Contest Official Rules


SPONSORS. The Contest is sponsored by SoBran, Inc. and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (individually and collectively known as the “Sponsor”).

ELIGIBILITY. Subject to the additional restrictions below, the Science for Change Prize (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of North Carolina. Participants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of registration. The Contest is open to all individuals or teams with pre-clinical research projects in progress and that are employed by a university or by an emerging North Carolina company. In order to be considered an emerging company for the purpose of the Contest, a company must:

  • Have fewer than 50 employees and annual revenue less than $10 million;
  • Have a significant operating presence in North Carolina, which means the company must (i) maintain its head office (where its books and records are kept, taxes are paid and senior management is located) in North Carolina as reported to the Secretary of State and/or (ii) conduct significant research, product development, or manufacturing activity in North Carolina;
  • Be engaged in life science research, development or manufacturing to develop a product or technology with commercial potential;
  • Have at least one management team member in North Carolina significantly engaged and dedicating at least 30 hours per week to the company and focusing on the company as his/her primary employment; and
  • Have a valid license or option to license the relevant core intellectual property expected to be necessary for the company to commercialize its product or technology.

TERM. The Contest will open at 12:01 am ET on May 26, 2016 and submissions will be accepted until 11:59 pm ET on January 31, 2017.  The announcement of the prize winners will take place in March 2017.

HOW TO ENTER. The purpose of the Contest is to celebrate research being developed in North Carolina. Participants must complete the entry requirements and information in the submissions is subject to verification.

The entry form is on the Innovation for Impact webpage. All fields must be completed. An additional email address ( is available for attachments and questions.

COMPETITION CRITERIA AND WINNER SELECTION. Participants will be evaluated based on project innovation and impact on healing, feeding or fueling the world, including humans and animals.

A panel of qualified judges will select the five (5) top submissions based on the four (4) criteria below.

  1. How will your research help heal, feed or fuel the world?
  2. Is the research addressing the challenge in an innovative, creative, or original way?  (if this research has been done before, the answer is no)
  3. What is the description of the research? All stages of research underway will be considered, however research must have progressed beyond a write-up for purposes of this competition.
  4. How will this prize help you/your organization reach a decision faster?

WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE. Sponsor will notify Participants who are finalists by email or phone call.


PRIZES. All monetary values are in United States Dollars.

One (1) Grand Prize winner will be awarded a research study at the SoBran contract research facility at Gateway University Research Park with up to a $10,000 value, to be started within one (1) calendar year from award date. The one (1) Grand Prize winner will also be awarded a cash prize of $1,000.

Four (4) Finalist Prize winners will be awarded a cash prize of $500 each.

Please allow 4 to 8 weeks after the end of the Contest for the prizes to be fulfilled.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS. Sponsor intends to announce the results in March 2017.  The five (5) top finalist submissions will be ranked, with each place in the ranking determining which of the five (5) prizes discussed above will be awarded.

RULES FOR SUBMISSIONS. All content provided by a Participant,including any member of a Participant team, in connection with the Contest must not violate any property, contract, or intellectual rights of any person or entity, including, without limitation, any copyright, trademark, patent, or other intellectual property rights, or rights of privacy and publicity, or violate any applicable national, federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or policies, including those relating to export control.

A Participant may submit more than one research project description, but must submit separate entry forms and fulfill all entry requirements for each research project. Each research project will be evaluated independently.

Other Entry notifications:  Sponsor may decide that reasonable modifications to entry, judging or other criteria (for example, additional clarification or detail for submission requirements) are appropriate for the Contest to run smoothly and to help the Participants present their best vision of the impact their research. Sponsor reserves the right to modify or supplement the Contest Official Rules, and to communicate such modifications or supplements to Participants, for any reason and in any manner as Sponsor deems reasonable.

Any questions regarding the eligibility or appropriateness of any submissions in the Contest shall be resolved by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries by a Participant who submits false or misleading entry information or who Sponsor determines to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Contest.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF SUBMISSIONS. All submissions will be kept confidential by Sponsor. In accordance with the "Publicity Release" terms below, participants agree to give permission for the Sponsor to use a mutually agreed description of the research impact..

OWNERSHIP OF SUBMISSIONS. As between Sponsor and Participant, Participant retains ownership of all intellectual property rights in and to the Project Content.

Participant understands that, excluding the opportunity to win a prize, Participant will not receive any compensation from Sponsor in connection with Participant’s participation in the Contest, and Participant is solely responsible for any costs or expenses arising from such participation. Sponsor has no obligation to retain any Participant’s submission to the Contest, nor to return such submission to the Participant at the conclusion of the Contest.

NO CONFLICTING OBLIGATIONS / GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: By participating, Participant represents and warrants that Participant is not subject to any conflicting obligations that may restrict Participant’s participation in the Contest or the use of Participant’s submissions by Sponsor, judges, or other parties as contemplated herein. A Participant who is an employee of the U.S. Government, or who is employed by any other entity that may restrict participation in the Contest, represents and warrants that he or she has obtained all necessary approvals needed to participate in the Contest and submit any intellectual property contained in the Contest submission.

TERMINATION.  Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify, or terminate the Contest.

PRIVACY POLICY. By participating in the Contest, Participant agrees that Sponsor’s privacy policy applies to Participant’s participation in the Contest. Participant represents and warrants that Participant has read and agrees to Sponsor’s privacy policy located at

PUBLICITY RELEASE. By participating in the Contest, Participant agrees that Sponsor has the absolute right and permission, except to the extent prohibited by law, to use Participant’s name, voice, likeness, and biographical information in connection with the Contest for any commercial, publicity, or promotional purpose without limitation, review, approval or compensation.

Participant agrees to give permission for the Sponsor to use a mutually agreed description of the research impact for promotional purposes.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY; WAIVER. To the maximum extent permitted by law, as consideration for and as an expressed condition of participation in the Contest, each Participant in the Content hereby agrees, on behalf of the Participant, the Participant’s assignees, beneficiaries, legal representatives, and any other party acting on the Participant’s behalf, to release, waive, discharge, and covenant not sue SoBran and/or the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, to include the related companies, respective administrators, directors, officers, agents, and shareholders, to include their beneficiaries and legal representatives, other employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, and advertisers of either entity, which are hereinafter referred to individually as a “Releasee” and collectively as "Releasees," in connection with any claim, cause of action, lien, loss, damage, demand, or lawsuit that the Participant has or may hereafter have, whether legal or equitable in nature, for personal injury, death, property damage, or any other damage of whatever kind or nature, against any Releasee or Releasees arising out of or relating to the Participant’s participation in the Contract.

INDEMNIFICATION. By participating, Participant agrees to release, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless SoBran and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (individually and collectively referred to as “Indemnified Party” or “Indemnified Parties,” as applicable), to include the employees, directors, shareholders, officers, representatives, and agents of each Released Party, from any and all claims, lawsuits, judgments, causes of action, proceedings, demands, fines, penalties, liability, costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) that may arise in connection with or are related to: (i) Participant’s breach of any representation or warranty hereunder; (ii) the Participant’s submission in the Content, including any content of the submission; and/or (iii) Participant’s acceptance, use, or misuse of any prize awarded under the Contest.

CONTACT. Any questions, complaints or issues should be addressed to For a copy of the winners’ list, email after March 31, 2017. Any such requests for the winners’ list must be received no later than thirty (30) days after such date.