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Collaborative Innovation: Conference on the Power of Public Sector Prizes

June 11, 2012 03:05 PM
 
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The Joyce Foundation, Case Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted Collaborative Innovation: Public Sector Prizes, a cross-sector forum on prizes and competitions.

At the conference, leaders and practitioners from the US government joined with their peers from the private and nonprofit sectors to learn how Federal agencies can use incentive prizes to spur innovation and solve grand challenges, how to design and administer prizes, how companies and nonprofits can advance their social missions by working with agencies to administer prizes and how to work across sectors to form public-private partnerships to increase the success of these open innovation initiatives.

The event included interactive panels and discussions, as well as keynote remarks from Todd Park, the US Chief Technology Officer, and Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and leading innovators and experts from the private sector. The event also featured participation and presentations from the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaboration and other agencies that have been early adopters.

The Joyce Foundation supports innovative and collaborative approaches to yield solutions to today's most pressing problems. To that end, in recent years the Foundation has focused on the potential of prize competitions to catalyze solutions to persistent social policy problems and reveal best practices which other entities can replicate.

One example is the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, developed in partnership with the White House, the Aspen Institute, the Lumina Foundation, the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The competition honors the nation's top community college for outstanding student completion and job placement outcomes. This year, Valencia College in Orlando, Florida was chosen out of 1,200 colleges and 10 finalists. The Foundation is also working with partners to explore how prize competitions can be used in the energy efficiency, education, and workforce development sectors.

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