Hasler Grand Challenge

1. What is a Grand Challenge?

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.

 

 

2. The Hasler Grand Challenge

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.

 

 

3. Submission Format

We look for a concise maximum two-page presentation of the idea.

  1. What is the challenging, yet technologically achievable and inspiring goal statement that describes the grand challenge and at the same time captures the publics attention, and ideally their minds and hearts?
  2. What success metrics may be applied to track progress of the work leading to the final solution. How will achievement of the goal be measured?
  3. What current research or innovation is applicable in support of this work? What are the technological barriers that will need to be overcome to solve the problem?
  4. What would be the submitter's role in addressing the grand challenge? Which other organizations in Switzerland could address the grand challenge or would be required to participate in the effort.
  5. How can the grand challenge work be funded? How should it be organized?
  6. Additional background material (even video) may be submitted but should not exceed 20 pages. Any proprietary information must be identified and marked as such. Submissions must be in English only.


4. Timeline and Judging

We invite submissions via our website from all interested parties in Switzerland, these can be individuals or institutions, academia, and industry. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016. All entries will be made available for public review on the Hasler Stiftung website by April 30, 2016. Judging will be done by the foundation board of the Hasler Stiftung who may call upon external experts for help. The final results will be communicated by July 31, 2016. Should there be more than one winner, the prize will be split accordingly. The jury's decision is final and cannot be contested.