Frequently Asked Questions
What is DARPA?
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mission is to prevent and create strategic surprise by maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military. The Agency sponsors revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use. You can learn more about DARPA by visiting
What is the DARPA
is a prize-based challenge that seeks to advance the understanding of social media and the Internet, and explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems.
Is it acceptable if my email address, website or other accounts includes “DARPA” in the name? Can I use the DARPA logo on my website?
DARPA’s name and logo are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, so actions that could constitute infringement should be avoided. Participants should also avoid names that might create confusion with respect to official DARPA communications.
Whom should I contact if I have a question regarding the website, the quest, or the rules?
Is this challenge open to entrants who live outside the United States?
Entries may only be submitted by a registered participant, who must be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States and 18 years of age or older at the time of registration. Proof of citizenship or residency and proof of age will be required from the winner before the prize will be awarded.
My wife is a U.S. Government employee. Am I eligible to participate?
Employees of the U.S. Government, including spouses and dependents for tax year 2012, are not eligible to participate. DARPA employees and DARPA support contractors and their immediate families are not eligible to participate. Students employed or funded by the United States Government, for example students at the federal service academies, ROTC students and students funded by United States Government grants, fellowships and scholarships, may participate.
I am a state government employee. Am I eligible to participate?
Yes. Restrictions apply to Federal employees only.
Do I need to have a QR code to generate my own contest ID to participate and possibly win the challenge?
You do not need to have found a QR code to participate and win. By using your social media skills, you can find other participants with contest ID codes, and organize them into a team to submit the most codes and win. For example, if you find four participants who each have one code (e.g. Water, Food, Generator, and Vehicle), you could organize and incentivize each of them to provide their full alpha-numeric code to you for submission to the website as a team. In that way, your team of five people would have four codes submitted. Otherwise, each of the participants would only have had one code on their own as individuals.
So, I need to go around the country to find the people with these codes, right?
No. This quest is not a scavenger hunt nor is it a geocaching contest or game. It is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills at using social media. You do not have to physically visit any of the locations where the QR codes are publicly displayed – the intent is for you to use your online presence and tools to distribute the code (using the Twitter hash tag #CLIQRquest or keyword CLIQRquest on other platforms) and find others with the codes you need. The first to submit all the CLIQR Quest
codes, either individually, or as a team, will be rewarded with a $40,000 cash prize.
If all the available QR codes are not submitted by a single entrant, the first entrant who submitted the most available codes will receive a prorated amount of the full prize.
How many QR codes are there?
There are a finite, yet undisclosed number of codes.
Where can I find the codes?
Unique QR codes will be conspicuously displayed in easily visible and readily accessible public locations throughout the continental United States. They will be on display from 11:00 AM (EST), Thursday, February 23, 2012 until 3:00 PM (EST), Sunday, February 26, 2012. The quest ends at noon, 12:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Entries are accepted until noon, 12:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
Will the number of QR codes and their locations be announced once the challenge is over?
Yes. The total number of QR codes (notional resources) and their locations will be posted on the event website when the
Can I get codes from other people or other participants?
Yes. You do not have to get your code directly; you can receive a code ‘second-hand’ by receiving it from another person or participant. With the code, you can go to the website and register yourself as a participant.
Can I form a team to win the quest?
Yes. However, entries may be submitted by individuals only, and only individuals are eligible to win the prize. The formation of teams is permitted to solve the
, however, payout of cash prizes will only be given to individual participants; i.e. the prize will be awarded to the individual on a team who is registered on the website and provides the winning submission – that team member would then be responsible for further distribution of funds to his/her fellow team members.
If one or more of the codes is discovered, does that mean it is impossible to win?
No. Only the codes that have been discovered are considered part of the quest. Be the first to use your social media skills to find them all, and you win!
Do I have to share my unique user ID with other participants?
No. You may choose to openly share only the word (notional resource e.g. Water, Food) portion of your code to form a team that has all of the available codes. However, all of the full alpha-numeric codes must be submitted by a member of the team in order to win the cash prize.
Can I register for more than one code?
No. Each participant is permitted only one registration. If you are a member of a team, your team is permitted one registration. The prize money will only be awarded to the person identified by name with the user ID created on the website. Registrations may be withdrawn at any time by emailing the
How were the locations chosen?
The locations were chosen to provide QR code distribution across multiple public locations throughout the continental United States and ensure an efficient distribution of the codes to maximize exposure.
Do I have to register to participate?
You are not required to register to participate in the
. However, to submit codes and win the contest all
individuals or teams (participants) are required to register their contest ID code and create a username (your email address) and user-generated password on the event website
. Entrants will not be required to enter any personally identifiable information during registration; only the username and password are required. The email address (username) provided will be used to contact the winner.
Will DARPA provide funding in connection with this challenge?
No funding or other monetary assistance is offered. The eligible winner of the challenge will receive a cash prize.
How long do I have to submit my QR codes?
Entries are accepted until noon, 12:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
Can individuals be on more than one team?
Yes. Individuals are free to participate as teams without limitation. Each team needs to select one individual as the official entrant to enter the results and receive the prize check.
How can we be sure that a QR code is genuine?
QR codes are identifiable by the DARPA logo and the
name as shown here:
Will all QR code locations be accessible?
Unique QR codes will be accessible at multiple public locations throughout the continental United States. QR codes will be conspicuously displayed in easily visible and readily accessible public locations and will be accessible to users with smart phones or other devices that are able to dynamically link to the QR code or are able to capture a picture of the code for subsequent online access.
What if the website does not work, or seems to be responding slowly?
Registered participants may correspond via email to
in case of technical difficulties. Mass email entry approaches will not be accepted.
Can you clarify the phrase “QR codes will be accessible at multiple public locations”? Is a public location one controlled by a government entity (like a public park) or could it also include a location controlled by a private entity which grants access to the public (like a shopping center parking lot)?
For purposes of the DARPA
, “public locations” are areas with public access, not necessarily public ownership.
What exactly is a “submission”?
Starting at 11:00 AM (EST) on Thursday, February 23, 2012, registered participants qualify as entrants to the
and will be able to access the submission page from the website
. When the “Submit Code” button is pressed on this page, a submission is created, time-stamped, and sent to DARPA. An entrant may make multiple submissions on a single registration.
Are email entries allowed?
Email entries are only allowed as a backup for web entry. The number of email entries that will be accepted from an email address will be limited to discourage automated approaches.
When will the winner be announced?
The winner will be announced and some results will be posted on the
website the week of March 12, 2012.
How will DARPA determine the final standings of participants?
A contestant’s (contestants are identified only by username) standing will be determined first by the number of QR codes submitted. After the number of QR codes, the time the submission was received will be used as the second criterion. Contestants are only identified by their username, so all team entries are encouraged to consider choosing their team name as their username/email. Entrants that submit fewer than three correct QR codes will not be included in the standings list. The standings list is scheduled to be posted on the
website after the winner is announced.
What if no one finds all the QR codes?
If all the available QR codes are not submitted by a single entrant, the first entrant who submitted the most available codes will receive a prorated amount of the prize money.
What happens if there is a tie?
In the event of a tie, the prize money will be divided equally. All other obligations and eligibility requirements for the winning participants apply.
May an individual represent a large organization and distribute prize money to the team?
Yes. The properly registered individual may spend the award money as he/she wishes.
I want the prize money paid to my limited liability company rather than paid to me personally. Is this possible?
The prize money will be transmitted by electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the bank account of the person identified as the individual registered on the event website (the entrant associated with the winning ID) who is determined by DARPA to be the winner. If the winner is the leader or a member of a team of participants, it is the responsibility of the winner, not DARPA, to determine the subsequent division and distribution of any prize money. Prize money will be awarded only to the winner: the winner is the person identified as the individual registered on the event website (the entrant associated with the winning ID); the winner must meet the eligibility requirements; the winner cannot designate another to receive the award. Tax treatment of prizes will be handled in accordance with U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. The winner must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number (e.g. a social security number or employer identification number) for the individual holding the bank account in which the prize is deposited. The recipient should consult a tax advisor to ensure that winnings are handled properly and reported accurately for tax purposes.