critical design review.
March 13, 2020 Teams submit slick sheets.
March 20, 2020 Scheduling for demonstration readiness review. Each 20-minute presentation is on first-come, first- scheduled basis.
April 3, 2020 Demonstration readiness review. Teams will show their readiness to take part in the demonstration event.
April 8, 2020 Demonstration day. Teams will demonstrate their prototype to a review committee and engage with industry, academic and governmental representatives.
April 16, 2020 Victor announced. Teams will take part in an awards ceremony and social event.

Design and Operational Requirements

Requirements Overview

The Innovation Challenge is designed to expose students to skill sets they will need in their careers. The evaluation team will be looking for:

  • A methodical, systems engineering approach in selecting a concept, identifying requirements and a design, and testing the system.
  • Innovation in solving engineering challenges.
  • A solution that meets a market need and that can be rapidly converted to product.

Development Environment

A team’s faculty advisor is responsible for providing adequate and appropriate space for system design, coding, development and testing.

System Design Requirements

Each team’s mission is to design, develop and demonstrate a capability for a real-world problem. Teams will include system design requirements — the “shall have” capabilities that represent the minimum system capabilities presented for the challenge.

Enhanced System Capabilities

The inclusion of enhanced system capabilities, above and beyond system design requirements, are at the discretion of the team. However, these capabilities can create a more technologically advanced and innovative solution. Teams must balance cost, capability and schedule to ensure the enhanced capability falls within the Innovation Challenge constraints.

Development Methods

Teams are expected to take a methodical, systems engineering approach in selecting a concept, identifying requirements and a design, and testing the system.

Teams shall have design artifacts that define the hardware, software, electrical and signal components in enough detail to support production of the system.

Teams shall identify key performance measures based upon their design. These include, but are not limited to, processing capacity, cost and storage. Key performance measures should estimate requirements to evaluate margins and compliance with requirements. KPMs will be tracked until actual measurements are taken.


The Innovation Challenge Safety Officer (DSO) is Jonathan Klane (, 480-965-8498). Any questions regarding safety and safe operation of the system should be directed to the DSO.


Review Committees

Review committees provide a multi-disciplined perspective on Innovation Challenge proposals. Members come from academia, agencies developing and soliciting logistics and supply chain technology, the defense and aerospace industry, and the technology industry.

Committee members evaluate the design of the system at each phase of development, and provide teams with insight and guidance to address potential problems and enhance capabilities. Each member brings his or her unique perspective to the process, using a rubric to guide the evaluation.


Challenge Activities

Teams complete a submission for the Innovation Challenge that identifies team members, including a faculty advisor, and a description of their proposed system.

Teams take part in a series of boot camps after finalist are announced. Boot camps prepare teams for product development and program execution. They will learn specific dates and topics during the kick off meeting.

In Progress Reviews

The review committee monitors progress through a series of reviews with the teams. The goal of the review is to ensure teams develop their solution and resolve roadblocks.

Teams will schedule their review using the Innovation Challenge website on a first-come, first-served basis. To the fullest extent possible, the entire team is expected to be present at the reviews.

In progress reviews may be conducted in person or virtually.

Status Meetings

All teams will take part in status meetings with the ASURE team or the team’s mentor every other week. The goal is to report progress and address issues early in the development cycle.

Development Review

Committee members will evaluate the maturity of the design and assesses its readiness for the demonstration. The review will focus on the ability of the design to meet the team’s requirements and its progress toward development.

Teams will complete the development review template and submit the review package prior to the review. The development readiness reviews take approximately 20 minutes, and are followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Teams may add information into the back-up section of the briefing to add context and demonstrate the maturity of the design.

Data Sheet

Teams will be required to develop a data sheet on the design using a provided template. The data sheet is similar to marketing material and will be used to advertise the capability to a broader audience.


Teams are responsible to complete adequate testing of their capability to ensure it functions without defects.

Demonstration Event

The final phase of the program is a demonstration event to showcase technical implementation and operational capabilities. The review committee will assess each team’s system based on the applicability of the team’s solution to its stated problem, the impact of the solution and innovation.

Teams will receive an order of events and time schedule for the demonstration event at a later date.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the idea have to utilize Blockchains?
Yes.  The capability being developed should utilize blockchain technologies in some form.

Can teams augment the budget with additional funding?
No. Team budgets have been established to create a standard unit cost for a system and also ensure all teams have equal funding.

Can teams submit multiple proposals?
No. Each team may make only one submission.

I just submitted our proposal and noticed an error, can I submit and update?
Yes. Teams may submit updated proposals. Only the latest version will be evaluated as part of the Innovation Challenge.

Can I use technology I’ve worked on previously?
Yes. The goal is to develop an innovative solution, this can include work you completed previously.

Can a solution include multiple users?
Yes. A solution for a team, or several individuals working independently or as a part of a team is acceptable.

I have an idea for a logistics or supply chain solution that is not specifically listed in the Innovation Challenge documentation, can I submit the idea?
Yes. One of the goals of the Innovation Challenge is to get the broadest perspective and solution set possible.

Can I use commercial or Open Source software as part of my proposal?
Yes. Commercial and Open Source software can be used in accordance with the End User License Agreement. However, software costs must be included as part of the budget.

What version of Blockchains can I use?
Teams may use any version of Blockchains defined in the registration submission.

Do we have to design everything from scratch?
No. Capabilities can be built upon existing designs, commercial capabilities or open-source capabilities.

How does the funding work?
Teams will submit a purchase request to ASURE, which will procure the item(s) on behalf of the team.

May I use custom blockchain?
Yes. Teams may submit updated proposals. Only the latest version will be evaluated as part of the Innovation Challenge.