Recently, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy created the Ebola Grand Challenge, an effort to expedite this process and draw out solutions from the public in a streamlined, collaborative way.
Through the online idea-sharing platform, OpenIdeo, physicists, mathematicians, inventors, doctors and everyday “Joes” submitted ideas and research to assist aid workers battling this deadly virus. Research and ideas were presented, evaluated, dissected, and often times, combined in an amazing show of collaboration.
and an example:
Companies are applying their products and ideas in a way previously not considered. Qore Performance, a Fairfax, Virginia-based company, submitted our new-to-market athletic apparel with arterial cooling pockets. Originally designed for athletes and law enforcement personnel for in-game or on-duty use, HAZMAT suit cooling and patient care was not the original design for the products, but this platform has put us on the radar for a number of government and private-sector organizations whose workers wear protective gear daily.
With no experience in providing solutions to the federal government, companies such as Qore Performance would have previously depended on third-party relationship managers to bring their products into the federal government and navigate the complexities of the General Services Administration’s schedule contracts. Most are “flying blind,” lacking the resources or connections to present their solutions in front of the proper set of eyes.
Source: Federal News Radio.