Monday, 2 January 2012

Using Inducement Prize Contests to get disparate groups to work together

Inducement Prize Contests have a long history, and significant recent interest, largely driven by the X Prize and the DARPA Grand Challenge. The focus of most Inducement Prize Contests that I have read about is in pushing a particular area of technology beyond its current limits. It seems to me that another interesting way in which they could be used would be in pushing two disparate fields to work together.

Say for example subject matter Y people tend not to engage with subject matter Z people, but you hypothesise that subject matter Y's technology could solve subject matter Z's problems, then you pose an Inducement Prize Contest that will be won by the best use of subject matter Y's technology to solbe subject matter Z's problems. Obviously in order to win, subject matter Y people will need to engage with subject matter Z people in order to understand their problems, thus forcing the two groups together, which is likely to generate benefits that outlive the competition.

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