Challenges and Prize Competitions

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 »

MCC Builds on Lessons Learned in Launch of Second Open Data Challenge

Mar 25, 2016 |

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)’s first open data challenge taught MCC some very valuable lessons in making its public data truly usable by the public. The challenges ask masters and PhD students to find creative ways to use MCC’s publicly-available evaluation data and provide new insights into its evaluation results. As the second challenge launches, 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 »

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 »

Digging Into the Data of Our Customer Survey

Jan 5, 2016 |

As a followup to the recent post about our annual customer satisfaction survey, we wanted to dig into the data and share some of the overall results, to give you some more insights into how we’re using your feedback to improve our programs and services. Background: For the past three years, GSA’s Office of Citizen 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 »

White House Kicks Off Challenge.gov Anniversary with Wealth of New Prize Competitions

Oct 8, 2015 |

In a call to action issued Oct. 7, the White House announced several new programs challenging citizens to help federal agencies solve problems in areas ranging from space exploration to education. Hosted in conjunction with Georgetown University, the Case Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, the event Read »

The People and Teams That Power High-Impact Incentive Prizes

Oct 6, 2015 | ,

Federal agencies have used prize competitions and challenges to drive competition and spark innovation for nearly a decade. In September 2010, as part of President Obama’s Strategy for American Innovation [PDF], the Administration launched Challenge.gov, an online platform that enables federal agencies to engage civic Read »

Success Spotlight: Challenge Takes Students, Biomedicine to Next Level

Sep 18, 2015 |

Leaders in the biomedical field will applaud a team of student researchers October 9 for developing a potentially lifesaving device in response to a competition published on Challenge.gov in March. The accolades come a day after the website, a no-cost platform for federal agencies to publish Read »

Not Just a Website: Challenge.gov Enables Agencies to Innovate with Incentives

Sep 10, 2015 |

Next month, Challenge.gov turns five. A technical platform, a listing of federal prize competitions, and consultation and support services for running impactful challenges all meld into the program, which brings the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems. To mark the milestone, the General Services Administration (GSA) will host a special event on Read »