Hasler Foundation is looking for an inspiring ICT problem

05.01.2016 12:35

The Hasler Foundation launches a competition for the definition of a Grand Challenge in the area of information and communications technology. Grand Challenges are projects like sequencing the human genome. The Foundation plans to award a prize of CHF 50'000 to the best idea that then can be put out to the Swiss ICT research community as a grand challenge to solve in the years to come.

A grand challenge is an inspiring problem that is difficult to solve but at the same time, when it has been solved, the solution is concrete and measurable -- both by science and the general public.

Sequencing the human genome or putting men on the moon and returning them safely are good examples of grand challenges, that because they were solved and had a profound impact on our lives and the world.

Most grand challenges span multiple years and are of an interdisciplinary nature, however there have also been grand challenges that have been solved within a single discipline; a recent example was IBM's Watson computer that beat the best human contestants in the US TV quiz show Jeopardy!

Often a grand challenge is decided in a competition, a game or a demonstration of the solution. An example for a current grand challenge is the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) where a robot has to complete difficult tasks in a disaster area such a nuclear power plant where radioactivity makes it impossible for humans to work.

Grand Challenge in ICT
The Hasler Foundation is inviting interested parties in Switzerland to design a grand challenge in the area where the foundation has its mission, namely information and communications technology. We are not asking parties to provide the solutions yet, just the challenge. If a party's grand challenge is selected, they can still participate.

The grand challenge must be simply posed, inspirational, and easily demonstrable to a wide variety of audiences. It should have a well defined measurable and verifiable goal. It must also demonstrate one or more technological breakthroughs in its solution that have promise to impact an entire field of research in the future.

The Hasler Foundation plans to award a prize of CHF 50'000 to the best idea that then can be put out to the Swiss ICT research community as a grand challenge to solve in the years to come.

Additional information can be found on the website of the Hasler Foundation. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016.

(SK)

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