Hair-pullingly frustrating, hazardous to health and a huge time drain, traffic congestion on freeways and in our towns and cities is one of the most irritating blights of modern life.

Without changes, the problems will clearly become worse over time.  To stop this from happening and to give us all space to move, transit authorities in numerous countries have turned to the crowd for help.  Smart minds are needed to develop solutions.

Here is a rundown of a few open innovation initiatives that have attempted to unclog our traffic-filled roads.
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In reaching for the stars NASA also reaches for the crowd.

At the moment, the space agency is seeking folding concepts for a radiation shield for a Mars transfer vehicle. It needs to be something that can easily be packed, because with regards to space travel mass means money.  And bulky items take up room that could otherwise be occupied by instrumentation or people.
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Capelin are small fish found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans. They are forage fish, which means they are an important part of the marine ecosystem as a food source of other species such as seals and puffins.  They also play a role in keeping the oceans healthy.

And the more we know about these fish the greater the insights into the health of our oceans and the animals that live there.  But therein lies the problem, because knowledge of capelin is lacking.  And so scientists are calling on the crowd to help.
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According to recent listings Nebraska’s state flag is the second worst in the United States. One criticism leveled at it is that the design is hardly memorable.  Perhaps that is the reason why nobody noticed it was flying upside down over the state capitol for ten consecutive days.

Well, State Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha has had enough and wants to add a bit of pizzazz to the flag.  So, he’s calling on the crowd to come up with their own designs.
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Mattel, Inc, the American multinational toy manufacturing company is now embracing open innovation in a big way. Engineers, inventors and indeed anyone with a great idea for a toy can now submit it to the company’s online portal.

Previously, if you wanted to submit an idea to Mattel, you needed to be already established in the field or be represented by a toy broker. But those restrictions have fallen away. Now the company’s doors are wide open to external input.


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From predicting epidemics and helping to cure diseases to improving quality of life and identifying drug targets, big data is driving healthcare innovation forward.

To capitalize on this potential, a new open innovation project has been launched to help improve heart health diagnosis.
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