Challenges

Types of challenges–ideation, software and apps, creative and tech–and the platforms and tools for success.

The Challenge of Partnerships: ‘The Good, Bad and Ugly’ of Prize Collaborations

Apr 29, 2016 |

Well-executed partnerships can create better solutions and place them on a bigger platform. Poorly executed ones, on the other hand, can send federal agencies into a bureaucratic tailspin. To partner or not to partner: That is the question. “If you are going to do one, don’t do it because it seems like a good idea,” Read »

Your Trek to Vesta & Mars Starts Now

Apr 1, 2016 |

The NASA Open Innovation team is pleased to announce the availability of the APIs that power Mars Trek and Vesta Trek on api.nasa.gov. The APIs for Mars provide data from the Mars Express, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions with 21 different data products such as MOLA Altimetery Hillshade, Viking and THEMIS. Read »

Buying Power: New Labs Will Foster Innovation in Government Acquisition

Mar 24, 2016 |

The slow, tedious federal acquisition process has long been the butt of jokes in the private sector. If the government had wanted to buy the original Nintendo, one might say, it would have all the paperwork in place by the time the rest of the world had moved on to the XBox. But that culture Read »

Challenges & Prizes Webinar Series Concludes, but Training Still Available

Feb 17, 2016 |

It began with a history lesson and ended with an eye to the future. In between, the Expert Training Series: How to Design & Operate Prizes to Maximize Success covered nearly every aspect of what it takes to run successful incentivized competitions. Challenge.gov and DigitalGov University partnered with XPRIZE Foundation to bring together expert speakers Read »

The Day After: Real Impacts Begin When a Challenge Ends

Feb 2, 2016 |

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh won the Orteig Prize for becoming the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. Few know that Lindbergh won $25,000 for the flight, but everybody knows about the revolution that followed. That transatlantic flight opened people’s minds to what was possible in air travel. Investment in the aviation Read »

Tapping ‘Teen Power’—Challenging Youth with Prize Competitions

Jan 11, 2016 |

Sometimes in crowdsourcing, you want to take your problem straight to a specific crowd. And sometimes that crowd is still in school. Challenge.gov has seen many federal agencies launch prize competitions to educate and engage high school students. These include a NASA challenge that asked students to develop devices that could protect astronauts from radiation during space flight. Read »

A Sense of Purpose: Strong Communities Can Overcome Big Challenges

Jan 4, 2016 |

Cook-offs, bike rides, parades and dance parties—these are not the traditional public hearing-style events for which government agencies are known. But these events helped to fuel the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design Challenge (PDF, 484 KB, 1 page, January 2016), boosting the collective morale among a complex, multidisciplinary network of engaged Read »

Trends on Tuesday: Providing Anytime, Anywhere Government Through Mobile App Competitions

Dec 29, 2015 |

Agencies have used an open data competition approach in their quest to provide anytime, anywhere government. For example, in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted the Apps for the Environment challenge and has a hub for apps created using EPA data. Here’s an update on challenges hosted by other agencies: The National Institute of Standards Read »

Challenges, Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science: What’s the Dif?

Dec 16, 2015 |

There’s more than one way to harness the wisdom of the crowd. In honor of December’s monthly theme, we’re diving into and defining the various ways that federal agencies use public contributions to meet real needs and fulfill important objectives. Crowdsourcing Two’s company, three’s a crowd—and getting input from many is crowdsourcing. A White House Read »

Challenge App-titude: A Successful Newcomer Offers a Few Tips

Dec 15, 2015 |

The Reference Data Challenge, launched this summer, was a call for innovative approaches to a long-standing role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to make “critically evaluated reference data available to scientists, engineers and the general public.” This challenge—our first-ever app contest and second prize competition as an agency—had the dual aims Read »

All In: Partnering Across Sectors Can Boost Competition Results

Dec 11, 2015 |

We’ve heard the phrase a million times: Nobody does it alone. Still, it rings true no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. When it comes to crowdsourcing competitions, government agencies are making breakthroughs in a variety of fields by partnering with companies, nonprofit organizations and others beyond the federal framework. The White House announced more Read »

Challenges & Crowdsourcing: A Quick Overview and Look Ahead

Dec 8, 2015 |

This month we’re highlighting articles about challenge competitions and crowdsourcing across the federal government. Federal agencies can gain a wealth of ideas, services, solutions and products by asking a large, diverse crowd to contribute their talents and skills. Simply put, crowdsourcing means engaging the crowd. Often referred to as a form of open collaboration or Read »

New White House Innovation Strategy Promotes Increase in Challenges and Prizes

Oct 29, 2015 |

The White House released an updated Strategy for American Innovation last week, calling again on government to tap the American public’s brain trust Read »

Training Series Offers Marketing Tips for Prizes & Challenges

Oct 28, 2015 |

Marketing and public education is an essential part of any successful prize competition. The good news for federal agencies working with tight budgets is that both can be accomplished without breaking the bank. “We have found other ways than spending a lot of money,” said Denice Shaw, senior advisor to the Chief Innovation Officer at the Read »

GSA Announces First-Ever Challenge.gov Mentorship Program

Oct 22, 2015 |

It may seem like issuing an open challenge to the American public is a novel form of federal procurement, but it has quickly become an effective way of generating fresh solutions to enduring problems. In every community, there are those who use their knowledge and experience to guide their neighbors down new paths. The federal Read »

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