Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Million Dollar Prize for Cancer Research Ideas

Yahoo News tells about a new $1 Million prize for ideas to fight cancer. The ideas will be judged by an expert panel. It's a bit of a different take on the innovation incentive idea - instead of an easy to measure technical challenge, this attempts to bring forth numerous ideas whose quality can be judged. In addition, the existence of the ideas can help match researchers with funders, even if the ideas can't all win the prize. The prize is called the Gotham Prize for Cancer Research, and the intention is for this to be an annual prize. There is also a $250,000 prize, the Ira Sohn Conference Foundation Prize, set aside for fighting cancer for children (the larger prize can also be in this area).

The Planetary Society Apophis Asteroid tagging design challenge takes a similar approach. It's a bit too challenging to require an actual asteroid mission, so the prize is for the design, which then must be judged.