New prize competition challenges innovators to unleash open data

(20 October 2015) A new prize challenging innovators from around the world to unleash the huge potential of open access content and data for societal benefit is launched today by the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative of the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Open Science Prize invites technology experts and inventive researchers to come forward with new ideas for services, tools, and platforms that will make it easier for academic scientists, citizen scientists, innovators and the wider public to discover and mine the vast treasure troves of digital information being generated through health research. The competition seeks international teams to create novel open science platforms.

The volume of digital information – in the form of datasets, publications, code, and other outputs – generated by biomedical research is growing at an ever-increasing rate. The opportunities for researchers and other users to extract new value from these vast resources are also expanding, especially as more and more of them are becoming openly available. However, the ability to mine datasets is frequently limited by challenges in finding, navigating, and re-using their content, which  comes in a dizzying array of sizes, formats, and data types. Often, datasets are not linked to one another and are not searchable without expert knowledge of each dataset in question.

The Open Science Prize consists of a two-phase competition to make this digital information and data more accessible and usable. For the first phase, up to six teams will receive prizes of $80,000 to take new ideas for products or services to the prototype stage, or to further develop an existing early-stage prototype. In the second phase, the team with the prototype judged to have the greatest potential to advance open science will receive a prize of $230,000.

The Open Science Prize is open for entries until 29 February 2016.

Further information is available at: http://openscienceprize.org.