The Cybersecurity Tech Accord (CTA), an international, industry-led effort by technology and security companies to combat cyberattacks, announced a new contest to improve internet cybersecurity on Dec. 3.

The contest – dubbed Apps 4 Digital Peace – is intended to “stimulate new thinking from innovating young minds across the world,” according to CTA. In partnership with the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), CTA is asking competitors aged 16 to 32 to “develop original technology-based solutions, such as mobile applications, to both help limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict, and to increase the stability of our online environment.”

The submissions will be reviewed by both technical and policy experts from CTA and UNODA. Finalists will be able to present their proposals during High Level week of the United Nations in September 2020. CTA noted that while contest entries do not need to be final versions of the proposed solutions, it is looking to review proofs of concept that feature explanations of how the technology-based solutions would stem risks posed by cyber conflict and improve online security for users.

Finalists are eligible for cash prizes, including $15,000 for first prize, $10,000 for second, and $5,000 for third. Competitors can begin submitting their proposals in January of 2020.

CTA said it is looking for solutions that include a technical element, such as a mobile app, hardware product, or code. The solutions should also:

  • Address existing and potential cyber threats,
  • Ensure respect for international law in cyberspace,
  • Ensure respect for human rights in cyberspace,
  • Adhere to the voluntary norms, rules, and principles laid out by CTA,
  • Foster confidence building, and
  • Foster cybersecurity capacity building.

In its announcement of the contest, CTA noted that submissions will be judged on three criteria:

  • Innovative use of technology,
  • Design and user experience, and
  • Impact on real-world problems.
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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.