Waltham, Mass. – April 2, 2012 – InnoCentive, Inc., the pioneer in open innovation, crowdsourcing, and prize competitions, today announced the release of several new tools that empower the diverse and global community of over 250,000 problem Solvers to form specialized teams to tackle some of the world’s toughest Challenges. InnoCentive’s new Solver Search capability, improved profiles, badges, and social login allows Solvers to find one another quickly, supplementing their own skills and expertise with those of others to solve problems that might have otherwise been out of reach.
With the new capabilities, InnoCentive Solvers can now opt to promote themselves in Solver Search, allowing others to find them based on personal information such as expertise, interests, degrees, publications, and achievements on previous InnoCentive Challenges. Once a potential teammate is found, a new private messaging system allows Solvers to reach out and easily initiate collaboration.
With the increasing volume and variety of interdisciplinary Challenges on InnoCentive.com, the ability to instantaneously form a specialized team is increasingly imperative. For example, the $40,000 Challenge, “Sunlight/UV-light dose indicator” which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, asked Solvers to develop an indicator for people in developing countries or disaster areas to determine if their drinking water is safe. The team of initially three students – two chemical engineers and a bioengineer – focused at first on developing a chemical test strip, but later realized that an electrical sensor could improve the design. Being located at the University of Washington, they were able to seek out a fourth team member – a doctoral student in electrical engineering – to help them develop and implement their ideas, ultimately winning the $40,000 Challenge and starting a non-profit to distribute their technology.
Among other enhancements to the Solver experience are new tools for improved Solver recognition. InnoCentive badges now enable Solvers to officially track and display their achievements to the world. The coveted “Multiple Winning Solver” badge is awarded to Solvers with multiple Challenge awards – an exclusive group of only 156 creative Solvers. The new Solver Search capability provides extra exposure for Solvers who have earned badges.
Solvers are also now able to establish a richer identity with new and enhanced profiles. Solvers can create a personal headline, biography, educational history, publications, and expertise and interests – all searchable via Solver Search. Comprehensive privacy controls allow Solvers to decide which details of their profile they wish to share publically.
Enhanced social integration allows Solvers to share Challenges with their personal networks, demonstrating support and ultimately helping to find a solution by spreading the Challenge. Solvers can also share their profile – including their official InnoCentive achievements – with their personal or professional networks, increasing recognition for their Challenge-solving performance. New users can now register and start solving in seconds using their Facebook account to bypass the standard registration process.
“Solvers are the lifeblood of InnoCentive and our vision to change the world, one Challenge at a time,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “All of the new tools that we have introduced to our Global Solver Community are designed to make Challenges more accessible, improve collaboration and a sense of community, enhance the personal brand of our Solvers, and ultimately increase the likelihood that our Solvers will find innovative solutions to all of the Challenges facing our commercial, government, and non-profit customers.”
InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, network of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Eli Lilly & Company, Life Technologies, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before. For more information, visit www.innocentive.com or call 1-855-CROWDNOW.