MSA’s inaugural Innovation Challenge 2023 is awarding up to $2,000,000 in total prizes for ideas that identify areas where a pull mechanism would help spur innovation in biosecurity, pandemic preparedness, and climate change, and for teams to design that incentive mechanism from ideation to contract signing.
Innovation is not only an important driver of economic growth but can also save lives and the planet! Yet important innovations, particularly in areas of global public goods, are often under-incentivized.
The mission at the Market Shaping Accelerator (MSA) is to spur innovation to tackle the biggest global challenges of the time. How do they plan to do that? By identifying market failures where the commercial incentives trail behind the social value – think vaccines for future pandemics, neglected diseases, green cement, sustainable aviation fuel, etc. They can target these problems and increase the private sector’s incentives to innovate by using “pull” mechanisms that create demand for these innovations (which may not even yet exist!).
Participating teams will have access to the world’s leading experts in market shaping and technical support from domain specialists to compete for their part of up to $2 million prize during multiple phases. Top ideas will also gain the MSA’s support in fundraising for the multi-millions or billions of dollars needed to back their pull mechanism.
The $2,000,000 in prizes will be awarded in the following manner:
- In Phase I, up to $500,000 will be awarded to high quality entries ($4,000 per submission) based on the score they received from referees.
- In Phase II, up to $400,000 will be distributed to teams at the initiation of Phase II to defray startup costs.
- Up to $1,100,000 will be distributed to top ideas by the end of Phase II.
The MSA Innovation Challenge 2023 has two phases.
- Phase I: Open call for ideas
- Applicants submit entries that identify an existing market failure (related to biosecurity, pandemics or climate change) where the potential social value of creating a market greatly outweighs the private returns.
- Phase I submissions are accepted on a rolling basis and due by noon CT July 21, 2023.
- Submissions will be reviewed and scored by internal and external referees. Submissions that meet a minimum criteria will receive $4,000. Up to $500,000 in prizes will be awarded in Phase I.
- A handful of top ideas from Phase I will be advanced to Phase II, where they will receive additional support from the Market Shaping Accelerator team to develop detailed proposals.
- Phase II: Accelerating pull designs
- Ideas that are selected for entry into Phase II will benefit from support and guidance of the MSA team as well as domain specialists to help turn their ideas into fully worked up contracts.
- By the end of Phase II, up to $1.5 million in aggregate prizes will be awarded.
- The competition is not necessarily designed to winnow the field to a single winner. If several projects emerge with tremendous promise, each may obtain a share of the final prize as well as support from the MSA to identify donors and raise the multi-millions or billions of dollars needed to make their pull mechanism a reality.
- This is a unique opportunity to help change the world by driving innovation in biosecurity and climate change. By participating in the Innovation Challenge, you will have a chance to:
- Contribute ideas to solving critical global challenges. Your idea could have a real-world impact by addressing market failures in biosecurity or climate change, and helping to drive innovation in these areas.
- Gain recognition and visibility: Winning submissions will receive recognition and visibility through the Market Shaping Accelerator’s website and other communication channels, providing a platform to showcase your idea.
- Access to resources and support: The Market Shaping Accelerator has a network of experts and partners in the fields of biosecurity, climate change, and innovation. You may have the opportunity to collaborate with these stakeholders and access resources to further develop and implement your proposal.
- Earn prizes and help use millions to unlock billions in social value!
Who can apply?
- Submissions are accepted from individuals 18 years and older and organizations around the globe whose participation and receipt of funding will not violate applicable law. The ability to get you the money may depend on factors outside of the control related to fiscal rules and regulations in your home country. Anyone receiving prize funding will be required to fill out a 1099 MISC tax form and enter into a grant agreement with the University of Chicago.
Note: Submitting and receiving the $4,000 award from your original submission in Phase I does not require a commitment to participate in Phase II nor does it confer the right to participate in Phase II.
For more information, visit Market Shaping Accelerator.