A couple of years ago the America Competes Reauthorization Act was approved granting federal agencies broad authority to host contests to spur innovation. In How Contests Spur Innovation, Inventors Daily reported, at the time, that this signature event was critical to invention and economic development in America.
“In short,” Inventors Daily wrote, ” invention contests and prizes work. In fact, when applied to big problems, contests can deliver big solutions with big economic impact.
“…The Act provides a “clear and simple legal path” for Uncle Sam to run invention contests, much like the private sector. The U.S. public sector, it should be noted, accounts for approximately 25% of our $15 trillion economy.”
From America Competes was born Challenge.gov , “an online challenge platform administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with ChallengePost that empowers the U.S. Government and the public to bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation’s most pressing challenges.”
So if you like making stuff – mechanical stuff, 3D stuff, coded stuff, design stuff – there’s no shortage of federal and private industry nationwide competitions to in which to try your hand and your head. If the incentive of a cause, or a prize are your best inspiration, start with Challenge.gov and Challenge Post.
And there’s plenty of other resources.
- Are you a designer? Check out Designer X’s list of competitions that includes the Canterbury Cathedral Landscape Design challenge (deadline to enter July 17) and the Sappi Ideas that Matter contest “to recognize and support designers who use their skills and expertise to solve communications problems for a wide range of charitable activities. “
- Looking for 3D printing contests? 3Ders.org has a good list.
- If you’re a coder, check out CodeChef for a list of ongoing competitions.
- Engineering students and hobbyists might enjoy browsing the Engineering Education Service Center’s list of contests , or ASME’s list.
- Budding inventor? Check out the list of Inventor Awards and Competitions at Invent Help.
Visit back here often for announcements about contests both local and national that we learn about throughout the year. And share your news about contests, both entered in and hosted! We’d love to feature your stories and photos!