InnoCentive has helped hundreds of companies, public sector agencies, and nonprofits find solutions to their pressing problems. Below is a sampling of important Challenges that have been solved.
Prize4Life Awards $1 Million Prize for Major Milestone in ALS Research
In 2006, Prize4Life partnered with the open innovation platform InnoCentive to launch the $1M ALS Biomarker Prize with the goal of accelerating the development of a biomarker—an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool that can accurately measure the progression of ALS in patients. An effective biomarker will make clinical trials of ALS drugs cheaper, quicker, and more efficient. By overcoming a fundamental obstacle in drug development for ALS, the discovery of a biomarker clears the way forward for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop treatments for ALS. The awarding of the $1M ALS Biomarker Prize to Dr. Seward Rutkove for his identification of a biomarker marks a significant step forward in ALS research. Find out more about this Challenge.
Oil Industry Outsider Solves Oil Spill Recovery Challenge
In the summer of 2007, the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) posted three Challenges, all dealing with recovery issues. Someone whose expertise was in the concrete industry, not oil, solved the first of these Challenges in November 2007. InnoCentive Solver John Davis was awarded $20,000 for his creative solution. Find out more about this Challenge.
Solver Lights Up African Villages
Many problems afflict developing countries—poverty, women’s safety, literacy, and disease. Add to the list, the lack of electricity. SunNight Solar wanted to develop a dual-purpose solar light that would function as a lamp and a flashlight to be used in African villages and other areas of the world without electricity.To find a solution, it turned to the InnoCentive Solver community. An electrical engineer from New Zealand solved the Challenge and was awarded $20,000 in March 2008; two months after the Challenge was posted. Find out more about this Challenge.
TB Alliance Works to Eradicate One of the World’s Deadliest Diseases
The TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of fast-acting and affordable drugs to treat tuberculosis.In late 2007, the Alliance posted a Challenge seeking a theoretical solution to simplify the manufacturing process of a current drug compound in order to improve its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By doing so, the drug could become more widely available, thereby slowing the spread of TB, which is responsible for one death every 20 seconds. The solution came from two Solvers; one was a scientist with a very personal stake in finding a cure. As a child, his mother fell victim to TB, and at 14, he was forced to become the breadwinner for his family. His contribution to developing a cost-effective process will benefit millions suffering from TB especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. Find out more about this Challenge.