We shine a spotlight where it matters and incentivise people to solve these issues. We are independent, supporters of change to help communities thrive and inspire the best placed, most diverse groups of people around the world to take action. We support the boldest and bravest ideas to become real, and seed long term change to advance society and build a better future for everyone.

We are challengers. We are innovators. We are game changers.

Prizes and competitions act as a powerful incentive for meeting a specific challenge. They have a long and famous history: from 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 started the race for commercial spaceflight.

Orteig Prize

Launched in 2012, Nesta Challenges (previously the Challenge Prize Centre) is a hub of expertise on challenge prizes and competitions; 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.


  1. Create breakthrough innovations

Prizes incentivise new thinking and reward the best breakthrough solutions, wherever they come from, however they work

  1. Help Innovators thrive

Prizes support and cultivate innovators by providing funding, expertise, profile-raising, investment and by building networks

  1. Unlock systemic change

Prizes shape context by raising awareness, inform policy and shape the future of markets and technologies

How we can help you run a prize

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