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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Centre for Challenge Prizes

      I ran across this yesterday. The Centre for Challenge Prizes is a subgroup of NESTA a lottery funded quango.

Offering cash prizes to incentivise breakthrough innovations is a time-honoured practice. Today, the practice of using prizes to stimulate innovation is back. As collaborative and open innovation grows in importance, and as web platforms enable crowdsourcing and collaboration on a massive scale, we are witnessing a revolution in the importance of challenge prizes for innovation. Experiments in spurring innovation with prizes are now taking place around the world, by governments, corporations and charities - tackling both technical and social challenges.

The Centre for Challenge Prizes brings together the growing expertise and interest in challenge prizes. This will help build an understanding of how challenge prizes can play an effective and strategic role in the stimulation and support of innovation.

     All the better to see some official support for the X-Prizes, under any name.

     Admittedly so far the only prizes they are actually sponsoring are 2 rather pointless ones for bicycling, but that is understandable considering the need to build support in our political class before doing anything serious.

    Their listing of 10 major prizes was worth while containing several I have not commented on here before - #4 a French hydraulic turbine prize /  #5 Locomotive prize (Rainhill Trials) won by George and Robert Stevenson which is basically the origin of modern transport and I really should have described before / #8 Napoleon 3rd's prize for inventing margarine / and #6 a fertiliser development prize from the Royal Agricultural Society : I have previously mentioned the Royal Ag prizes as as class but not the individual ones.

   That is an impressive range of examples and shows those involved know their subject.

   Nesta also have a Scottish division though there doesn't seem to be any prize related activity. 

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I have learned better. NESTA are simply a home for otherwise unemployable parasitism with neither technical knowledge or sympathy. By adopting technological prizes they are extending their empire but not their competence, and corruptly getting paid, on the side, to shift copyrights to chancers.

Which explains the PC but useless bicycling prizes.

See my post 18th dec 2013.
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