Nada importante sucedió hoy...

about prizes RSS

Webinar archives: Engage and Innovate with Challenges and Challenge.gov

...

TechCrunch: "Remember Those Red Darpa Balloons? We Helped Find Three Of Them"

...

DARPA Network Challenge

The recently announced DARPA Network Challenge sought to explore "the roles the Internet and social networking play in the timely communication, wide-area team-building, and urgent mobilization required to solve broad-scope, time-critical problems". The challenge was to locate ten moored red weather balloons located at ten fixed locations in the continental United States, offering a $40,000 prize reward for that. The competition took place on December 5th. These are only some thoughts on the challenge, drawing upon some sources I recently read.
How would was the incentive to compete? Well, I do remember very enthusiastic comments from some participants (unfortunately, I did not save all the links to those websites—here is just an example). Beyond the interesting focus of the prize from the sponsor's research point of view, it is interesting to see how a simply defined prize target and, probably most importantly, $40K attracted so many people to the competition--4,000 participants as reported in http://twitter.com/DARPA_News ( @DARPA_News on Twitter ) or about 300 teams as cited in MSNBC. For regular people, $40K is good money, particularly in crisis time—and the costs of participating do not seem to be so high. However, I do not think that the extent to which participants considered this an achievable target or participated for other reasons is known (and this may be an important aspect when designing the right incentives in prizes). DARPA may have collected more information on this.
@DARPA_News reported that the competition leveraged the effort of at least 4,000 participants (o details on how those participants contributed to achieving the prize target or about their activities). The same source reported only 120 submissions for the position of the balloons by 1:31pm on Dec 5th; and the MIT Red Balloon Team was announced winner when there were only 30 minutes left before grounding the balloons that day. I did not find any comment on the MIT team website about how they worked to win the competition. But I did find something very interesting about how they tried to engage more people to participate. They implemented a scheme to share the prize reward based on the people participation: those who provide correct data on the location of balloons and those who invite them to participate would share the prize reward with the MIT team.
For sure, the competition has had different outcomes. In principle, DARPA has successfully attracted (again) the attention of the media and lots of people. Moreover, I really would like to read about how successful the collection of data for their experiment was. That was the primary goal of the competition. Probably not all participants benefited from their participation, yet some of them have probably learned more about their interests or how to apply their knowledge for other purposes related to the prize challenge. Surely, networking between participants has been another outcome.
Did the prize challenge look simple, yet it was too difficult to achieve? Well, in principle, there was a winner, so the challenge was achievable (I do not know the specifics on the needed technologies). From the point of view of the sponsor’s goals, it looks that the target was well defined, considering that the prize challenge was achieved with only few minutes left before the competition deadline! In other words, that probably had elicited the greatest possible effort from the participants.
Overall, this is another interesting case that shows how prizes can be used for very different purposes and engage lots of people in the meantime.

...

Prizes and the US innovation policy

Interestingly, prizes are suggested as “high-risk, high-reward policy tools to solve tough problems” in the white paper A Strategy For American Innovation: Driving Towards Sustainable Growth And Quality Jobs (which describes the new President Obama's innovation agenda). However, prizes are not widely used yet. Targeted federally-funded prizes have offered total rewards worth only about $50 million since 2004, first year of prize implementation for US agencies (see Federally Funded Innovation Inducement Prizes). That figure may increase notably in the future if, besides those targeted prizes, prizes with purchase commitment are used.

...

Some media coverage of the recently announced MIT Clean Energy Prize 2010 (MIT offers cash for top clean energy idea - Boston Herald) and related (Using Prizes to Drive Energy Innovation - NYTimes)

...

More prize money, more innovation?

Prizes for innovation are not new, but are increasingly attracting everyone’s attention since a few years ago. It is difficult to know how many innovation prizes have been offered, for example, in the last five years.

The idea that prizes can induce innovation has been more supported by recent practices than theory. Although academic research has contributed knowledge to this area, most of the attention has been paid by the broader economics literature on mechanisms to encourage innovation, where prizes are analytically compared with patents and other incentive schemes. We know little about how prizes work in practice.

That is the main reason why I decided to focus my doctoral dissertation on innovation inducement prizes. In particular, my research looks at how teams respond to prize incentives, perform R&D activities, and come up with innovations. Hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to provide some insights on how (and to what extent) prizes induce innovation. In the meantime, I will try to post more comments on this and keep my blog updated!

...

The Corporate Cup: Cutting-edge companies are offering some major prize money to people who can come up with the next big thing.
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/06/0602_innovation_prize/index_01.htm

...

Innovation Prizes Through History
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/06/0602_innovation_history/index_01.htm

...

Cisco Pays Big for New Ideas
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2008/tc20080529_968185.htm

...

The Medical Innovation Prize Fund
http://www.cptech.org/ip/health/prizefund/

...

Blog tool wins innovation prize
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4118422.stm

...

Make Something Unreal Contest
http://www.makesomethingunreal.com/

...

Post your idea and have a chance of winning a prize:
http://www.ideablob.com/

...

House OKs prizes for high-tech hydrogen: Bill would create multimillion-dollar energy incentives; now goes to Senate
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12722581/

...

Foresight Nanotech Institute Prize Descriptions and Applications

http://www.foresight.org/prize/

...

KEI Policy Blogs : Prizes
http://www.keionline.org/index.php?option=com_jd-wp&Itemid=39&cat=11

...

Space Prizes
http://spaceprizes.blogspot.com/

...

Cisco I-Prize blog

http://blogs.cisco.com/innovation/

...

« October 2014 »
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 
español · english




Diario de un
emprendedor en
Argentina
(now based in
Santa Barbara, CA)

About the author

Have comments?
Drop me a note!



Tags



Monthly archives