The Rockefeller Foundation and InnoCentive Renew Partnership Linking Non-Profit Organizations to World-Class Scientific Thinkers

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NEW YORK and Waltham, Mass. – June 23, 2009 – The Rockefeller Foundation and InnoCentive, Inc., the global open innovation marketplace, today announced the renewal of their successful partnership to link non-profit organizations with InnoCentive’s Web-based global network of “Solvers,” who are more than 175,000 of the brightest minds in science, engineering, technology and business. The partnership, first established in 2006, has been overwhelmingly successful in using InnoCentive’s primarily for-profit “open innovation model” to help non-profit organizations develop solutions for their work on behalf of the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations.

As a result of the partnership, interested non-profit organizations can apply, through the Rockefeller Foundation, to place their organization’s scientific or technological Challenges on InnoCentive’s Website. Solvers from around the globe have the opportunity to submit proposals to solve the Challenge. The non-profit itself will choose the proposal that best fits its needs and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation will provide the financial award given to the Solver.

“Our partnership with InnoCentive gives non-profit organizations access to some of the world’s brightest problem solvers, enabling researchers and entrepreneurs that address the needs of the developing world to have access to cutting-edge innovation,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. “This partnership has already proven successful, resulting in the development and distribution of products that are impacting the lives of the most vulnerable members of the global community. We are thrilled to renew this partnership and look forward to seeing the continued innovation that will grow out of it.”

When first launched, this pioneering effort was the first instance of InnoCentive’s model being used to solve problems faced by poor and vulnerable people in the developing world. The partnership proved to be a successful effort, with 10 Challenges featured on the Website since 2006, and an 80 percent success rate.

One of the most successful Challenges resulting from the partnership was posted by SunNight Solar in conjunction with GlobalGiving. SunNight Solar was seeking  to improve the design of a dual-purpose, self-contained solar light, so that it could be used to light a room.  Demonstrating the reach of InnoCentive’s Solver base, the Challenge was ultimately solved by an engineer in New Zealand. The new parts for the flashlight were manufactured by a company in China. Today, the flashlight is being successfully distributed and used in Africa, the Gaza Strip, and other areas without electricity, providing sufficient light at night, enabling children to study and allowing family members to safely walk outdoors after dark.

“We are excited to continue our great work with the Rockefeller Foundation. Time and again, our Solvers tell us that the opportunity to be involved in Challenges for the betterment of humanity is the greatest possible motivation for what they do,” said InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin.

About the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation works around the world to ensure that more individuals, institutions, and communities can tap into growth and opportunity while strengthening resistance to risks and challenges, affirming its founding mission to “promote the well-being” of humanity.  The Foundation today supports initiatives to mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform more equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, assure access to affordable, high-quality health systems in developing countries, and help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of imminent climate change.  For more, visit The Rockefeller Foundation website.

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Founded in 2001, InnoCentive built the first global web community for open innovation, enabling scientists, engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs to collaborate to deliver breakthrough solutions for R&D-driven organizations. InnoCentive Seekers, who collectively spend billions of dollars on R&D, submit complex problems to the InnoCentive Marketplace where more than 175,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business people, and research organizations in more than 175 countries are invited to solve them. Solvers who deliver the most innovative solutions receive financial awards ranging up to US$1,000,000. InnoCentive’s Seekers include commercial, government and non-profit organizations such as Avery Dennison, SAP, Procter & Gamble, Pendulum, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay and The Rockefeller Foundation. For more information on InnoCentive, go to:

Press contacts:

Laura Gordon
Rockefeller Foundation

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.