InnoCentive Teams Up With a Foundation to Identify Extraordinary, Unorthodox Opportunities for Philanthropic Investment

By Wazoku

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WALTHAM, MA — (Marketwire) — 10/27/10 — InnoCentive, Inc., the world leader in Challenge-based innovation, today announced it has launched a Challenge with a California-based foundation to identify extraordinary, unorthodox opportunities for philanthropic investment.

This Challenge imposes no restrictions as to the nature or source of submissions; maximizing the return on investment to society is the sole focus. The openness of the Challenge, coupled with InnoCentive’s open innovation platform, is designed to unearth innovative and unorthodox ideas that fall outside the funding priorities of major public and private funders.

“Oftentimes some of the most extraordinary ideas, with the potential to impact the greatest number of people, are overlooked, unappreciated, and starved for funding,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “This unique Challenge offers the possibility for one or more great ideas to be recognized and implemented. InnoCentive is privileged to host this important Challenge.”

To illustrate the kinds of ideas the Challenge seeks, the Seeker points to historical examples of innovations that have generated extraordinary returns to society:

  • Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) was developed in the 1970s as a simple, inexpensive treatment for the life-threatening dehydration associated with diarrhea, where treatment with intravenous fluids is impractical. Today, ORT saves millions of children’s lives each year.
  • Dr. Georgios Papanikolaou received an experimental research grant in 1941 from the Commonwealth Fund to demonstrate proof of principal of his novel cancer screen idea. By 1960, millions of women were receiving regular Pap smears, resulting in dramatically lower cancer death rates.
  •  By reducing the cost of Intra-Ocular Lenses from $100 to $2 per lens, the Aravind Eye Hospital in India has given vision to millions of people who could not otherwise afford it.

Cash awards totaling up to $10,000 may be given to the three most compelling submissions. A guaranteed $5,000 will be awarded to the best submission; two others are at the discretion of the sponsoring foundation. The Challenge will remain open until November 18, 2010; winning submission(s) will be announced by December 18, 2010. Importantly, all submissions will be evaluated for implementation funding; the foundation is prepared to invest up to $100,000, initially, and $1,000,000 over time, to implement the very best ideas.

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through an open innovation methodology and comprehensive approach we call Challenge-driven innovation. InnoCentive’s innovation platform includes access to the InnoCentive Solver Network of over 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries and InnoCentive@Work — A Software as a Service platform that allows organizations to more effectively tap into the knowledge and expertise within their business networks to solve their most pressing problems InnoCentive ONRAMP and Consulting Services ensure rapid and successful start-up, and a sustainable Innovation program.

For more information please contact:
Joni Moore
Emerge PR for InnoCentive

Connie French
InnoCentive Marketing Director

By Wazoku

Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.