Crowdsourcing Innovation

Have an idea on how to create a special type of foaming agent? 
If so, you can win $5,000. Hurry: Deadline for solutions is March 12. How about an idea to speed up clinical trials of new cancer treatments? $10,000 prize, deadline is April 11.

 These and many other challenges are awaiting solutions from the public. InnoCentive Open Innovation Marketplace makes it easy to search for a challenge, submit a solution and earn cash (from $5,000 to $1,000,000!). Or, if your company is looking for creative solutions from the public, post your challenge.

You heard it hear, folks! U.S. corporations and government agencies will start turning to the public for similar solutions more and more. A recent article in the  UK Times Online announced a “new crowdsourcing initiative aimed at  demonstrating the power of the crowd in solving business challenges.  Corporations in four major industry sectors will each present a multi-faceted challenge that they will be facing over the next few years.  Then they will invite readers, ”The Times’ influential business audience” to collaborate on a strategy to tackle these challenges.”  read more 

Hey, U.S.! How about harnessing the power of our greatest resource? The citizens! It’s time for Congress to reopen  the Office of Technology Assessment (learn more about the OTA here) so Congress will not only have access to sound science policy advice but also a mechanism to reach out and communicate with the public on key matters of science and technology policy. I can imagine an OTA turning to the wisdom of the crowds when determining solutions to policy questions that often end in gridlock. GM Foods, Stem Cells, Green Techs, Voting Techs, etc… Let’s call this Peer-to-Policy, shall we? Modeled, in part, on the U.S. Office of Trademarks and Patents’ Peer-to-Patent program.

There’s a facebook group discussing the reopening of a new OTA  now. All are welcome to weigh in.