Challenge.gov is an online challenge platform administered by the U.S. federal government, which enables the government to collaborate with citizens by posting specific challenges on the site, to which the public can post submissions to these challenges, with winning selections typically receiving a prize. It is one of the first challenge platforms launched and managed by a federal government.
In his September 2009 Strategy for American Innovation, President Obama called on agencies to increase their ability to promote innovation by using tools such as prizes and challenges to solve tough problems. On March 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum on the use of challenges/contests and prizes to improve government and encourage innovation, including a promise to make a web-based platform for prizes and challenges within 120 days.
The OMB memo also promised that the administration would '…make available a web-based platform for prizes and challenges within 120 days'. OMB tasked General Services Administration with overseeing the launch and continued program.
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In the broader field of crowdsourcing, questions remain as to whether prizes create incentive for individual effort rather than teamwork within or across institutions. Regarding Challenge.gov, it is also unclear how/if participants are vetted for qualifications and whether metrics exist as to whether different prize offerings are more effective than others.