NEOM Innovation Challenge 2020

Imagine solutions to solve the Grand Challenges of the future.



This Challenge is sponsored by NEOM Company, a joint stock company duly licensed under the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, pursuant to license number 1010504644  (the “Sponsor”).

The aim of these Rules is to set out the terms and conditions governing your participation in the Challenge. By registering for this Challenge, you fully and unconditionally agree to comply with these Rules.  If you do not agree with any of these Rules, do not register for this Challenge and do not submit an entry.


  1. TERM

This Challenge begins on October 12, 2020 at 13:00 and ends on November 16, 2020 at 16:00. The Challenge will be accessible 24 hours a day on the dedicated Challenge website operated by Agorize at (the “Challenge website”), subject to possible IT maintenance operations and malfunctions. Dates and times in these Rules refer to Arabia Standard Time (AST).



Any eligible person who is registered on the Challenge website and enrols to participate in the Challenge (“Participant” or “You”), is required to review and accept these Rules.

By accessing and accepting these Rules, You:

  • enter into a valid and enforceable contractual relationship with Sponsor regarding participation in the Challenge. The registration and enrolment in the Challenge do not set up any subordination relationship between the Sponsor and the Participant, and
  • fully and unconditionally agree to comply with these Rules. Participants express their agreement by checking an online box while enrolling for the Challenge.

In case of non-respect of these Rules, the Participant and their School Team may be immediately disqualified from the Challenge and no prize will be awarded.



To take part in the Challenge, we must have received your completed registration by 11:59pm on October 22, 2020.

To register, the Participant must first have created a user account on the Challenge website, and must have truthfully and accurately completed required information, such as full name, email address, etc.

Any registration based on inaccurate, false or incomplete information will result in the Participant’s disqualification and may disqualify their School Team. Refusing collection, recording and use of their personal data that is strictly necessary to performing the Challenge will result in the Participant’s disqualification. The Participant is solely responsible for the information he/she provides while registering. Any intentional or non-intentional mistake, anomaly or inconsistency, regarding this information, may result in the Participant’s and their School Team’s disqualification. Sponsor reserves the right to undertake all necessary verifications regarding the Participant’s identity, postal and/or email address.

Deletion of a Participant’s user account on the Challenge website will be deemed as a withdrawal from the Challenge. In this case, the Participant, regardless of whether the deletion results from the Participant’s personal act or not, will not participate in the Challenge, and will not obtain any compensation.

You must also have accepted the Rules as well as Agorize’s Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy, during the creation of your user account and your registration to the Challenge.

Registration for and participation in the Challenge is free, with no purchase or payment obligation.



This Challenge is open and offered solely to:

  • Students. Any individual aged eighteen (18) years or younger who is currently enrolled at a secondary institution , this includes students who are attending an online school or home school. Each student may only participate once in each Challenge. If the Participant is under 18 years old, you must provide this authorization signed by a parent or guardian of the Participant.

All the documents that may confirm the Participant’s eligibility will be required prior to awarding any prizes (e.g. identity document, student card, etc.).

It is the responsibility of each Participant to confirm their own eligibility for traveling to ‎the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before enrolling in the Challenge. Participation in this program requires proven eligibility to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This Challenge is void in countries where it is prohibited or restricted by law.



Participation in the Challenge must be as a school team.

  • School Teams. Participants must form a team with one or more Participants from the same school (“School Team”). Each School Team must have between 2 and 5 members (5 members is the maximum). There may be more than one School Team from the same school. Each School Team member must accept these Rules, by clicking a hyperlink through the Agorize interface. Sponsor may disqualify any School Team (and all its members) in the case where any one member has not accepted or violates these Rules.

The goal of the Challenge is for School Teams to submit contributions (or projects) meeting the requirements determined by the Sponsor in the Challenge brief, and that are formalized by deliverables. The brief includes information regarding various deadlines, details of the prizes, Sponsor requirements, etc. (the “Brief”). The Brief is accessible through the Challenge website.



During the Challenge, School Teams may upload any documents or other materials (such as texts, presentations, videos, etc.) relating to their project to the Challenge website in response and as a solution to the Sponsor’s Challenge (the “Deliverable”).

To be eligible, Deliverables must (i) address the specific issue set out in the Brief, (ii) be in a common digital format, such as, DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, KEY, ODT, MP3, MPEG, MOV, MP4, and (iii) be in English, and must comply with these Rules. 

If a Deliverable cannot be downloaded, is not in the right format or is incompatible, illegible, or unintelligible, the Deliverable will be disqualified.

By submitting a Deliverable, School Teams and the Participants represent and warrant that: 

  • The Deliverable exclusively includes contributions from a School Team.
  • Otherwise, if any content from a third party has been used in the development of the Deliverable, all rights, authorizations, and agreements necessary to submit the Deliverable and grant the rights mentioned herein have been obtained. The existence of uncredited third-party contributions in the Deliverable will result in the disqualification of the Deliverable and the related School Team;
  • No other individual and/or entity is entitled to claim any rights from the use of the Deliverable; and 
  • The content of the Deliverable does not contain illicit, obscene, offensive or defamatory material, and does not and will not infringe or violate any rights of any third party or entity, including, without limitation, intellectual property rights, privacy, competition law, confidentiality, or any contractual or extracontractual right. All deliverables suspected to be in breach of any law(s) and/or any third party’s right will be ineligible.

Participants are responsible for and shall bear any costs or expenses associated with preparing and submitting Deliverables. Participants assume all risk of damaged, lost, late, incomplete, invalid, incorrect or misdirected Deliverables.



Challenge Rounds. The Challenge consists of several rounds:

  • Round One. Deliverables will be accepted from 12:00am on October 12, 2020 to 11:59pm on October 22, 2020. At the end of this Round, School Teams will be informed which sector they have been assigned to.
  • Round Two. Deliverables will be accepted from 12:00am on November 12, 2020 to 11:59pm on November 15, 2020. At the end of this Round, up to 6 Deliverables will be selected to proceed to the Final Round.
  • Final Round. School Teams are not required to upload a Deliverable on the Challenge website for this Final Round.

Deliverable. If a School Team does not upload a Deliverable on the Challenge website before the deadline, this will be considered as a withdrawal from the Challenge. The School Team or the Participants may not join the Challenge, and may not obtain any compensation from the Sponsor.

Selection Criteria. Deliverables will be judged according to the Selection Criteria, described below. You agree and acknowledge that the Challenge relies on your creativity, capacity, ability, and ingenuity to solve difficult problems. The Challenge does not depend, even partially, on chance or luck, and therefore should not be considered as a lottery. Under no circumstances are factors such as appearance, religion, membership in a trade union, political opinions or sexual orientation considered.

Notification to Participants. Once the selection has been completed, School Teams will be notified by email, phone, or by other means, at Sponsor’s discretion, of the results of each Round. The Sponsor will be free to alter the dates on which results are released should this become necessary due to the number of projects to be assessed.  The ranking decided by the final jury will be announced on the day that presentations are made and will identify the School Teams that are finalists.

1/ Round One

All Round One Deliverables must be received by Sponsor before 11:59pm October 22 2020. Deliverables must meet the specifications set out in Section 6, above, and include: 

  • An introduction to the School Team based on the questionnaire to be filled in in their participation area, accessible through their user account.

At the end of this Round, School Teams will be informed which sector they have been assigned.

2/Round Two

All Round Two Deliverables must be received by Sponsor on or before 11:59pm on November 15, 2020. Round Two Deliverables must meet the specifications set out in Section 6, above, and include:

  • A pitch deck (maximum 20-slides) presenting your School Team’s innovative idea in terms of feasibility, impact, and scalability.
  • A 3 minute video (mp4 format).

“Criteria based” voting will take place from 11:59pm on November 15 to 6:00am on November 16.

The voters (judges from NEOM, challenge owners and sector leaders) (the “Voters”) may evaluate and select the Deliverables based on their content and the following criteria:

  • Innovation: How innovative is the solution in its use of new or existing technology to solve the problem described in the Brief? Are there other solutions available and if so, how does this differentiate from them?
  • Relevancy: How well does the Deliverable respond to the specific need set out in the Brief?
  • Feasibility: How feasible is the solution to put into practice? Does the solution make sense financially? Will the solution be sustainable over the long term?
  • Impact: What is the scale of potential social impact? How broad is the impact? How many people will your solution reach? How significant is the impact?
  • Clarity: How well do you articulate your solution and the potential impact it will have on society?

Except as otherwise provided below, the 6  School Teams with the highest score at the end of this vote will win this vote and proceed to the Final round

3/Final Round

School Teams who have been selected to participate in the Final Round will be directly notified by the Sponsor and announced on November 16, 2020, unless Sponsor notifies the School Teams of any different dates. In the event a Participant does not promptly answer after the Sponsor has tried to contact him/her by email and by phone, the Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify this Participant and/or the School Team. This disqualification shall not entitle the School Teams or the Participants to claim any kind of compensation from the Sponsor.

The Final Round consists of an oral presentation of the selected projects by the School Teams. School Teams are not required to upload a Deliverable to the Challenge website before the Final Round.

However, School Teams must prepare a Deliverable which meets the specifications set out in Section 6 and which include:

  • A document describing their Project and presenting, for example, the problem it tackles, the proposed solution, its impact and its business model.

This document will be used as a presentation document during the oral presentation given by the Participants involved in the Project.

“Like” voting will take place immediately following the live pitches, open for 60 minutes.

The voters (judges from NEOM, challenge owners and sector leader) (the “Voters”) may evaluate a Deliverable and participate in a vote by “liking” the Deliverable. Voters are permitted to cast a single like vote.

Any attempt to mislead, cheat, use fake profiles, use third-party applications that enable false voting linked to cheating, or engage in duplicate voting of which the Sponsor becomes aware will result in the disqualification of the project that received these votes, and in the disqualification of the relevant School Team, who will not receive any prize or award. The Sponsor’s decision regarding disqualification is final and its decision may not be contested by Participants involved in the project in question or by any other Participant.


The prizes to be awarded to Challenge winners are subject to all of the following. They are awarded to the winners of the Challenge and are subject to compliance with the following cumulative conditions:

  • The Deliverables comply with Section 6 (“Deliverables”);
  • Each Participant of a winning School Team complies with Sections 9 and 11;
  • It can be proven that all Participants of a winning School Team fulfil the conditions of eligibility of Section 4 and are otherwise in compliance with these Rules.

No prize will be awarded to winners who do not fulfill the above.

Subject to these Rules, once confirmed by Sponsor, the winner(s) will receive the following:

  • Sector Winners: Each Sector Winner will be invited to participate in an The Global Exec. trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to visit NEOM (when travel permits, dates to be determined by the Sponsor)
  • Grand Challenge Winner: in addition to being a Sector Winner, the Grand Challenge winner will be invited to attend an incubator bootcamp (either local or online, to be determined by the Sponsor)

All Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Winners are responsible for arranging their own visas (if required) and ensuring they are eligible to travel to ‎the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. No assignment or transfer of prizes is allowed by a winner. If a potential winner cannot be reached, or is unable to accept the prize or any portion of the prize for any reason (including due to lack of visa or travel eligibility), Sponsor shall have no further obligation to such potential winner. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes after being awarded to winners. Winners will accept the prize “as it is”. Sponsor disclaims any warranty regarding the Prizes.

In the event a Participant (a winner) cannot be reached, by email or by phone, for more than three (3) months after the first attempt to reach them was made, he/she will be deemed as having waived their right to claim the prize and will not be entitled to any prize or any kind of compensation. 

If the prize as initially planned is unavailable, Sponsor will be free to substitute another prize of similar value. Any such decision is at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Any Participant who does not fulfill the conditions of Participation as provided in the Rules during their registration and/or at any time during the Challenge will be summarily disqualified from the Challenge without prior notice and will not be entitled to any prize. If a prize is awarded to a Participant who does not meet the conditions of Participation when registering or throughout the duration of the Challenge, Sponsor reserves the right to require the Participant to return the awarded prize.



The Participant acknowledges and consents that Sponsor may, globally and for the duration of the Challenge and for a period of three (3) years following the Final Round, use the Challenge for publicity, including for Sponsor’s advertising or other marketing purposes, (by any means and through any format (website, advertising banners, social networks, newsletter, press release) now known or unknown to date, free of charge or for a consideration.

In particular, you consent to use by Sponsor of your name and surname, your city and region of residence, the name of the institution in which you have studied or in which you obtained your diplomas, and other biographical information, your image, the information regarding the Prize (if you are a winner), and any other personal data that you submit with your Deliverables as well as the content of your Deliverables relating to the Challenge.

As an example, each Participant authorizes the Sponsor using the photographs taken during the Final to disseminate them via any communication medium.

Such use does not entitle the winner to any payment other than the Prize he/she received. Nothing in this Section 9 limits Section 11.



Sponsor has no obligation to keep the information contained in the Deliverables confidential. In general terms, when submitting any Deliverables, the Participants understand, agree and accept that any information contained therein may be publicly disclosed by the Sponsor. 

If you are a prize winner, Sponsor may request that you execute a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement for the purpose of entering into negotiations regarding the further development of your project, as described in your Deliverable. 

Furthermore, Participants acknowledge that Sponsor may currently or in the future be developing information internally, or receiving information from other parties, that is similar to the information contained in any of the projects. Accordingly, nothing herein shall prohibit Sponsor from independently acquiring, developing, or having developed for it, products, concepts, systems, services, or techniques that are similar to or compete with the products, concepts, systems or techniques contemplated by or embodied in any Deliverable.

The Participants recognize that other Participants, individuals or entities may have provided Sponsor or others, or made public, or may in the future submit, or make public, content that is the same or similar to any piece of information contained in any of the projects. Hence, the Participants acknowledge, agree and accept that Sponsor shall have the right to use such same or similar materials, and that the Participants will not be entitled to any compensation arising from Sponsor’s use of such materials.



Definitions. For the purposes of this section: 

  • "Intellectual Property Rights" refers to all patents, copyrights, design rights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, know-how, database rights and other rights in the nature of intellectual property rights (whether registered or not), and all applications for the same which may now, or in the future, subsist anywhere in the world
  • Creations” refers to any Deliverable, and any other software (including source and object code software), database, technical specifications, text, design, model, information, knowledge, method, process or product, as well as any resulting elements and/or processes submitted by a School Team or Participant throughout the Challenge.

Warranty of non-infringement. When submitting any Deliverable, at any stage of the Challenge, each Participant guarantees to Sponsor that he/she is the co/owner and/or co/holder of the Intellectual Property Rights relating to all Creations  (and that if he/she has obtained any materials, rights and/or permissions from a third party, (i) the source of the relevant materials, rights and/or permissions is identified in the Creation and, (ii) the Participant has the rights to grant a license in the relevant materials to the Sponsor in accordance with this clause11).

Each Participant guarantees (i) that his/her Creations are original and unprecedented; (ii) that his/her Creations do not infringe upon the copyright or any Intellectual Property Rights of any third party;; and (iii) that the submission of the relevant Deliverables does not constitute an act of unfair competition of any kind.

For each Deliverable submitted by a School Team, the above guarantees are given to the Sponsor by all Participants in that School Team.

Liability. Sponsor shall not be liable for any infringement of the above provisions by Participants. Each Participant shall indemnify Sponsor against any disturbance, action, claim, opposition and demand or eviction attempt from any third party in connection with any Creation in the Deliverables (Intellectual Property Rights included).

License: In consideration for their participation in the Challenge, each Participant accepts to grant Sponsor a license regarding the Creations as a component of the Deliverable and the Deliverable itself, and hereby undertakes to execute such additional documentation or instruments as may be required to give full effect to the license.                                                            

The license is perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, and royalty free.

This licence shall include the right to reproduce (wholly or in part), display (wholly or in part), analyse, adapt, modify, disseminate, translate and use (including commercial use) any and all Creations (and elements which are part of the Creations), as well as any Intellectual Property Rights therein.



Update of the Rules. The Sponsor reserves the right to amend these Rules at any time, including the Challenge duration in case of operational imperatives, without prior notice to Participants regarding the enforcement or the validity of those amendments.  Participants are encouraged to consult these Rules regularly. Participants expressly waive all claims or disputes related to any amendment to these Rules by the Sponsor.

Should any paragraph of these Rules be declared or judged illegal, unenforceable or void by a court decision, the paragraph in question will be considered null and void, but all other unaffected paragraphs will be enforced within the limits of the law.

Challenge Cancellation or Suspension. The Sponsor reserves the right in its discretion, to (i) cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge and these Rules, for any reason, at any time and without any liability, and (ii) limit or restrict participation in the Challenge. The Sponsor will not be held liable for the modification, cancellation or suspension of the Challenge and no compensation or remuneration will be due to the Participants.



The Sponsor will in no way be held liable in the event of breakdown or failure, regardless of the cause, of any telecommunications network used that causes Participants difficulty in or prevents Participants from identifying themselves on or gaining access to the Challenge website.

Participants agree that the Sponsor, its affiliates and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, contractors, representatives and agents (“released parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for any claims, liabilities, or causes of action of any kind or nature for any injury, loss or damages of any kind including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages to persons, including without limitation disability or death.  Without limiting the foregoing, everything on the Challenge website and in connection with the Challenge is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement.  Such limitations and exclusions shall apply only to the maximum extent permitted by the law in the relevant jurisdiction.

Participants acknowledge and accept the characteristics, limits, and risks of the internet and related technologies, particularly with regards to performance, response time, security of software and computer equipment against various potential attacks, such as viruses, logic bombs or Trojans, and loss or misuse of data. The Sponsor will not be held liable in any way for any damage incurred by Participants arising from these characteristics, limits and risks, which Participants accept by registering and taking part in the Challenge.

The Sponsor will not, in any case, be held liable for damages resulting from faults with or delays in the submission of Deliverables by Participants, including refusal to accept Deliverables as a consequence of their submission outside the deadlines set out in the Rules, from faults with or delays to the sending of any emails by the Participant sent as part of the Challenge, or from any alterations made to the Deliverables independently of the Sponsor.

The Sponsor will not, in any case, be held liable for damages resulting from services provided by a third party relating to the prizes.

The Sponsor will not be held liable for the consequences of a Participant’s or a School Team’s disqualification from the Challenge in accordance with, or as a result of their violation of, these Rules.



By registering for this Challenge, you also accept and agree to the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, available here.



Any Participant’s claims arising from the Challenge should be addressed no later than thirty (30) days following the Challenge end date to: All claims must include: (i) the Participant’s complete contact details (name, address, email address and phone); (ii) the name of the Challenge; and (iii) a clear and detailed explanation for the claim.



The Challenge, disputes, differences and/or any action related thereto or arising hereunder shall be governed by the applicable laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

If any dispute notified by a Participant to the Sponsor has not been resolved within a period of fifteen (15) days after the Participant providing notice of that dispute, the Sponsor and the Participant undertake to submit their dispute to an amicable conciliation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia prior to any legal proceedings. The party wishing to initiate conciliation shall inform the other party by means of a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt in which it will inform of its intentions and will explain the cause. If no agreement is reached between the parties within thirty (30) days after receipt of the registered letter, the parties regain their freedom of action.

In case of persistent disagreement on the application or interpretation of the Rules, and in the absence of an amicable settlement, any dispute that may arise between the parties, will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to which the parties expressly grant jurisdiction, even in the case of multiple defendants, in summary proceedings, appeal by guarantee or by motion.



The regulations are filed via, at SELARL 812 - HUISSIERS, associate bailiffs, 88 boulevard de la Reine, 78000 Versailles. The regulations may be amended at any time in the form of an amendment by the organizer, in compliance with the conditions set out, and published by online advertisement on the website. The amendment is registered with the SELARL judicial officers associated with the depository of the regulation before its publication. It shall come into force as from the date it is put online and any Participant shall be deemed to have accepted it simply by virtue of his participation in the Challenge, as from the date on which the amendment comes into force. Any Participant who refuses the modification(s) must stop participating in the Challenge. The rules are sent free of charge to any person by sending a written request by post before the closing date of the Challenge to the following address: AGORIZE - 15, rue Béranger - 75003 PARIS.

The full rules can also be viewed online on the Challenge website. The postal charges necessary to obtain the payment will be refunded on simple request on the basis of the slow "letter" rate in force.