As we enter 2013, we would like to thank you – our Seekers and Solvers alike – for your continued support of InnoCentive. We achieved great things with your help, and anticipate growing momentum this year. But, before looking forward to 2013, let’s take a few moments to consider the past year and recap our journey together.
This year has been exciting and groundbreaking in many ways: Our global Solver network grew to over 275,000 creative and diverse minds, we crossed the 1,500 threshold in external Challenges posted to our network, and we exceeded $13 million in total awards paid out to our Solvers. Additionally, our Seekers – and their Challenges – grew more diverse in 2012 due to the increased use of Challenges in industries such as aerospace, financial services, healthcare, and the public sector. Further, the adoption of “Big Data” Prodigy Challenges among our Seekers (e.g., Cleveland Clinic and Prize4Life) saw explosive growth. All of these trends mean exciting new opportunities for Seekers and Solvers alike in 2013!
Our mission has always been to help address and resolve problems that matter, so we have been fortunate to have worked with incredible organizations that ask the world to address global concerns and make extraordinary things happen. We – the collective “we” which includes Seekers, Solvers, and InnoCentive – helped Prize4Life to better predict the progression of disease in ALS patients. We announced the conclusion of the “Global Giveback Challenge Series,” a collaboration between InnoCentive, GlobalGiving, and the Rockefeller Foundation to find solutions to dire water-related problems in developing countries. And we helped BeyondPolio find novel ideas for reducing the cost of using inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) to help in the final stages of the global polio eradication effort. There are many more examples, but suffice to say, we still firmly believe in changing the world, one Challenge at a time.
As many of you know, we kicked the year off with our acquisition of OmniCompete, a firm based in London that specializes in Grand Challenges and is best known for its long-running Global Security Challenge. This acquisition also enabled us to expand our presence in the United Kingdom and Europe. Prior to this acquisition, in December 2011, we announced a strategic alliance with Booz Allen Hamilton to bring to market integrated, full-service open innovation and Challenge offerings to both commercial enterprises and public sector agencies.
Regarding the public sector, in late 2011 we became a GSA Schedule Contractor to facilitate the U.S. Federal Government’s ability to procure our products and services. And as an overall consequence of our continued push into government, we brought forth many exciting and important Challenges in 2012, each having generated strong participation and interest among our Solvers. Our Seekers included Air Force Research Labs, NASA, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/Health & Human Services, USAID, City of Boston, and a $1 million DTRA “Big Data” Algorithm Challenge that will launch in January 2013.
For our amazing Solver Community, we announced several new collaboration capabilities earlier in the year. Our new Solver Search capability, improved profiles, badges, and social login enable our Solvers to find one another more quickly, supplementing their own skills and expertise with those of others to solve problems that might have otherwise been out of reach. We also profiled several winning Solvers in 2012, most recently Torsten Hothorn, Lilly Fang, Sumit Bhardwaj, Ben Skowera, and Mike Cirella. Expect more to come in 2013!
On the partnership front, we launched and completed several Challenges with The Economist in 2012, most recently having announced the successful conclusion and winners of The Economist-Nielsen Data Visualization Challenge at The Economist’s World in 2013 Festival. Our long-standing relationship with Nature Publishing Group (NPG) couldn’t be stronger; in fact, we recently announced our partnership with Scientific American (SciAm), the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. NPG is SciAm’s parent organization, and we expect many new exciting Challenges for our Solvers to tackle when the Scientific American Open Innovation Pavilion goes live in the Spring of 2013. We also completed an important Eco-Challenge with EMC Corporation and our partner Environmental Defense Fund to improve e-waste tracking. And finally, we just completed our first two Challenges with AARP Foundation and look forward to announcing the winners in early 2013.
All told, the work that we’ve accomplished together in 2012 is impressive, from disease research, to making our world a better place, improving lives and health, and helping our Seekers to improve their existing products and more rapidly bring new ones to market. But we truly believe that the best is yet to come. From all of us at InnoCentive, we wish you and yours a joyous and innovative 2013!
– The InnoCentive Team