White House Plans Innovation Prize Platform - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Leadership
News
3/9/2010
04:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

White House Plans Innovation Prize Platform

The government plans to release a Web-based platform for federal agencies to use prizes and challenges to crowdsource innovative approaches to government problems.

The White House is encouraging federal agencies to use challenges and prizes to crowdsource new approaches to open government, innovation, and other administration priorities.

In a memo issued Monday, federal chief performance officer Jeff Zients laid out guidance for how federal agencies could use challenges and prizes to further their missions, and announced that the administration would be releasing a Web-based platform to manage such contests within the next 120 days.

Over the longer term, Zients wrote, the General Services Administration will provide government-wide services to share best practices and help agencies develop challenges, as well as provide a contract vehicle to allow agencies to procure the Web services and other technologies necessary for conducting these challenges. The White House is also recommending that agencies appoint individuals to head up their challenge and prize efforts.

Such guidance doesn't come unexpectedly. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, who introduced the Apps for Democracy contest when he was CTO of Washington, D.C., often says that the government does not have a monopoly on good ideas, and has repeatedly advocated for the use of prize platforms for the federal government as a way to increase innovation in government.

With leadership on board, government-issued prizes to award innovation for government look ready to become more widespread. Some agencies are already getting off the ground.

Last week, for example, the Army launched an internal Web application development contest that would award developers who best meet a number of criteria with cash prizes from a pool of $30,000. In a bid to study social networks, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Association's Network Challenge recently awarded $40,000 to a team that found a dozen balloons randomly placed in public spaces around the country.

In the memo, Zients raised a number of possible benefits for efforts like these. If properly used, he said, prizes and challenges could help the government "pay only for results," highlight certain key administration efforts, increase the number of people dedicated to solving government's problems, stimulate private sector investment, and "establish important goal[s] without having to choose the approach that is most likely to succeed."

However, in setting up their own challenges, agencies will have to consider a number of legal and policy issues, as Zients outlines in his memo. For example, agencies will need to consider how and whether competitions will use intellectual property, whether prize awards may need to meet different compliance requirements depending on their value, and if state law may apply differently than federal law in certain states.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll