In the context of our study for the EC on collaborative e-government, I had the pleasure to interview Karen Trebon, deputy director of http://www.challenge.gov.

This is a web platform run by the US government to host inducement prizes. Government agencies can post “challenges” that can be met by any citizens. Apps contests neatly fit in, but other challenges can be found, such as NASA competition for writing “algorithm to fly three small SPHERES satellites around the cabin of the International Space Station”.

Challenge.gov is one year old so it appears to be the perfect timing for looking back at its achievements. I therefore interviewed Karen Trebon, Deputy Director of Challenge.gov.

Among the key findings of this interview:

– technology costs are zero, the platform has been offered by a tech provider, two people are working on it (mainly on training and awareness)

– all federal agencies but 2 have used the platform to launch prizes

– so far 38 million dollars in prizes have been distributed, including a 18 million dollars prize for Solid State Lighting

You can see an introductory video about the initiative here.

For the first time, I publish the interview as a podcast. It has long been a goal of mine to do interview podcasts, heavily inspired by Jon Udell Interviews with Innovators. I hope you find it interesting, feedback on this is especially welcome.

Interview with Challenge.gov