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Challenge A Scalable System to Track Electronic Waste
A Scalable System to Track Electronic Waste
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 788
Posted: Apr 03 2012
Challenge ID: 9933011
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How can waste from electronics (e-waste) be tracked most efficiently from collection to final destination?  Describe a scalable process or distributed device that would allow producers to follow the flow of e-waste from a customer site through the waste stream to final disposal. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


EMC is tackling the problem of electronic waste, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and InnoCentive, and with the support of Popular Science.  E-waste has been identified as one of the major roadblocks to a more sustainable electronics industry.  Using current processes and technologies, it is simply too difficult to measure the true destination of e-waste as it passes through the hands of downstream contractors who handle disposal and recycling.  This Challenge seeks ideas for a scalable system (may include processes, devices, etc.) that will allow EMC to follow e-waste to final destination.  EMC’s systems are large and complicated pieces of equipment made of sub-systems; this Challenge seeks a way to track individual parts and subsystems, not the full system itself and not discrete products (like a laptop).  Technical guidelines are available in the full description. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000 with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s).All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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