$3 million grant competition for education companies

The Learning Engineering Tools Competition 2021 ("Tools Competition") is a multi-million dollar prize challenge to leverage technology, data, and learning science to meet the urgent needs of learners across generations. This year's Tools Competition will offer more than $3 million in prize awards - more than double the previous year - and will be one of the largest ed tech competitions ever convened.

The Opportunity

The Tools Competition aims to spur the development and deployment of technologies that address pressing education issues in elementary and secondary education and adult learning while advancing the field of learning engineering.

Rather than designing silver bullet solutions, these tools will be designed for continuous improvement to maximize their effectiveness over time.

Learning engineering is an emerging discipline at the intersection of learning science and computer science that seeks to design learning systems with the instrumentation, data, and partnerships with the research community to drive tight feedback loops and continuous improvements in how that learning is delivered in online and blended settings.

Tools may target one of four competition tracks or areas in education:

Accelerate learning in elementary and secondary literacy and math
Transform K-12 assessments in both cost and quality
Tools that help students achieve or exceed proficiency in grade-level literacy or math skills, despite learning loss due to COVID.
Tools that improve the quality of assessment to better meet the needs of educators, students and families while reducing the time or cost to develop or administer them. Tools that support diagnostic, formative, interim, summative and direct-to-family assessments are eligible.
Facilitate faster, better, and cheaper learning science research
Tools that accelerate the learning science research process by facilitating A/B testing and random controlled trials, improving research design, promoting replication, or releasing knowledge and data for external research.
Drive improvements in adult learning that boost middle class wages
Tools that increase the effectiveness or reach of post-secondary education or skill training to prepare adults, particularly non-college educated adults, for the changing economy.

Each proposal will be evaluated on five criteria:

Attention to equity to support learning of historically marginalized populations
Potential impact and likelihood to improve learning
Ability to support rapid experimentation and continuous improvement
Proposals will be considered relative to submissions within the same track.

To encourage both new entrants, as well as developing and established platforms, competitors can request an award in one of two prize bands and name a specific amount within their selected range. Proposals requesting larger amounts will be subject to a higher bar for the evaluation criteria.
Ability to scale to additional users and/or domains
Team passion, and readiness to execute
Up to $50,000
Catalyst Tools Prizes
$50,001 – $250,000
Mid-Scale and Large Tools Prize



Phase 1: Submit a proposal concept
Due Date: October 1, 2021
Competitors will submit a form to describe their proposal concept for the tool or technology, the prize request, and the team.
Phase 2: Submit a detailed proposal with budget
Due Date: December 17, 2021
The detailed proposal should follow the template provided by the competition organizers and be up to 3,000 words
Phase 3. Pitch with a panel of judges
Mid to late March, 2022
Finalists will be notified by mid February 2022. The judges will evaluate the pitches and provide recommendations for the winners.
Winners Notified
April 2022
Winners will then be announced and receive the first installment of their award. Winners will receive coaching, the opportunity to connect with leaders in the field and the ability to present to researchers or teachers to refine their tool.
Product Review Day
Summer 2022
Winners will present on their progress to date and receive feedback on timely challenges from other winners and leaders in the field. Winners making sufficient progress by Product Review Day will receive the second installment of their prize.
Demo Day
Spring 2023
Winners will demonstrate their tools in a live public event and network with other leaders in the field.


Competition international recruitment teams contacts:
Competition official website:
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