Agencies turn to challenges to find innovation

Federal agencies are planning to implement challenges, contests and prizes more often when it comes to developing solutions to their problems, as challenges allow agencies to pay only for results outside of the traditional procurement process, Federal Times reports.

“Agencies need to keep seeking new ways to use prizes as tools to advance their missions and help solve the great challenges facing societies today,” John Holden, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was quoted as saying.

One method of integrating challenges in the solutions development process is by utilizing, which agencies have tapped to support more than 300 contests, and which has drawn 42,000 participants and 3.6 million visits to the website, GSA reported. One such challenge was a 2009 award by NASA to anyone who could develop a more flexible astronaut glove capable of performing a wide array of tasks in the vacuum space.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Mon, Jan 27, 2014

Even more important than Challenges is whom agencies will partner with to bring IT innovation at scale to their organizations. Relying on traditional enterprise vendors tends to yield the same old results. Interesting to note the recent Gartner CIO survey on which Enterprise vendors are see as bringing the most innovation now and for the next 10 years.

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