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Open Science Prize seeks innovative ideas to advance open science

last modified Nov 15, 2015 10:58 PM
An opportunity to develop new products or services to harness the power of "big data" to improve health.

For more info see the Open Science Prize website

An opportunity to develop new products or services to harness the power of "big data" to improve health.

The National Institutes of Health has partnered with London-based Wellcome Trust, with additional support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, to launch a global science competition for new products or services to advance "open science", a movement to make scientific research data broadly accessible to the public.

"Research is a global, data-driven enterprise and our ability to improve health increasingly hinges on our ability to manage and make sense of the enormous amounts of data being produced by scientific research," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "I expect the Open Science Prize to generate innovative ideas to improve data access and establish new international collaborations that will illustrate the transformative power of sharing research data."

The volume of digital information generated by biomedical research often called "big data" is growing at a rapidly increasing pace. Researchers' ability to derive knowledge from data is hindered by their ability to find, access and use it. The goal of the Open Science Prize is to support the development and prototyping of services, tools and platforms to overcome these hurdles to ensure data can be used to advance discovery and spur innovation.

"As an early advocate of open access and data sharing, the Wellcome Trust believes passionately in the power of freely available, reusable research outputs," said Jeremy Farrar, O.B.E., FMedSci, FRS, Director of the Wellcome Trust. "With the Open Science Prize, we hope to tap into the innovative spirit of the global open science community to use open data to deliver global health benefits."

The challenge consists of a two-phase competition. For Phase I, international teams will compete for funding to take new ideas for products or services to the prototype stage, or to further develop an existing early-stage prototype. Up to six prizes of $80,000 each will be selected awarded for the best ideas of software products or services to be developed into prototypes, or to further develop an existing early stage prototype for international use. For Phase II, the Phase I prize recipient judged to have the prototype with the greatest potential to advance open science will receive a prize of $230,000.

The first phase of the competition is accepting applications through Feb. 29, 2016. The six selected teams will be required to submit their prototypes by December 1, 2016. The overall winner is expected to be selected on Feb. 28, 2017. More information about the Open Science Prize can be found at:

Eligible teams must be a collaboration of a U.S. and an international partner.

Submission Period Begins: October 20, 2015
Informational Webinar: December 10, 2015. Register at
Submission Period for Phase I Prize Ends: February 29, 2016
Phase I Winners Notified: April 30, 2016
Deadline for Phase II Applications (for Phase I prize recipients): December 1, 2016
Phase II Winners Announced: February 28, 2017


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