I want to convince Tim Harford (“Can a pandemic help fix our technological problems“, FT Magazine, June 12) that challenges prizes are not” out of date “. In fact, Nesta Challenges is leading the challenge prize in the UK, with a £ 8m Longze that promotes the development of accurate and accurate rapid tests to overcome antimicrobial resistance, and prizes worth millions of pounds open the opportunity to open up disruptive innovations in consumer finance.
We have run prize challenges to increase agricultural productivity in developing countries, and prizes to increase access to the legal system in the UK. And we are currently developing a new multimillion-dollar challenge prize to help those most affected by the economic impact of Covid-19 to recover future jobs and rebuild financial security.
I agree that the prize challenge has the unique ability to unlock innovation and solve large problems. They value solutions only after they have been proven to work, eliminating investment risks in unknown entities and allowing new ideas, companies and innovators to break through. They promote diversity of people, thoughts, experiences and solutions. They encourage joint creation and collaboration.
The challenge prize must be adopted by governments, foundations, charities and the private sector as an alternative to standard R&D grants that tend to benefit established organizations and who are not bound to find solutions.
With the British government undertaking an unprecedented £ 800m in R&D, the rediscovery of the prize of a national challenge will unleash innovation, promote economic growth and help boost economic levels. Nesta Challenges is ready to play its role.
Sir John Gieve
London EC4, United Kingdom
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