GSA offers governmentwide platform for idea competitions

ChallengePost platform selected from among eight vendors

The General Services Administration will soon distribute a free online application to make it easier for federal agencies to operate online competitions to get new ideas.

Starting in July, federal agencies will be able to access GSA’s online platform sponsored by ChallengePost to allow them to publish their questions and problems and invite the public to suggest, discuss and judge solutions.

President Barack Obama's Open Government Directive in March encouraged agencies to use Web-based platforms and the Agriculture, Education and Veterans Affairs departments have sponsored online innovation competitions that offered prizes for the best ideas.


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On May 27, GSA announced it had selected ChallengePost from eight vendors who applied to provide a Web platform for government innovation competitions.

ChallengePost, headquartered in New York City, is a privately funded online marketplace application founded in 2008. Technology leaders Steve Wozniak and Esther Dyson are on the board of directors.

Currently, the ChallengePost application is being used by USDA’s innovation competition, AppsforHealthyKids.com, to get ideas for reducing childhood obesity.

The ChallengePost application is being distributed by the GSA’s new Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, created as a spinoff from the former GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications.

“President Obama has empowered the public to help solve some of the most difficult problems in government," David McClure, associate administrator for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, said in a news release. "The use of prizes and challenges spurs innovation and brings ideas to bear on some of our nation’s most pressing problems."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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