3 Articles to Boost Your Innovation Endeavors

3446551557_4489d34fea_zIs there an innovation drought in your company?  Are you desperately in search of the next big thing, but don’t know where to turn?   Are your innovation endeavors too conservative?  Do they lack the risks inherent in trying to do something new and break new ground?

Three articles caught our attention this week that convey powerful messages to those who seek to innovate.  The boldest among them being a warning to innovate or die.


Crowdsourcing Our Way to Better Health

pulse-trace-163708_640Frankly, there are far too many complex problems going around that can’t be tackled by institutions and organizations on their own.  When it comes to improving our health, fighting diseases and prolonging lifespans, those challenges take on an extra measure of urgency as most of us want to stick around on the planet for as long as possible.

There are hundreds of situations where drug companies, hospitals and healthcare institutes have reached out to expert crowds to help them in their quests.  Here is a small collection of some of the open innovation health-related projects that have been featured on IdeaConenction’s website.


Crowdsourcing Night Sky Images

NIMAThe space agency NASA needs your help to search through more than 1.8 million photos of the Earth taken during dozens of missions, from the Mercury missions of the 1960s to images captured by the International Space Station.

According to NASA, the pictures “could help save energy, contribute to better human health and safety and improve our understanding of atmospheric chemistry.”


$1 Million Open Innovation Challenge for Shrinking a Box

spanlsDo you have what it takes to change the future of energy and electricity? If so, The Little Box Challenge maybe just up your street.

A cool $1 million is up for grabs, courtesy of Google for the team that can create a smaller and cheaper power inverter.  An inverter is an electronic device that takes direct current from items such as solar panels and batteries and converts it into alternating current for use in cars, homes and offices for example.

According to Google, shrinking inverters will change the future of energy, enabling “more solar-powered homes, more efficient distributed electrical grids, and could help bring electricity to the most remote parts of the planet.“


Five Innovation Contests that Made Our Lives Easier

640px-HK_Food_Grass_Jelly_Canned_with_Tinplate_aFor hundreds of years, innovation has been accelerated through prized-based competitions, inspiring inventors, artists, entrepreneurs and others to push their brains to the limits to create new ideas, concepts and opportunities. From the breakfast table to sea travel and international flight, innovation competitions have revolutionized our daily lives. Here are five innovation contests that have made our lives easier:


Ford Drives into the Future with Open Innovation

LA1Every week there are new stories about companies launching open innovation and crowdsourcing initiatives. They hope they can successfully convert the awesome brainpower of the crowd into concrete innovations that propel them ahead in the marketplace.

One of the latest corporate giants to initiate an exciting new open innovation venture is the Ford Motor Company.

The multinational automobile maker has revealed plans of its Innovate Mobility Challenge Series to come up with novel mobility solutions in eight locations around the world.


Two Awesome Prize-Based Innovation Contests

cashThere’s nothing like the lure of big money prizes to entice inventive brains to create novel and/or disruptive innovations. The premise is as old as the hills and today, it’s still a popular way to innovate.

Two of the most prominent prize competitions of the day are the £10 million Longitude Prize  and GE’s $1 million ecomagination open innovation challenge to help accelerate technology development in Canada’s oil sands.


Saving Hawaii’s Rainforests with the Crowd

k1Hawaii’s native forests are under threat from invasive plants. Weeds such as Australian Tree Fern and African Tulip Tree are soaking up vital water resources that native flora needs. The situation is so serious that invasive species have been responsible for the destruction of more than half of Hawaii’s native forests.

To help combat the threat, Digital Globe and The Nature Conservancy are enlisting the crowd to help with a huge global initiative.