InnoCentive and the Bureau of Reclamation (US Department of the Interior) recently announced the results of a Challenge, Sub-Seasonal Climate Forecast Rodeo that was evaluated and awarded. Just as spring has arrived, we also have the results of another open innovation Challenge: Pathogen Monitoring Stage 1.
To date, the Bureau of Reclamation has made awards in 100% of their InnoCentive designed challenges and paid over $1.2M in awards to 73 InnoCentive Solvers.
This is impressive when considering the average solution awards made when the government is using Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs to support R&D and technological innovation. The average awards paid by Reclamation to successful InnoCentive Solvers in these challenges is less than 12% of the average costs for traditional SBIR Phase 1 and STTR awards.
“InnoCentive is proud to have designed this challenge using our proprietary methodology and proven marketing of this important challenge to our global and USA Solver marketplace under the America COMPETES Act,” said Jon Fredrickson, InnoCentive’s Chief Innovation Officer. “InnoCentive has been partnering with the great team of people at the Bureau of Reclamation since 2015. This is another example of success in a long list of challenges we have collaborated on that have been awarded. This issue is critical not just for the for the water application we targeted but can also be applied to many other applications where monitoring and detection of pathogens or viruses is critical to public health and safety.”
Clean Water is a Necessity
The demand for water in the United States grows every year, which has increased the strain on wastewater treatment plants. In order to continue to provide clean water to all people, it’s essential to keep identifying and eliminating pathogens in reusable water before they can do harm to the community.
Unique Solutions for Unique Challenges
This unique Challenge was presented to InnoCentive’s registered Solver base of over 400,000 brilliant minds, with marketing reach to tens of millions of people globally. The Pathogen Monitoring Stage 1 Challenge called for Solvers to identify new or improved methods for monitoring pathogens, specifically viruses, to facilitate the indirect and direct reuse of municipal wastewater for potable uses as a means to alleviate water shortages and expand current water supplies.
And the Winners Are...
Five winners in total were named for the Pathogen Monitoring Stage 1 Challenge:
- The Top Solver Team was Safford and Bischel: they used novel computational tools for quantifying waterborne viruses detected through flow cytometry.
- An anonymous Solver was awarded for a solution that clinically identifies pathogens in human patient specimens to detect viruses in wastewater.
- James Vickers of Separation Processes Inc., Carlsbad, California: used automated conductivity profiles to verify reverse osmosis unit integrity in full-scale recycled water treatment facilities.
- John Newport, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: used microcapsules with external antibodies and internal nanomagnets and reporter molecules to quantify viruses in wastewater.
- David Wick, Stevensville, Montana: whose solution identified and quantified viruses in raw and treated wastewater by sorting viruses by mass/charge ratio and quantifying them according to size.
Read more about the challenge and winning solutions at the Bureau of Reclamation’s website.
Check in with the InnoCentive Challenge Center to find new crowdsourced Challenges that are in need of unique solutions.