Late last month, NASA announced that it plans to run an International Space Apps Challenge in 2012, bringing together officials from international space agencies, scientists, and citizens in an effort to use publicly-released scientific data to create, build, and invent new solutions that address challenges of global importance, from the impact of weather upon the global economy to the depletion of ocean resources.
According to the Challenge website:
The International Space Apps Challenge is an innovative international collaboration that accelerates the development of solutions focused on making government better and addressing critical issues on our planet… The unique challenges posed by spaceflight often result in solutions to issues we see everyday here on Earth, and development of these solutions can be expedited when leveraging the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of those outside government institutions…
Space agencies around the world are continuing to focus on a vigorous path of innovation and technological development leading to an array of challenging and inspiring missions to destinations with an incredible potential for discovery. The International Space Apps Challenge provides new opportunities for governments to engage citizens in this exploration mission by leveraging their expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to help address challenges of global importance. The event embraces the concept of ‘open innovation’ to improve performance, inform decision-making, encourage entrepreneurship, and solve problems more effectively.
NASA is currently in the first phase of collecting ideas and inputs for problems — particularly, problems that can be solved with NASA data. Later, NASA will involve subject matter experts and map ideas to datasets and problem owners, eventually leading to the development of the final, matured problem list.
And for complete details about the upcoming International Space Apps Challenge, including how you can get involved, check out the website.
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)