DailyDirt: Many Hands Make Light Work... Prove It For $1M?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are plenty of prizes to solve hard problems -- million dollar rewards for Millennium Prize Problems, etc. But there are also plenty of other problems (some with bigger prizes) that don't get as much attention. Also, it's not so easy to determine the winners sometimes. In any case, here are a few quick examples:
  • Got an algorithm for predicting when people are going to need to be admitted to the hospital? There's a prize for that. A cool $3M for this "Netflix-Prize" wannabe. [url]
  • The US DoE is offering $30M for research that could replace gas and diesel with advanced biofuels. The catch is you have to do it without changing existing vehicle or fueling infrastructure. [url]
  • If you had an idea to stop the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there was a contest to collect ideas. It was mostly a publicity stunt, though, since BP was already accepting suggestions from anyone at the time. The IP rights of the submitted suggestions is a bit concerning, too. [url]
  • Google eventually gave away $10M for its Project 10^100 challenge. But it wasn't easy to pick the winners. [url]
  • There's still time to enter a video contest for explaining science to a high school audience. The winner gets a nice camera... which is kind of a weird prize for a contest that requires a camera to enter. [url]
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    Filed Under: challenges, contests, prizes


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    • identicon
      Contestant #3, 22 Dec 2010 @ 11:09pm

      Owning oil cleanup ideas

      Great. Next time there's a big oil spill, someone will have patented the best ways to stop the spill.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Michael Ho (profile), 22 Dec 2010 @ 11:23pm

        Re: Owning oil cleanup ideas

        Hopefully, there won't be another big oil spill... but there probably will be.

        Maybe the patents will have expired by then (or not).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      misterdoug (profile), 22 Dec 2010 @ 11:47pm

      The hospitalization one is obvious

      Prize #1 is sponsored by an HMO trying to minimize its hospitalization claims. The stated goal is "to change health care delivery as we know it – from an emphasis on caring for the individual after they get sick to a true HEALTH care system."

      Sorry, a "true HEALTH care system" knows what doctors have been saying forever, that the best way to prevent unnecessary hospitalization is to cover checkups and other preventative care.

      "But then people will run to the doctor every time they get a sniffle!" Fine. A thousand 10-minute checkups that uncover no problems cost far less than one major illness that isn't diagnosed soon enough, which is what happens when people put off going to the doctor because they can't afford it. My best friend of 30 years died from a highly treatable form of leukemia for that exact reason. She always worked at shit jobs for low pay and no health benefits, and she put off going to the doctor until she felt terrible. By that time it was too late and she was dead in 3 weeks.

      So yeah, I've got an attitude about this issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jimr (profile), 23 Dec 2010 @ 6:08am

      Funny thing about awarding a camera

      I find it typically funny that you need a camera to win a Camera in the last one.
      I have participated in many such fund raisers for clubs where the prize was something less than stellar for winner: I cheap point and shot camera for first place in a photo contest. A typical gun to the team with the best shooting skills. The funnies one was when all participates won 10% off the sponsoring store but you had to pay shipping and handling that was pre-calculated at 12.5% (if you bought items in stock you automatically got 10% anyways).

      Next up a three year old computer to the winner a on-line internet contest!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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