The Centre for Challenge Prizes is a hub for expertise and insight on challenge prizes. It has been created to design and manage challenge prizes that will deliver beneficial innovations and to generate and share learning and insights on the design and use of challenge prizes.
The Centre acts as a hub for expertise and interest in challenge prizes and will:
Generate and share learning and insights on the design and use of challenge prizes
Examples of activities include setting up a practitioner group; developing and contributing to research projects with UK and international partners; running relevant events and group discussions. The experience of running challenge prizes will also contribute to the development of the evidence base.
Design and run new examples of challenge prizes
Design and run new examples of challenge prizes with and on behalf of partners to develop innovative solutions to specific challenges. We expect these prizes will mainly be awarded based on results - working prototypes or measured outcomes. We will run prizes on a range of topics with a range of partners, with a view to building expertise and evidence on prize design and furthering Nesta's charitable objectives in relation to innovation.
Through all of this work we hope to gather and analyse more information on what works in challenge prizes, and to help business, government and charities understand and make best use of them.
The Centre seeks to work with a range of partners, including those experienced in challenge prizes and those newly interested them.
The Centre for Challenge prizes currently has two live Challenge Prizes:
In association with BIS:
For more information view the Challenge Prizes homepage
We also expect to announce more prizes later in the year.
Nesta ran one of the first social innovation challenge prizes, The Big Green Challenge. The challenge ran from 2007-2009, and offered a £1million prize to the community-based groups who could have the biggest demonstrable measurable reductions in CO2 emissions in a community. Finalists achieved CO2 reductions of 10-46 per cent in just one year. Set against the context of the UK target behind a 34 per cent reduction by 2020, this was a significant achievement. The prize was staged and offered support to participants.
Since running the Big Green Challenge, and publishing a practical guide to using the model, we've been approached by people across the world interested in running challenge prizes.
In our Neighbourhood Challenge programme we have supported community organisations across England to use a range of methods for generating and supporting ideas from within their neighbourhoods - including micro challenge prizes.
In 2010 the open innovation agency 100% Open spun out of Nesta as a result of our successful corporate open innovation programme.
Nesta also has a wider body of research and practical knowledge and experience in innovation programmes and methods, and is able to understand and connect challenge prizes with this wider innovation context.
We welcome interest and thoughts on the Centre. Please register your interest below.