Back in July BikeBiz reported that Nesta would be awarding £50,000 to the best new bike security device and £25,000 for the employer which gets lots of folks cycling to work, with another £25,000 to be split over other projects. The deadline for entering these awards has now been pushed back to 12th November, and BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid has been appointed as one of the judges.
The Centre for Challenge Prizes were launched to harness UK ingenuity to increase the number of people cycling across the UK. The prizes are supported by Nesta and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Nesta was founded as NESTA, the National Endowment For Science Technology and The Arts, in 1998. Originally a Government agency funded by the National Lottery, in 2011 Nesta became an independent innovation foundation with charitable status. The organisation's work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.
£50,000 is on offer for the device which foils a bike thief for the longest. The innovation will be also judged on the impact on the environment, cost and potential for commercialisation.
A further £25,000 is available for the winner of the Workplace Cycle Challenge Prize, a promotion supported by CTC and Challenge for Change.
All UK workplaces with more than 10 employees, which come up with new ways of increasing the number of employees cycling to and from work, will be eligible to enter. One employer will win the top prize with another £25,000 spread amongst a number of other firms.
Offering cash prizes to incentivise breakthrough innovations is a time-honoured practice. Famous examples of challenge prizes include the Ansari X-Prize for manned private spaceflight, the 18th century Longitude Prize to help British navigators, or the 20th century Schneider Trophy for aviation, which inspired the Spitfire.
The Centre for Challenge Prizes are available in a number of industries.