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.

Smart Systems, Telemedicine the Focus of Recent Challenges

February 27th, 2012 / in research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

InnocentiveIn recent weeks, open innovation company InnoCentive has launched a pair of competitions with significant R&D questions requiring advances in computing. One is focused on data-driven solutions for enabling “smart systems” in our cities, while the other seeks the development of simple, cost-effective, and consistent tools to improve diagnosis and monitoring of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In conjunction with The Economist, InnoCentive’s smart systems challenge calls for “clever data-driven visualizations that show how improvements to a public utility or infrastructure would improve the health, happiness, safety, aesthetics, etc., of a community” (more following the link).

The Economist-InnoCentive Smart-systems challenge [image courtesy InnoCentive].

Find an open data set available from a local government and design a utility (or improve upon an existing utility) that would make the city/town/neighborhood a better place. Then, using a compelling visualization of the data, tell the story of how it would improve.


The best submissions will present a compelling analysis of public data and an elegant evidence-based solution.


The overall winner will be given a unique opportunity to present their idea to high-profile leaders in the business of big data and information technology at the upcoming Economist Ideas Economy: Information event in San Francisco, California, USA on June 5-6, 2012. In addition, the winning Solver will receive: an honorarium of $1000, compensation for travel expenses, admission for themselves and a guest, an interview with an Economist editor live on-stage at the event, video promotion of the event recording on and through social media channels, publicity for the winning solution in the post-event wrap report to all delegates/speakers, and an official meeting with members of the Ideas Economy programming team to discuss ideas for venture capital or public policy.


Solvers from any background are invited to contribute!

The deadline to enter the smart systems challenge is March 17th.

And from the Alzheimer’s Challenge:

The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 seeks the development of simple, cost-effective, consistent tools that could be easily used to assess memory, mood, thinking and activity level over time to help improve diagnosis and monitoring of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, easy to use, reliable, objective and cost-efficient methods to track and monitor Alzheimer’s disease — which is not a normal part of aging — remain an unmet need. The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) call to harness new thinking to deliver better care and better health at lower cost and provides an entrepreneurial springboard to harness new thinking and approaches to improve Alzheimer’s care.


The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 includes awards totaling $300,000. This incorporates $25,000 to five finalists and $175,000 to one winner of the Challenge.


Following the March 16, 2012 submission deadline, five finalists will be selected and announced by April 16, 2012. Each finalist will be awarded $25,000. Concept refinement will be completed by mid June 2012 with finalist presentations to follow. The winner of the Challenge will be announced at the end of June 2012 and awarded a $175,000 prize. Judges will be drawn from experts in the Alzheimer’s community and other related fields.

Key information technologies listed in the Alzheimer’s challenge include wireless, telehealth, and at-home and on-person sensors for the capture of information.

To learn more, and to enter either challenge, check out InnoCentive’s smart systems and Alzheimer’s websites.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Smart Systems, Telemedicine the Focus of Recent Challenges