1. The Challenge and qualification for the award
Reduction in hearing sensitivity due to age, noise, or the use of toxic drugs is common and is a significant hindrance to social integration, often adversely affecting one’s quality of life. Hearing is mediated via the hair cells within the cochlea and hearing loss is often a result of the permanent loss of hair cells. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires the identification of molecular mechanisms that overcome such blocks and will cause human hair cells to be regenerated in a functional manner.
All submitted solutions will be considered for the award. There will be a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution. The total payout will be $15,000, with the possibility to distribute it amongst one or more Solvers, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
2. Additional application for Research Funding
In addition to consideration for the award for the submitted solutions, Solvers with appropriate qualifications and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can apply for research funding (“Research Funding”) to execute a research plan that is proposed in the solution. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of this Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the discretion of the Seeker.
Submissions to this Challenge including additional optional application for Research Funding must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 24, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.
The healthy human ear can hear a wide range of frequencies, but over time, the hair cells in the cochlea become damaged. In certain situations, a ringing sensation in the ear (tinnitus) is a reversible condition. However, if hair cells die, permanent hearing loss occurs. In contrast to birds and fish, the hair cells of mammals do not regenerate after injury and sensitivity to sound is not restored. It is believed that the supporting cells in mammalian cochlea do not possess the capability to spontaneously differentiate into hair cells. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim (the Seeker) desires the identification of molecular mechanisms that overcome such blocks and will cause human hair cells to be regenerated in a functional manner.
This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
There is a guaranteed award. The award(s) will be paid to the best submission as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with the possibility to distribute it amongst one or more Solvers, 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 grant to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal according to the terms and conditions as laid down in the InnoCentive Ideation Challenge-Specific Agreement.
APPLICATION FOR RESEARCH FUNDING
Solvers with appropriate qualification and expertise having access to a suitable research laboratory and equipment can, in addition, apply for Research Funding to execute the research plan that is proposed in the solution. The selection of candidates for Research Funding will be conducted after completion of the Challenge and will require the submission of additional information. The decision to fund research will be at the sole discretion of the Seeker.
InnoCentive will inform Solvers considered for Research Funding within 60 days after completion of the Challenge and will provide Seeker contact information to negotiate a research collaboration. The definitive research plan, amount of funding, and the contractual details of the research collaboration will be negotiated with the Solver and his/her responsible institutional representatives after acceptance of the research plan.
Solvers may be awarded for the (i) submitted solution and may be (ii) selected for Research Funding independently of being awarded. In particular, selection of a solution for the award does not automatically lead to a selection for Research Funding and vice versa.
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 submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
ABOUT THE SEEKER
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 145 affiliates and a total of around 47,500 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of its net sales.
For more information please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.
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:
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.