Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

DEBUT, Gig City™: Pushing the Envelope With Prize-Based Innovation

November 30th, 2011 / in research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

Two relevant challenges announced recently that are placing emphasis on prize-based innovation:

DEBUT Challenge (for undergraduate students):

The NIBIB DEBUT Challenge [image courtesy NIBIB].The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has announced a competition — called the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge — for undergraduate students to foster the design and development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic devices and technologies that address unmet health and clinical needs. According to the DEBUT website (emphasis added):

NIBIB’s mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The goals of the challenge are 1) to provide undergraduate students valuable experiences such as working in teams, identifying unmet clinical needs, and designing, building and debugging solutions for such open-ended problems; 2) to generate novel, innovative tools to improve healthcare, consistent with NIBIB’s purpose to support research, training, the dissemination of health information, and other programs with respect to biomedical imaging and engineering and associated technologies and modalities with biomedical applications; and 3) to highlight and acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of undergraduate students.

There are clear opportunities for undergraduate computer scientists to partner with colleagues in bioengineering and other disciplines to pursue entries under one of three categories:

  • Diagnostic Devices/Methods;
  • Therapeutic Devices/Methods; and
  • Technology to Aid Underserved Populations and Individuals with Disabilities.

The competition opens Jan. 3 and runs until May 26. All submissions will be evaluated on the significance of the problem address, the impact on potential users and clinical care, the creativity and originality of the concept, and existence of a working prototype that implements the design concept and produces targeted results.

The winning entry in each category — as judged by a qualified panel of NIH staff — will receive $10,000, to be distributed among team members. Winning student teams will be honored at the NIBIB DEBUT Award Ceremony during the 2012 Conference of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) in Atlanta, GA, in October 2012. (Each winning Student Team will receive, in addition to the prize, up to $2,000 toward the travel and registration costs for the members of the Student Team to attend the award ceremony.)

For further details and updates about the challenge, check out the DEBUT website.

Gig City™:

GIG PRIZES™ [image courtesy].Chattanooga, TN — home to the country’s first and only 1 gigabit per second Internet network, with service to all its residents and businesses — is seeking world-changing gigabit ideas and startup companies:

Our high-speed fiber grid was installed by EPB, Chattanooga’s publicly-owned electric power system, to support the Nation’s most advanced Smart Grid. But smarter energy is just the beginning. Pretty soon every smart phone, car, traffic light, shoe, tweet, and lamppost will be connected to and talking to the fiber network at a gig-a-second.


This summer we’re challenging students and entrepreneurs to pioneer the future of the Internet and compete for the Gig Prize…


The best gigabit ideas, apps and businesses created during this summer’s Gig Tank will be awarded up to $300,000 in cash prizes and investment capital. The largest cash prize — $100,000 — will go to the entrepreneurial team with the most viable business built during the 14-week Gig Tank.

To learn more — and to sign up for an e-mail alert when the competition gets underway — visit the Gig City™ website.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

DEBUT, Gig City™: Pushing the Envelope With Prize-Based Innovation

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