recommended reading

White House: Eyes on a prize could stir innovation

Chuck Kennedy/White House

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy followed up its Tuesday report on the effect of prize challenges in government on Thursday with a wish list for future challenges.

The government, for example, could fund a challenge for a digital tutor that would enable high school graduates to become certified in a trade in a matter of months, drastically raising their lifetime earning potential, OSTP Deputy Director Thomas Kalil said at a discussion sponsored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

A government or privately sponsored challenge also could aim to produce synthetic organs for transplants, or challenges from the defense community could pursue "ideas out of comic books," such as suits that allow soldiers to walk up walls, he said.

The White House touted prize competitions in a report released Tuesday as a way to unlock thorny problems with the wisdom of the masses and to aim for an ambitious goal without mandating a particular path to get there.

Many prize competitions are best organized as partnerships between the public and private sector, Kalil said, such as the $10 million Automotive X Prize sponsored by Progressive Insurance, the Energy Department and others to create a car that could reach fuel-efficiency levels above 100 miles per gallon.

Kalil's office is planning an event this summer that will encourage federal agencies and the private sector to collaborate on prize competitions, he said.

He also urged private and government organizers to design competitions so that they foster some level of collaboration between contestants rather than mere competition.

Rick Valencia, vice president of the healthcare firm Qualcomm Life, also spoke at Thursday's event. Qualcomm is sponsoring the $10 million Tricorder X Prize to create a personal device that monitors a variety of health symptoms and alerts users when they should see a doctor. The name of the prize comes from a device used in Star Trek, he said.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.