Microsoft Research Cloud AI Research Challenge Complete Rules
- Microsoft will select four (4) winning applications.
- The awards will consist of two (2) USD25,000 grand prize awardees, one (1) USD15,000 second place, and one (1) USD10,000 third place.
Eligibility for the Cloud AI Research Challenge
The challenge is open to all disciplines and methodologies. We encourage the submission of applications from across disciplines.
If you are not affiliated with an academic institution, your submission must meet one of the following requirements:
- Individuals who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry.
- Teams of eligible individuals.
- Teams entering on behalf of 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 and employ no more than 50 people (“Organizations”).
- Teams entering on behalf of organizations that employ more than 50 people (“Large Organizations”), though such Large Organizations are only eligible for the Large Organization Recognition Award.
The above are, collectively, “Submitters.”
- If a team or organization is entering the Challenge, they must appoint and authorize one individual (the “Representative”) to represent, act, and enter an Application on their behalf. The Representative must meet the eligibility requirements noted earlier in this document. By entering an Application on the Site on behalf of a team or organization, you represent and warrant that you are the Representative authorized to act on behalf of your team or organization.
- An individual may join more than one team, Organization, or Large Organization and an individual who is part of a team, Organization, or Large Organization may also enter the Challenge on an individual basis.
The following are not eligible for the Challenge:
- Individuals who are residents of, or Organizations or Large Organizations domiciled in, a country, state, province or territory where the laws of the United States or local law prohibits participating or receiving an Award in the Challenge (including, but not limited to, Brazil, Quebec, Italy, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and any other country designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control).
- Any parent company, subsidiary, or other affiliate* of any organization described above.
- Any other individual or organization whose participation in the Challenge would create, in the sole discretion of the judges, a real or apparent conflict of interest.
- Employees of Microsoft and contractors currently under contract work for Microsoft are not eligible.
Submit your video URL and Document in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15, 2018, midnight, to be considered for the prizes. (This deadline has passed.)
*An affiliate is: (a) an organization that is under common control, sharing a common majority or controlling owner, or common management; or (b) an organization that has a substantial ownership in, or is substantially owned by the other organization.
Eligibility for Azure resource credits
If you are affiliated with an academic institution and you apply before February 15, 2018 (This deadline has passed.), the following are eligible to receive Azure credits:
- Faculty, researchers, and doctoral students.
- Masters and undergraduate students (these require approval from a faculty project supervisor to submit their proposal).
- The proposal title must begin with “Cloud AI Challenge” for identification purposes.
Apply for Cloud AI resources through Azure credits by submitting your proposal to the online submission tool before February 15, 2018. (This deadline has passed.)
Additional Terms and Conditions
- “Microsoft”: Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052 USA
The Challenge is an initiative of the Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft is the sponsor and entity responsible for the Challenge and is contributing the funding.
- No purchase or payment necessary. A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning.
- It is your sole responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate in challenges, trade promotions, or similar events. If you are participating in violation of your employer’s policies, you may be disqualified from entering and/or receiving Awards. Microsoft disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between an employee and their employer related to the Challenge, and Awards will only be awarded in compliance with the employer’s policies.
- Subject to the licenses described below, any applicable intellectual property rights to an Application will remain with the Submitter.
- By entering the Challenge, you grant to the Microsoft and any other third parties acting on the Microsoft’s behalf, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide perpetual license to display publicly and use for promotional purposes the Application, in perpetuity. This license includes, but is not limited to, posting or linking to the Application on Microsoft’s and partners’ websites and applications, including the Challenge Website, and display and promotion of the Application in any other media, worldwide.
- The following Application components may be displayed to the public: name, description, images, Video URL, website, URL, team members (username only), the Application category and platform, and Submitter type. Other Application materials may be viewed by the Microsoft and Judges for screening and evaluation.
- Submitters represent and warrant that the Microsoft and Challenge partners are free to use the Application in the manner described above, as provided or as modified by Microsoft, without obtaining permission or license from any third party and without any compensation to Submitters.
- If you are a public sector employee (including but not limited to education), all Awards will be awarded directly to your public sector organization and subject to receipt of a gift letter signed by your educational institution’s ethics officer, attorney, or designated executive/office responsible for your organization’s gifts/ethics policy. Microsoft seeks to ensure that by offering items of value at no charge in promotional settings it does not create any violation of the letter or spirit of the customer’s/entrant’s applicable gifts and ethics rules.
If a team includes public sector employees and individuals not employed in the public sector, the Award will be awarded to a non-public sector employee team member. If a team includes only public sector employees, and team members are from multiple public sector organizations, the Award will be divided and awarded proportionally to each public sector organization represented on the team.
Microsoft defines a public sector organization as:
Government entities include sovereign states and all governmental entities as well as quasi-governmental entities, including but not limited to government corporations, state-owned or state-controlled enterprises, regional transportation authorities, or state owned universities or hospitals. For additional guidance, please consult the State Owned Entity Criteria.
- Government Official refers to all of the following:
- Any employee of a government entity or subdivision, including elected officials
- Any private person acting on behalf of a government entity, even if just temporarily
- Officers and employees of companies that are owned or controlled by the government
- Candidates for political office
- Political party officials
- Officers, employees and representatives of public international organizations, such as the World Bank and United Nations
Be aware that in certain countries and in certain industries, an individual who seems to work for a private entity may, in fact, be considered a Government Official.
- By entering the Challenge, you (and, if you are entering on behalf of a team, each participating members) agree(s) to the following:
- The relationship between you, the Submitter, and Microsoft is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other special relationship.
- You will be bound by and comply with these Official Rules and the decisions of Microsoft and Challenge Judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to the Challenge.
- You release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless Microsoft 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 Submitter’s entry, creation of Application or entry of an Application, participation in the Challenge, acceptance or use or misuse of the Award (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of the Application as authorized or licensed by these Official Rules.
- Without limiting the foregoing, the Released Parties shall have no liability in connection with:
- Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by the Microsoft’s electronic or printing error, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Challenge.
- 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.
- Unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Challenge.
- Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Challenge or the processing of Applications.
- Any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the Submitter’s participation in the Challenge or receipt or use or misuse of any Award.
In addition, the terms and conditions for the Microsoft AI services, and any other Microsoft product, service, tool or website that you use in connection with the Application, will continue to apply in accordance with their terms and, without limiting Section 11.b above, the Released Parties will not have any liability for any failure of such products, services, tools or websites in connection with the Application or Challenge.
- The Released Parties are not responsible for incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, lost, illegible, or incomprehensible Applications or for address or email address changes of the Submitters. Proof of sending or submitting will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by the Microsoft.
- If for any reason any Application is determined to have not been received or been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the Submitter’s sole remedy is to request the opportunity to resubmit its Application. Such request must be made promptly after the Submitter knows or should have known there was a problem, and will be determined at the sole discretion of the Microsoft.
- The award of an Award to a potential winner is subject to verification of the identity, qualifications, and role of the potential winner in the creation of the Application. The final decision to designate a winner shall be made by Microsoft.
- Microsoft may deem a potential winner (or participating team members) ineligible to win if:
- The potential winner’s Representative or any participating member does not respond to multiple emails, or responds and rejects the Award
- The Award or Award notification is returned as undeliverable
- The Application or the potential winner, or any member of a potential winner’s team, is disqualified for any other reason.
- In the event of a disqualification, the Microsoft may award the applicable Award to an alternate potential winner.
- A monetary Award will be mailed to the winning Submitter’s address. Awards will be payable to the Submitter, if an individual, and to the Submitter’s Representative, if a team. It will be the responsibility of the winning Submitter’s Representative to allocate the Award among their team as the Representative deems appropriate.
- The Award will be mailed within sixty (60) days of announcing the awardees.
- Winners (and in the case of team, all participating members) are responsible for reporting and paying all applicable taxes in their jurisdiction of residence (federal, state/provincial/territorial and local). Winners may be required to provide certain information to facilitate receipt of the award, including completing and submitting any tax or other forms necessary for compliance with applicable withholding and reporting requirements. United States residents are required to provide a completed form W-9 and residents of other countries are required to provide a completed W-8BEN form. Winners are also responsible for complying with foreign exchange and banking regulations in their respective jurisdictions and reporting the receipt of the Award to relevant government departments/agencies, if necessary. Microsoft reserves the right to withhold a portion of the Award amount to comply with the tax laws of the United States or other Microsoft jurisdiction, or those of a winner’s jurisdiction.
- By participating in the Challenge you consent to the use of personal information about you, if you are a winner, by Microsoft 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 (3) years following the conclusion of the Challenge. This consent applies, as applicable, to all members a Submitter’s team or Organization that participated in the winning Application.
- Microsoft reserves the right, in their 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.
- Microsoft reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Submitter 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.
- Any attempt by any person to undermine the proper conduct of the Challenge may be a violation of criminal and civil law. Should Microsoft 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 Submitter to cooperate with an investigation and referral to criminal and civil law enforcement authorities.
- 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 Application 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.
- The terms and conditions of the Official Rules are subject to change at any time. Microsoft 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.
- If at any time prior to the deadline, a Submitter or prospective Submitter believes that any Official Rule is or may be unclear or ambiguous, they must submit a written email requesting clarification to email@example.com.
- Microsoft’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 Submitter, 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 Microsoft’s intention in a legal and enforceable manner with respect to the invalid or unenforceable provision.
- Excluding Applications, 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 Microsoft. 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 an Application of Microsoft intellectual property shall be solely to the extent provided for in these Official Rules.
- By entering, all Submitters (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 regarding the Awards or Submitter’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.
- Submitters agree that, to the fullest extent permitted by law: any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Challenge, or any Awards awarded, other than those concerning the administration of the Challenge or the determination of winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this Challenge, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.