Waltham, Mass. – October 26, 2011 – InnoCentive, the pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing, today announced its appointment to General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 541 4G, Challenges and Competitions Services. Under the contract number GS-07F-0772X, federal public sector organizations can conveniently purchase InnoCentive’s products and services via GSA Advantage!®, the GSA’s web portal that streamlines purchasing from scheduled contractors. With this milestone, InnoCentive becomes the first solutions provider with a multi-channel open innovation platform and professional Challenge development services to enable agencies to better and more cost effectively connect with problem solvers within their organizations, within other agencies (interagency collaboration), as well as within InnoCentive’s Global Solver Community, which today reaches more than 12 million potential problem solvers.
Effective immediately, InnoCentive’s GSA listing will make it easier for government agencies to harness InnoCentive’s Challenge platform, tools, methodologies and services to tap into diverse sources of innovation and solve critical problems. InnoCentive’s solutions enable agencies to connect to diverse problem solvers from around the world while also providing a secure platform for solving problems within agencies or across them.
InnoCentive has a strong history of helping government agencies solve critical problems that matter to their missions. The reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act in 2010 provided the means and the motivation for agencies to look outside their own organizations to solve problems, leading to several critical alliances between InnoCentive and the U.S. Government.
In January 2010, NASA’s Johnson Space Center launched an open innovation pavilion on InnoCentive’s website, where they found solutions to complex problems ranging from protecting astronauts and equipment in space from solar flares to keeping food fresh during long space missions. Of NASA’s initial seven Challenges, nearly 3,000 problem solvers from around the world participated, and more than 350 solutions were proposed. NASA designated full or partial monetary awards for all seven Challenges, and the average time-to-solution for each of the Challenges was only four months.
In June 2010, InnoCentive announced a partnership with In-Q-Tel, the independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. And in March 2011, InnoCentive and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) announced a collaboration to advance innovation in military research. Through this partnership, the AFRL has successfully solved Challenges, including methods for dropping humanitarian aid without injury to people on the ground and stopping a fleeing vehicle without damaging the vehicle or the driver. The AFRL has since launched new Challenges, most recently Fast Rope Glove Device, currently open to the public and seeks innovative ways for military personnel to descend quickly from a helicopter in hostile situations.
The success of these programs has led to a dramatic increase in interest for Challenges, open innovation and prize-based competitions across all government sectors, including defense, security and civil agencies. Alok Das, leader of the rapid reaction force at the Air Force Research Laboratory called InnoCentive a “force multiplier for AFRL” after the successful completion of several recent Challenges, and Dr. Jeffrey R. Davis, director of Space Life Sciences at NASA, said, “Accelerating the solutions to problems which affect astronauts will have a major impact on the future of our space program.” These are just two examples of the strategic use of Challenges to solve important problems for the government missions that matter.
“Our overriding goal for becoming a GSA Schedule contractor was to make it easier for government agencies to tap into the power of Challenges to solve problems critical to their missions faster and more cost effectively than ever before,” said Jon Fredrickson, Vice President of InnoCentive’s Government Practice.
Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, further elaborates, “The fact that government agencies of all colors and stripes are embracing Challenges as a strategic means to advance their missions in safe, secure and compliant ways is a testament to the positive, results-oriented impact of our challenge-driven model. By becoming a GSA Schedule contractor, we hope to streamline procurement and adoption of our products and services so that more agencies can experience this impact firsthand.”
InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, community of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Eli Lilly, Life Technologies, NASA, nature.com, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster and more cost effectively than ever before. For more information, visit www.innocentive.com.
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