I am a week late on getting this news out, so in all likelihood this is old news. Anyway, GE has unveiled the 2011 version of its $200 million Ecomagination Challenge on the theme of “Powering Your Home.” But I am not totally late — today is the first day submitting ideas
The 2011 theme is a logical departure from the one in 2010, “Powering the Grid,” but maintains the open innovation/community feedback system used last year.
The basic idea is that anyone can register and then submit a concept(s) between now and March 1, 2011, via the website. Visitors to the website can view the ideas, submit comments, give Facebook “likes,” see who else supports the ideas, see similar ideas, view trends, etc. A Twitter feed is also available.
GE also has blog about the Challenge.
Ideas submitted are competing for two levels of rewards: Actually prizes range up to $100,000, but the big kahuna is the pool of $100 million+ available in the form of commitments of venture capital investments in the best ideas.
Final judging is done by a panel that included individuals from GE’s business units, representatives from academia, venture capital firms, government research specialists and others. They are supposed to conduct their evaluations “based on merit; reliance on science and engineering fundamentals; innovative character; potential to create significant societal impact; commercial feasibility in light of applicable market dynamics; and other factors deemed appropriate by the judges.”
My memory of the quality of last year’s entrants was that they were surprisingly high and diverse. So, if you have an idea or just want to browse through those of others, its worth stopping in every week or so.
Check it out.