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NIH Single Cell Analysis Challenge: Follow That Cell

Challenge Reward: $100,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing

Many biological experiments are performed under the assumption that all cells of a particular “type” are identical. However, recent data suggest that individual cells within a single population may differ quite significantly and these differences can drive the health and function of the entire cell population. Single cell analysis comprises a broad field that covers advanced optical, electrochemical, mass spectrometry instrumentation, and sensor technology, as well as separation and sequencing techniques. Although the approaches currently in use can offer snapshots of single cells, the methods are often not amenable to longitudinal studies that monitor changes in individual cells in situ.

The NIH Single Cell Analysis Program (SCAP) is searching for novel methods for analyzing dynamic states of individual cells that can serve as the basis for predicting alterations in cell behavior and function over time. The ultimate goal is to develop new tools and methods that allow time-dependent measurements at the single cell level in a complex tissue environment to assess functional changes, provide information on the health status of a given cell, and help guide diagnosis and therapeutic treatments related to human disease states. Technological breakthroughs in this arena could allow researchers and physicians to identify rare cells in a mixed population such as individual cells that can transform and become cancerous; cells that are latently infected with a pathogenic virus; or cells that develop resistance to drugs over time. This challenge is structured in 2 phases: Phase 1 is a Theoretical Challenge and Phase 2, a Reduction to Practice Challenge. Phase 1 may award up to 6 prizes from a total prize award pool of $100,000 for the theoretical portion of the competition.

In addition to the direct monetary awards, the prize winners and selected runners-up will be recognized by the NIH Common Fund Single Cell Analysis Program and invited to attend The 3rd Annual Single Cell Analysis Investigators Meeting in Rockville, Maryland, USA on April 20, 2015. In addition to the public announcement, this opportunity may include paid travel and accommodations to the event and potential participation as an invited speaker at the discretion of the NIH.

Prize winners and selected runners-up with a qualifying score in Phase 1 will be invited to participate in Phase 2, which is a Reduction to Practice challenge to provide proof of concept data related to their Phase 1 entries. Phase 2 may award up to 2 winning solutions from a total pool of $400,000.

Phase 1 (Theoretical) Challenge requires only a written proposal.

Phase 2 (Reduction to Practice) Challenge will require documentation of Phase 1 implementation including the submission of data.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

DEADLINE: Dec 15 2014 Project Rooms 571 Aug 15 2014
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DARPA Forecasting Chikungunya Challenge

Challenge Reward: See Details Challenge Type: RTP

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) seeks methods to accurately forecast the spread of chikungunya virus in the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.

This Challenge has a special award structure with awards of $150,000 and $100,000 for the top two overall Solvers and four honorable mention awards of $50,000 each. In addition, top Solvers in each Methodology Category (data, robustness, applicability, presentation, and computation) may win $10,000. The top six overall Solvers will be invited to DARPA for the Program Finale Meeting where they will participate in an interactive meeting to share best practices, collaborate, and facilitate continuing Solver community cohesion.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and multiple submissions of forecasts for the virus’ spread. Additionally, as a Prodigy Challenge an online leaderboard will be available to track Solver performance.

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This web site is hosted by a private entity and is not a service of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) or the Department of Defense (DoD). The solicitation and collection of your personal or individually identifiable information is subject to the host’s privacy and security policies and will not be shared with DARPA or the DoD unless you win the Challenge. Challenge winners’ personally identifiable information must be made available to DARPA in order to collect an award. Please consult the Challenge Specific Agreement.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

DEADLINE: Feb 01 2015 Project Rooms 422 Aug 15 2014

Target Identification Mechanism for Bispecific Antibodies

Challenge Reward: Varies Challenge Type: eRFP

Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) can offer advantages over conventional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) because they have the potential to modulate two specific pharmacologies simultaneously. This can lead to greater efficacy than is achieved by either single mAbs or even mAb combination therapy. 

GSK has a strong interest in this emerging area of biopharmaceuticals, and has made and assessed many experimental BsAbs, as well as progressed a lead BsAb molecule to an experimental clinical study. For certain BsAb target pairings we have also seen early promise of differentiation from standard mAb combination approaches. 

Whilst the best recognised medical application of BsAb use is in driving T-cell activation, GSK is also interested in ‘direct’ antibody actions, such as the inhibition or activation of conventional ligand/receptor target pairs. 

GSK are therefore keen to work with the wider R&D community to understand if there are methods by which we can (i) predict the ability of any given target pair to act synergistically, and within this space (ii) predict target combinations that might be uniquely suitable to modulation by a BsAb, and therefore create medicines with the potential to be more efficacious than the equivalent mAb combination therapy. 

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will only need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a GSK funded collaborative partnership.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

DEADLINE: Jan 06 2015 Project Rooms 13 Nov 20 2014

NIH Single Cell Analysis Challenge: Follow That Cell

Challenge Reward: $100,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing

Many biological experiments are performed under the assumption that all cells of a particular “type” are identical. However, recent data suggest that individual cells within a single population may differ quite significantly and these differences can drive the health and function of the entire cell population. Single cell analysis comprises a broad field that covers advanced optical, electrochemical, mass spectrometry instrumentation, and sensor technology, as well as separation and sequencing techniques. Although the approaches currently in use can offer snapshots of single cells, the methods are often not amenable to longitudinal studies that monitor changes in individual cells in situ.

The NIH Single Cell Analysis Program (SCAP) is searching for novel methods for analyzing dynamic states of individual cells that can serve as the basis for predicting alterations in cell behavior and function over time. The ultimate goal is to develop new tools and methods that allow time-dependent measurements at the single cell level in a complex tissue environment to assess functional changes, provide information on the health status of a given cell, and help guide diagnosis and therapeutic treatments related to human disease states. Technological breakthroughs in this arena could allow researchers and physicians to identify rare cells in a mixed population such as individual cells that can transform and become cancerous; cells that are latently infected with a pathogenic virus; or cells that develop resistance to drugs over time. This challenge is structured in 2 phases: Phase 1 is a Theoretical Challenge and Phase 2, a Reduction to Practice Challenge. Phase 1 may award up to 6 prizes from a total prize award pool of $100,000 for the theoretical portion of the competition.

In addition to the direct monetary awards, the prize winners and selected runners-up will be recognized by the NIH Common Fund Single Cell Analysis Program and invited to attend The 3rd Annual Single Cell Analysis Investigators Meeting in Rockville, Maryland, USA on April 20, 2015. In addition to the public announcement, this opportunity may include paid travel and accommodations to the event and potential participation as an invited speaker at the discretion of the NIH.

Prize winners and selected runners-up with a qualifying score in Phase 1 will be invited to participate in Phase 2, which is a Reduction to Practice challenge to provide proof of concept data related to their Phase 1 entries. Phase 2 may award up to 2 winning solutions from a total pool of $400,000.

Phase 1 (Theoretical) Challenge requires only a written proposal.

Phase 2 (Reduction to Practice) Challenge will require documentation of Phase 1 implementation including the submission of data.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

DEADLINE: Dec 15 2014 Project Rooms 571 Aug 15 2014

NASA is looking for creative yet practical ideas to find a dual purpose for Balance mass (“dead weight”) that is jettisoned from Mars landers like the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to balance the spacecraft during entry and landing. Payloads replacing Balance mass should perform some type of scientific or technological function adding to our knowledge base while closely matching the volume and weight characteristics of the original Balance mass. Ideas are welcomed from all disciplines.

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 2108 Sep 20 2014

Pseudoephedrine #3:  Outsmarting Methamphetamine Producers

Challenge Reward: $100,000 USD Challenge Type: RTP

The Seeker desires a method for formulating pseudoephedrine products in such a way that it will be extremely difficult for clandestine chemists to extract or use the pseudoephedrine in the production of the illegal drug methamphetamine.  The Seeker may be interested in pursuing further collaboration with Solvers whose solutions they find promising.  The Seeker may also allow Solvers additional time after the submission deadline to finalize experiments required for the full reduction-to-practice award. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data (and/or sample delivery).  The use of one or more surrogate compounds (e.g. substituted benzylic alcohols, structural mimics, etc.) to demonstrate proof-of-concept is required.  Solvers should NOT conduct reduction-to-practice experiments with illegal or federally controlled substances. 

»  Read more at InnoCentive

DEADLINE: Nov 20 2014 Project Rooms 149 Aug 20 2014

Individualization of Heating Costs in Multi-Occupant Buildings

Challenge Reward: $20,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-IP Transfer

Hot water heating systems have a couple of different models in residential building with multiple units. Laws demanding the separation of thermal energy costs for each individual unit make it very difficult to measure and comply with certain distribution systems. A new solution is desired to measure the thermal energy consumed of residential units with specific distribution systems. Details are given inside the Challenge. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 488 Oct 17 2014

Create Accessories for Parked Commercial Vehicles

Challenge Reward: $15,000 USD Challenge Type: Ideation

A vehicle is used for transporting people, animals, or goods from one place to another. In addition to bringing supplies to people, vehicles can help extend the reach of other services, such as healthcare, communication, etc. The purpose of this challenge is to add value to Ford commercial vehicles and light duty trucks through the creation of accessories that make these services better wherever the vehicle visits. To make the challenge concrete we are setting the challenge in Johannesburg - the largest city in South Africa. 

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

 

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 535 Oct 16 2014

Thomson Reuters Eikon Text Tagging Challenge

Challenge Reward: See Details Challenge Type: RTP

Investors are flooded every day by thousands of news items from many different sources – blogs, feeds, internal reports, news services – yet only a small number of those items may be of interest to a particular investor.  Filtering these news items for companies or organizations of interest is becoming increasingly important as the number and variety of sources expands, yet it is becoming more difficult because many of these news items are not explicitly tagged with the relevant companies or organizations.  The Seeker, Thomson Reuters, is searching for an algorithm to accurately tag incoming news items by relevance for companies or organizations mentioned within the news item.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and delivery of source code implementing an algorithm that solves the problem.  Additionally, as a Prodigy Challenge a real-time online scoring utility and leaderboard will be available to track Solver algorithm performance.

This Challenge has a special award structure with awards of $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively for granting the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice the solutions.  In addition, the Seeker may, at its sole discretion, award an additional $20,000 (“Additional Award”) to one or more of the submissions awarded a Licensing Award to obtain ownership of the solution.  Awards will be based on Seeker’s determination of solution performance using a reserved independent validation set.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 433 May 23 2014

Solid-waste Management in Humanitarian Response

Challenge Reward: $15,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing

When large numbers of people are displaced due to natural or man-made disasters, they flee their homes and settle in formal or informal camps. One major problem is the management of solid wastes (trash, rubbish, garbage, litter) produced by large numbers of people in a relatively small area. Improper management of solid wastes leads to many issues, mostly centered on degrading the health of the people involved. We are searching for the most economical process of managing solid wastes without worsening the already poor living conditions in these areas or causing harm to individuals or the environment.

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

(photo by Jenkins Macedo)

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 576 Feb 05 2014

Non-Destructive Quantitative Testing of Adhesive Bond Strength

Challenge Reward: $20,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing

How can we test the mechanical properties of a bond between 2 structures without breaking or damaging the bond or the substrate materials? This challenge is looking for non-destructive testing methods or technologies that will enable accurate prediction of the strength of an adhesive bond between heterogenous materials. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

 

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 524 Mar 15 2013

Rapidly Extract and Concentrate Cells from a Complex Medium

Challenge Reward: $20,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing

This challenge seeks methods or technologies to isolate cells from a complex mixture and then concentrate those cells in a small liquid volume, in less than 4 hours total. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 590 Mar 08 2013

Synthesis for Si(O1-zXz)y (X = B, C, N, S, Cl)

Challenge Reward: $30,000 USD Challenge Type: RTP

A method is needed to synthesize Si(O1-zXz)y (X = B, C, N, S, Cl; where 0.2 < z < 0.5; 0.5 < y < 1.5) meeting specific requirements. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data (and/or sample delivery).

 

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 98 Jan 29 2013

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – a common saying that is particularly true when it comes to peoples’ long-term health.  The Seeker for this Challenge, UnitedHealthcare, seeks to promote healthier lifestyles and/or new approaches for managing widespread chronic conditions by taking advantage of two exciting dynamics in today’s marketplace – innovative consumer technologies and consumer-centric health solutions.  Accordingly, they are seeking prototypes of novel combinations or modifications (“mods”) of existing, off-the-shelf consumer technology (including computer software and smartphone applications) that could be used to improve peoples’ health and quality of life. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data (and/or prototype delivery).  In the absence of a proven solution, however, the Seeker may make a partial award of up to $20,000 USD for a purely theoretical contribution.  In addition to the Challenge award, the Seeker may be interested in further collaboration with winning Solver(s) to further advance this project.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 854 Jan 08 2013

Surface Modification of PTFE Nanopowder

Challenge Reward: $15,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-IP Transfer

A method or treatment is required to allow complete dispersion of PTFE nanopowder particles in a hydrophilic solvent. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 265 Feb 08 2013

Novel Design for a Simple Timer Based on Fluid Flow and Color Change

Challenge Reward: $50,000 USD Challenge Type: RTP

This Challenge seeks novel prototypes for a simple reusable timer based on the principles of reverse fluid flow and color change. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires both a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept evidence. Solvers may submit 1-page abstracts describing their proposed solution by 14-Jan-2013 to receive brief feedback from the Seeker before committing to experimental work.

»  Read more at InnoCentive

UNDER EVALUATION Project Rooms 643 Dec 13 2012

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