Thanks to Dan Campbell of USAID’s Environmental Health Project for bringing this to my attention:
A couple of years ago the Global Water Challenge and Ashoka’s Changemakers.net team joined forces on Tapping Local Innovation.
Just last week InnoCentive, GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation teamed up to build on that earlier crowdsourcing competition. Arguably the most important piece of this latest iteration of water competitions is that the winners receive funding to take the next vital steps toward bringing their solutions to market, whether that means simply getting those solutions to the field or actually developing a business/financial model to bring them to scale in a developing country. Either way, a huge step in the right direction.
Jan 27, 2010 09:03 ET
InnoCentive, GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation Partner to Find Open Innovation Solutions to World's Water Challenges
WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - January 27, 2010) - InnoCentive, Inc., the world leader in open innovation, today announced that it is partnering with GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation to help several GlobalGiving partner organizations find solutions to dire water-related problems facing their local communities. For the first time, these organizations have combined efforts to crowdsource not only Challenge questions and their solutions, but also the funding to implement the winning solutions. As a part of this new GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set, InnoCentive also achieved its 1,000th Challenge posting, a significant milestone.
According to a 2008 UNICEF/World Health Organization report, 884 million people, or one in eight, lack access to safe water supplies. The WHO reports that over 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease, and less than 1 percent of the world's fresh water is readily accessible for direct human use.
Through the partnership, GlobalGiving generated a pool of challenge submissions by crowdsourcing ideas from their 800 project leaders representing 80 countries. Most of the pressing issues that met the selection criteria were water-related; GlobalGiving selected four final Challenges to move forward into the post phase with Innocentive.
"The GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge lets our network of grassroots project leaders get the help of experts globally who can provide innovative solutions to the clean water and hydropower challenges they face in their local communities," said Mari Kuraishi, president and co-founder of GlobalGiving. "These solutions will improve the lives of people in India, Uganda, Bolivia, and Peru."
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set offers Solvers cash rewards of up to $40,000 USD for winning solutions. After GlobalGiving selects solution winners for each of the Challenges, it will then use open innovation and crowdsourcing to raise funds to implement the winning designs or methods.
"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with Innocentive and GlobalGiving as we give non-profits access to the cutting-edge innovation often reserved for corporate America," said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. "As we enter into the second decade of the 21st century, we are still faced with unimaginable challenges -- with the most startling and basic being that millions still lack clean and accessible water. As a result of this partnership, these organizations will now be able to tackle these fundamental issues facing the developing world by tapping into the expertise of some of the world's brightest problem solvers."
Engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers are invited to join InnoCentive's Solver network to help GlobalGiving's partner project organizations solve the following GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenges:
1. Drinking Water Purification Method (Uganda's Lake Victoria) -- Design an easy-to-use method to purify water making it safe to drink. Award amount: $20,000 USD
* This is InnoCentive's 1,000th Challenge posting since inception.
2. Sunlight/UV-light Dose Indicator (Bolivia) -- Create an indicator that gives a visual sign of water that has been exposed to a sufficient dose of sunlight or UV-light for disinfection. Award amount: $40,000 USD
3. Rainwater Harvesting Storage Tank (India Wetland Region in Kerala) -- Design a low cost, rainwater harvesting storage tank. Award amount: $20,000 USD
4. Small-scale River Turbines (Peruvian Jungle) -- Design a river turbine to generate power to electrify Peruvian villages, schools and medical centers. Award amount: $20,000 USD
"This initiative expands the reach and impact of our open innovation partnership with GlobalGiving and Rockefeller," said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. "By crowdsourcing the Challenges, we identified some of the most difficult problems facing the world. We're confident that our Solvers will come up with innovative solutions to address these problems, and once they go into real-world implementation, will provide a better quality of life for people living in these developing countries."
For more information on the GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set including deadlines visit http://www.innocentive.com/landing/global-giveback.php
GlobalGiving (www.globalgiving.org) is the leading Internet-based network for peer-to-peer philanthropy. Our mission is to sustain a high-powered marketplace for good that connects donors directly to the causes they care most about. Through GlobalGiving, individuals and corporations can maximize the impact of every dollar by efficiently and transparently directing their donations to projects here at home and around the world. Since its launch in 2002, GlobalGiving has helped thousands of donors give more than $25 million to over 1,400 projects.
About the Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation works around the world to ensure that more individuals, institutions, and communities can tap into growth and opportunity while strengthening resistance to risks and challenges, affirming its founding mission to "promote the well-being" of humanity. The Foundation today supports initiatives to mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform more equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, assure access to affordable, high-quality health systems in developing countries, and help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of imminent climate change. For more, visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.
About InnoCentive, Inc.
Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings. The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or "Seekers" submit complex problems or "Challenges" for resolution to a "Solver" community of more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000. Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind's most pressing problems. http://www.innocentive.com/