Alan Kay once said that “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. It is always nice to see efforts to invent the future. Some are small with near term potential and some are large ambitious once. Here are just a couple, I came across today in a mail I received from ACM TechNews.
“We Challenge You: A Call to Action on Global Issues
Intel’s INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge is calling for the best technology solutions to address four areas of global need – education, healthcare, economic development, and the environment. The contest will award seed funding of $100,000 USD to one winner in each category. The Challenge is designed to inspire developers, individuals, and organizations to innovate and empower them to deliver new ways to apply technology to these issues. The INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge advances the commitment of the Intel World Ahead Program – to connect people to a world of opportunity.”
You can find out more about Intel’s challenge here.
Expeditions in Computing
This initiative from NSF is a more ambitious one.
The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has established four new Expeditions in Computing. Each of these $10 million grants will allow teams of researchers and educators to pursue far-reaching research agendas that promise significant advances in the computing frontier and great benefit to society.
“We created the Expeditions program to encourage the research community to send us their brightest and boldest ideas,” said Jeannette Wing, NSF’s assistant director for CISE. “We received an overwhelming response, and I’m delighted with the results of our first annual competition. The four Expeditions together push both the depth and breadth of our field: pursuing longstanding scientific questions of computing, creating a new field of computational sustainability, experimenting with novel technologies for secure, ubiquitous computing and communications of the future, and exploring what we even think of as computing.”
It covers four broad areas.
- Understand, Cope with, and Benefit From Intractability
- Computational Sustainability: Computational Methods for a Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society
- Open Programmable Mobile Internet 2020 project
- Molecular Programming Project
CISE anticipates hosting an Expeditions competition annually, with three new awards anticipated each year. The deadline for preproposal submission to the second annual Expeditions competition is September 10, 2008.
Do you know of any other initiatives of similar nature around the world. Please add a comment with a link.