Incentivizing Innovation: How The White House Uses Challenge.gov To Solve Big Problems

Feb 17 2014, 12:13pm CST | by

At a recent panel discussion organized by XPRIZE, the global leader in the creation of incentivized prize competitions, Cristin Dorgelo, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, talked about some of the most brilliant and impactful innovations coming out of Challenge.gov—a partnership between the public and the government to solve big, tough problems.

Challenge.gov is a collection of challenge and prize competitions, all of which are run by more than 50 agencies across federal government. These include technical, scientific, ideation, and creative competitions where the U.S. government seeks innovative solutions from the public, bringing the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems.

Learn more about some of the challenges, solutions, and innovators below.

Robocall Challenge:  In October 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the Robocall Challenge with a $50,000 prize for the individual or group that could come up with the best technical proposal to help consumers block illegal robocalls. In April 2013, the FTC announced the winners of its Robocall Challenge. “ Nomorobo”, one of the winning proposals, is a solution, developed by citizen solver Aaron Foss, which allows incoming calls to be routed to a second telephone line. This second line can identify and hang up on illegal robocalls before they could ring through to users. Nomorobo has over 25,000 users and is protecting more than 18,000 phone lines from over 48,000 robocalls per week. Nomorobo is working with phone carriers to bring this service to additional customers as soon as possible. Aaron emphasizes that he never would have worked on the robocall problem if not for the challenge. To date, almost 955,000 robocalls have been blocked so far.

Astronaut Glove Challenge: In the pressure suits that astronauts must wear while performing a spacewalk, one of the toughest parts to design are the gloves. Peter Homer and his startup spacesuit company Flagsuit LLC won the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) $450,000 prize purse for designing an improved, flexible glove for use by NASA’s astronauts. Peter had been an entrepreneur, satellite designer, sailmaker, microgravity experiment designer, and local community center director. Since winning the competition, Flagsuit LLC has signed an agreement with NASA to develop and test improved spacesuit gloves.

My Air, My Health Challenge: With $160,000 in prizes offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), the My Air, My Health Challenge was a multidisciplinary call to innovators to create a personal, portable, near-real-time, location-specific system to monitor and report air pollutants and potentially-related health events. Judges unanimously awarded the $100,000 prize to the team of David Kuller, Gabrielle Dockterman, and Dot Kelly for their Conscious Clothing prototype, which could cost users as little as $20. Its affordable price, comfort, and near-invisibility make it attractive not only to researchers and communities, but to individuals looking to take charge of their own health.

Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge: In 2011, the $1.4 million XPRIZE competition, supported by technical expertise from the Department of Interior and NOAA, inspired entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of cleaning up oil spills from the ocean surface. The winner, Elastec/American Marine – a growing Illinois-based manufacturer of oil spill and environmental equipment that uses local talent for nearly all its fabrication – recovered oil at a rate more than three times the best previously recorded in controlled conditions.

Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home ChallengeIn December 2011, Axial Exchange won first prize in the US Department of Health and Human Office of the National Coordinator “Ensuring Safe Transitions From Hospital to Home” Challenge. The Challenge called on developers to create solutions that improve patient safety and help facilitate care transitions for patients discharged from hospitals to other care settings (including but not limited to homes, nursing homes and hospices). Axial Exchange’s winning solution, The Axial Care Transition Suite, is a web-based application that enables information to flow to a transitioning patient’s next care setting so that providers have necessary information, and so that patients are engaged with the information and tools needed to improve their health knowledge and enhance their ownership of after-care responsibilities.

#

Follow me @rahimkanani / Contact Me

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Investments pouring in from Singapore: Bengal minister
Singapore, Aug 20 (IANS) Camping here to woo investors, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra Wednesday said many companies have signed joint ventures and letters of intent promising to pump in at least Rs.1,200 crore in his state.
 
 
111-year-old Japanese officially declared world's oldest man
Tokyo, Aug 20 (IANS/EFE) Sakari Momoi, a 111-year-old Japanese citizen, was Wednesday officially recognised in Tokyo as the oldest man in the world by the Guinness World Records award committee.
 
 
Is your college going kid more active on weekends?
New York, Aug 20 (IANS) Parents always suspect that their college going kids prefer weekends to weekdays. Now there is proof that college graduates are more active on weekends compared to non-college goers.
 
 
How brain can multitask better
Toronto, Aug 20 (IANS) Cooking while having a conversation, watching a movie while browsing the Web, or driving while listening to a radio show - multitasking is an essential skill in our daily lives. Make it better now.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Kanye West ditches fried chicken for smoothies
Kanye West has ditched fried chicken in favour of three smoothies a day. The 37-year-old rapper has been banned from eating calorific treats, such as macaroni and cheese and mouth-watering chicken covered in batter, as...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Justin Bieber sued by photographer
Justin Bieber is being sued by a photographer. The 'Believe' hitmaker reportedly destroyed Aja Oxman's camera after ordering his bodyguard to ''do whatever he had to'' to get the paparazzo's memory card after he took a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
P. Diddy set up French and Khloe
P. Diddy set up Khloe Kardashian and French Montana. The 'Don't Panic' rapper insists rumors his girlfriend's brother-in-law Kanye West - who has 14-month-old daughter North with Khloe's sister Kim - introduced him to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ellen DeGeneres' ex-boyfriend speaks out
Ellen DeGeneres' former boyfriend is convinced they'd still be close if she was still in her home town. The 56-year-old talk show host - who is married to actress Portia de Rossi - dated Ben Heath for two years until he...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Coldplay will have to pay to play at Super Bowl?
Coldplay will reportedly have to pay the NFL if they want to perform at the Super Bowl. The 'A Sky Full of Stars' hitmakers are among a list of artists said to be in talks with The National Football League to perform...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Germany to supply arms to Kurdish fighters
Berlin, Aug 20 (IANS) Germany is prepared to supply weapons to Kurds in northern Iraq,announced Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen jointly announced Wednesday Wednesday after...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
PTI agrees for talks with Pakistani government (Third Lead)
Islamabad, Aug 20 (IANS) The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has agreed to talks with the government over alleged rigging of the 2013 general elections, a media report said. Senior PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi told...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Black Friday 2014 is Less than 100 Days Away
Black Friday 2014 is less than 100 days away. When is Black Friday 2014? Black Friday 2014 is on November 28th. Of course the Black Friday sales start already weeks before the actual Black Friday. Which means the first...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
47 arrested in US town after fresh riots
Washington, Aug 20 (IANS/EFE) Forty-seven people were arrested overnight in Ferguson in the US state of Missouri after protestors hurled bottles at police in fresh outbreak of violence over the shooting death of an...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Is your deodorant making your armpits smell worse?
New York, Aug 20 (IANS) Deodorants and antiperspirants are being more widely used and advertised than ever before, but did you know that they may actually make you smell worse in the long run? According to a study,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla