Wazoku Crowd Challenge Spotlight: Energy and Environment

By Henry Crabtree

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In this blog, we look at two Challenges that aim to find more efficient ways to improve production in industrial settings. The Seeker is offering $25,000 and $15,000 USD awards to Solvers in the Controlling Runaway Heat Challenge and the Ceramic Bonding Challenge.

Our Wazoku Crowd contains incredible expertise from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and we have collectively awarded our Solvers $60m+ in awards over the last twenty years.

In these two Challenges, the problems that need solving are especially technical. However, the format of these Open Innovation Challenges means that Solvers with direct experience, knowledge from other industries, or novel concepts and ideas can all get involved to be in with a chance of changing industrial processes for the better. Let’s take a look at each in turn!

Challenge #1: Controlling Runaway Heat in Exothermic Chemical Reactions

Challenge Type: Theoretical | Award: $25,000 USD | Due Date: 17th July 2023

This Challenge in chemical manufacturing is focused on finding novel methods to control runaway heat, in this case caused by self-propagating Diels-Alder reactions. Finding more effective, less costly, and less disruptive safety approaches will allow staff to operate with less downtime and greater safety.

The solution you provide would ideally act similar to graphite control rods in nuclear reactors, by tightly modulating – and stopping, if needed – self-propagating reactions. The Seeker is also happy to consider solutions that will provide novel ways of physical or thermodynamic control: in other words, more effective methods of quenching or removing heat.

Your written proposal is all that is required, and the Seeker will conduct theoretical evaluation of Solver proposals before deciding on an award. Your solution may combine existing components, commercially available components, and/or novel Solver solutions. Ideas leveraged from other industries with similar problems are encouraged. Do you think you can contribute to this Challenge? Get started today!

Challenge #2: Novel Technologies for High-Temperature Ceramic-Ceramic and Metal-Ceramic Bonding

Challenge Type: Ideation | Award: $15,000 USD | Due Date: 17th July 2023

The Seeker is open to innovative ideas that will improve techniques for ceramic-to-ceramic and ceramic-to-metal bonding. Current processes have drawbacks that mean there is a short lifetime of these bonds. In some cases, the bond may lose up to 90% of its strength after less than a day in service!

Submit your solution today!

The goal of this Challenge is to overcome the current limitations and revolutionize the future of ceramic bonding. The Seeker imposes no restrictions on the nature of the proposed technology for as long as it meets our objectives, with a particular interest in novel approaches, possibly arriving from adjacent domains. However, the Seekerhas stated that they are also open to approaches based on existing technologies, such as:

· Brazing and welding (with or without fillers)

· Combinations of foils and microwave heating

· Couplings with fillers

· Local heating with novel technologies

· High-performance mechanical joints

In this Ideation Challenge, there is a guaranteed award. The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by evaluators. The total pay out will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,500.

Solvers in this particular Challenge are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

In this blog, we’ve discussed the diversity of problems that one Seeker company is solving with the Wazoku Crowd, and the particular Challenge types. Act fast as the due date for both Challenges is the 17th July. We can’t wait to see what you come up with in the next weeks!

By Henry Crabtree

Wazoku's Community Marketing Manager, Henry is also a life-long Manchester United fan - but we still love him, regardless. When he's not cheering the Reds on, he's working his way through an extensive reading list. Need a book recommendation? He's your man!