Skip to content

We use prizes to stimulate innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face.

Prizes act as a powerful incentive for meeting a specific challenge. They have a long and famous history: starting with the 18th century Longitude Prize to help British navigators 300 years ago, through to the 20th century Schneider Trophy for aviation, which inspired the Spitfire, and the 21st centry Ansari X-Prize, which has started the race for commercial spaceflight.

Launched in 2012, our Challenge Prize Centre is a hub of expertise on challenge prizes; as well as running prizes to help solve some of society's most pressing challenges, we aim to increase practical evidence and understanding about challenge prizes, and how they can be used effectively by governments, charities and businesses to have a tangible positive impact on society.

Our goal is to show that challenge prizes are not just effective at changing how things are done in the short term, but can also be used to help solve long term social challenges.

Our areas of focus

Our work falls within five keys areas, but our holistic approach also recognises that problems are often multidisciplinary and affect various different sectors:

  • Energy and environment - Our future relies on delivering prosperity within environmental and resource limits. We uncover areas where greater innovation can advance solutions in resource management, clean energy and tackling pollution.
  • Global health - Good health is vital for people to fulfil their potential, and we believe people should be active players in coming up with solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing health challenges.
  • Economic growth - Our challenge prizes seek to foster inclusive economic growth, opening up opportunities for innovators to harness emerging technologies to solve social problems.
  • Wellbeing and community - All our challenges are ultimately focused on stimulating innovations and positive outcomes to enhance the wellbeing of communities, whether that be through science and technology or social innovation.
  • New frontiers - We search for breakthroughs in science and technology that have potential to change the way we live our lives.

Get in touch

Want to find out more about challenge prizes or the work we do? Email us at: [email protected].

Team

Tris Dyson

Tris Dyson

Tris Dyson

Executive Director, Challenge Prize Centre

Tris Dyson is the Executive Director of Nesta’s Centre for Challenge Prizes. The centre works to grow the challenge prize field through a centre of expertise and to find, test and re...

View profile
Kate Adams

Kate Adams

Kate Adams

Director of Operations & Special Projects, Challenge Prize Centre

Working in the Innovation Lab Kate helps shape the Challenge Prize Centre's future as it evolves from being a successful start-up focused on identifying, highlighting and solving cri...

View profile
Constance Agyeman

Constance Agyeman

Constance Agyeman

Head of International Development and Communities

Constance leads on an International Development portfolio and a range of relationships and socially focused prizes across the UK and Europe for the Centre for Challenge Prizes, a hub...

View profile
Kathy Nothstine

Kathy Nothstine

Kathy Nothstine

Lead for Future Cities, Challenge Prize Centre

Kathy is the Lead for Future Cities in the Challenge Prize Centre working on the future of urban transport and global cities.

View profile
Chris Gorst

Chris Gorst

Chris Gorst

Prize lead

Chris leads on challenge prizes designed to stimulate and accelerate fintech and data-driven innovations.

View profile
Daniel Berman

Daniel Berman

Daniel Berman

Prize Lead

Daniel leads the Longitude Prize.

View profile
Caroline Purslow

Caroline Purslow

Caroline Purslow

Programme Manager, Longitude Prize

Caroline is the Programme Manager for the Longitude Prize, in the Challenge Prize Centre.

View profile
Shannon Harmon

Shannon Harmon

Shannon Harmon

Digital Content Editor on the Longitude Prize

Shannon is Digital Content Editor on the Longitude Prize in the Challenge Prize Centre, aiming to engage the public about antibiotic resistance and encourage more teams to compete fo...

View profile
Richard Duffy

Richard Duffy

Richard Duffy

Foresight Researcher, Challenge Prize Centre

Richard is responsible for monitoring new developments and trends in science and technology for the Challenge Prize Centre at Nesta, as well as researching new prizes to tackle chall...

View profile
Orpa Haque

Orpa Haque

Orpa Haque

Assistant Programme Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Orpa is an Assistant Programme Manager in the Challenge Prize Centre at Nesta. Focusing largely on the Mobility Unlimited Challange. In partnership with the Toyota Mobility Foundation.

View profile
Charlotte Macken

Charlotte Macken

Charlotte Macken

Programme Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Charlotte is a Programme Manager in the Centre for Challenge Prizes, working on the Inclusive Technology Prize as well as a range of other projects and prizes. She first joined Nesta...

View profile
Harry Atkinson

Harry Atkinson

Harry Atkinson

Digital Content and Entrant Manager

Harry is the Open Up Challenge's digital content and entrant manager co-ordinating outreach efforts to innovators. The challenge will accelerate a new generation of tools, using data...

View profile
Olivier Usher

Olivier Usher

Olivier Usher

Research Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Oli is Research Manager (Technology & Innovation) in the Challenge Prize Centre, helping identify and flesh out new prize topics and providing input into the design and development o...

View profile
Pippa Smith

Pippa Smith

Pippa Smith

Assistant Programme Manager

Pippa is an Assistant Programme Manager in the Challenge Prize Centre, working on European prizes including the European Social Innovation Competition and the Smart Ageing Prize.

View profile
Bhavik Doshi

Bhavik Doshi

Bhavik Doshi

Research and Impact Coordinator

Bhavik is the Research and Impact Coordinator at the Challenge Prize Centre. In his role at Nesta, Bhavik analyses the results from Prize impact evaluations and creates the first lea...

View profile
Andrea Richardson

Andrea Richardson

Andrea Richardson

Assistant Programme Manager

Andrea is the assistant programme manager coordinating the implementation of the Open Up Challenge in Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre. The prize aims to work with fintech companies to...

View profile
Zofia Jackiewicz

Zofia Jackiewicz

Zofia Jackiewicz

Assistant Programme Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Zofia in an assistant programme manager working on UK and International prizes. Her work in Challenge Prize Centre focuses on supporting development and delivery of various projects ...

View profile
Caroline Pradier

Caroline Pradier

Caroline Pradier

Assistant Programme Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Caroline will be supporting the delivery of the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge.

View profile
Maddy Kavanagh

Maddy Kavanagh

Maddy Kavanagh

Assistant Programme Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Maddy will be working on our Inventor and Longitude Explorer Prizes.

View profile
Xan Goetzee-Barral

Xan Goetzee-Barral

Xan Goetzee-Barral

Urban Design, Transport Planning and Policy Intern

Xan worked on the Flying High Challenge, within the Cities team. His role involved investigating the development and integration of drones across the UK. This included carrying out r...

View profile