Gada Prize Fundraising To Date:
Interim Personal Manufacturing Prize
Humanity+ is proud to carry on the torch of the Kartik M. Gada Humanitarian Innovation Prize in Personal Manufacturing (the Gada Prize). Gada prizes aim to improve the lives of one billion people by 2020. This prize has an award amount of up to $20,000, with an award date of June 30, 2013. It is presently funded at $20,000.
RepRap is an open source 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Established in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer, the RepRap project has grown into an international community of RepRap operators. The goal for many in the community is an open source self-replicating machine based on 3D printing technology. As such, it is a perfect match as the platform on which to base the Gada prize in personal manufacturing.
Humanity+ is an international organization focusing on technologies that expand human capacities. It primarily engages in promotion, conferences, ethics and debate, publication, and sponsored projects.
3D printers that print a significant fraction of their own parts currently have to be assembled by people. As the printers become more efficient at printing, this need for assembly becomes an increasingly restraining bottle-neck to their spread. This could be addressed by some form of automated assembly, or it could be addressed by making the printers easier for people to put together (or both).
The Interim Personal Manufacturing Prize intends to reward solutions to this problem. The prize will be awarded to the inventor or team of inventors who create the 3D printer that can be assembled from its components to a fully working state most quickly by one person and that:
- Requires the least skill and experience from that assembly person,
- Has a low total one-off materials and parts cost,
- Has a high proportion of its own parts that it can print for itself,
- Requires a minimum of specialist parts that it doesn’t make for itself,
- Has a low power requirement when running, and
- Is completely open-source.
The deadline for prize submission is May 31, 2013, with a winner to be selected and announced on June 30, 2013.
To submit an entry for the prize :
1) The entering team has to show that they have been publishing periodically, via their Google archives, the RepRap wiki, or other sources.
2) A video demonstrating that their system meets the prize specs should be submitted. A suitable video might be 10-15 minutes long.
3) Further specifications (such as drawings, etc.) to explain what may not be evident in the video, to demonstrate the meeting of prize specs.
Entries are currently being accepted. Please submit entries to :
Kartik Gada : firstname.lastname@example.org
Forrest Higgs : email@example.com
For more detailed information about the Interim prize, you can download the official guidelines here: Humanity RepRap Grand Personal Manufacturing Prize (PDF).
- RepRap wiki including a list of teams and the announcement
- RepRap.org forum dedicated to the prize
- irc.freenode.net #reprap
- irc.freenode.net #hplusroadmap
- RepRap at Wikipedia
- Announcing the Gada Prize in Personal Manufacturing @ Humanity+
Prizes In Development
Grand Personal Manufacturing Prize
The Grand Prize would seek to make the technology more rapidly scalable by increasing the productivity of the replication process. As a bonus, the Grand Prize may additionally be helpful in recycling material waste (such as plastics) into material suitable for RepRap use. Plastics such as HDPE and Polypropylene, of which millions of tons exist as waste matter, may be suitable candidates, and recycling of such waste material would be viewed favorably by the judging panel.
The Grand Prize is expected to be funded at $80,000 before launch (it is presently not funded). There are three parameters that will be used to judge the efforts of the teams participating in the competition.
- That the cost of the material used for printing does not exceed $4/kilogram.
- The capacity to print a full set of parts for a complete replica of itself within 7 days, including the time for reloading, and clearing of printer head jams.
- Maintain a total materials and parts cost under $200 and that 90% of the volume of the printer parts be printed.
The judging committee envisions a variety of technologies which might be deployed to achieve this end including:
- Software to drive and manage banks of RepRap printers
- Hardware and software systems to automatically unload printed parts from RepRap printers
- Hardware and software systems to sort, clean and package or assemble printed parts
- Innovations in plastics recycling, and development of a suitable grinder and extruder
The nature of the competition and the requirements for participants are as follows:
- While teams participating in the competition for the Grand Prize will register at the beginning of the competition, it is not expected that the membership of said teams will necessarily remain static thereafter. Any teams can merge with each other if so desired.
- Participating teams are expected to regularly publish and make available their technology on an ongoing basis. All technology developed by participating teams becomes open source under a GPL or BSD license. Therefore, the winning team will have to have published at least some of their innovations more than 12 months before the deadline.
(Note that the RepRap Project itself is licensed using the GPL, so any entry derived from that is constrained also to use the GPL. Any entry not derived from the RepRap Project can use either license. Communication with Humanity+ and the RepRap Research Foundation about technology licensing is encouraged.)
It is expected that participating teams will borrow each others’ better innovations during the development process. The judging committee reserves the right to apportion the Grand Prize amongst teams should such borrowed technology comprise a major portion of the winning entry.
For more detailed information about the Grand Prize, you can download the official guidelines here (PDF).
Donate to the Grand Personal Manufacturing Prize:
Water Liberation Prize
Another expected prize in the pipeline is the Water Liberation Prize. At least 2 billion humans, or 30% of humanity, do not have access to clean drinking water. This includes 40% of the world’s children under the age of 15. A lack of access to clean water is the root cause of multiple problems, from fatal conditions like dehydration and diseases such as cholera and dysentery to the indirect costs of lost productivity. That this most basic of problems still affects such a large percentage of humanity demands a solution that can overcome traditionally existing obstacles, such as a lack of rainfall, irrigation, and access to electricity. An incentive-driven approach to the invention of such a self-reliance device at suitable cost targets would yield the maximum benefit.
A device available for under $3, that can produce enough drinking water for a single adult, would cause a net annual economic benefit of $500 for the recipient in the economy that they presently reside in. The $500 estimate is the sum total of disease reduction, death rate reduction, and productivity increase that access to this water would result in. These gains would be cumulative for each subsequent year as well. Lastly, such a device would enable human settlement at greater distances from traditional water sources, as long as atmospheric humidity was above a certain level. Clearly, the $3 water purification device is a very compelling product for a humanitarian organization to distribute en masse.
The winner of the Water Liberation Prize of up to $50,000 will be the first person to invent a device that is either solar powered, manually cranked, or otherwise not dependent on the existence of an electrical grid, can produce at least 4 liters of potable (drinkable) water per day, either condensed from the air (as measured in approximate 50% ambient humidity) or filtered through a nanomembrane, and can be mass-produced (as demonstrated by a pilot run of no less than 10 units) for a cost of less than $3 per unit. The filter should be washable and re-usable, without requiring a periodic supply of new filters, as the device may be used in areas without access to a suitable distribution channel.
The prize will be awarded on December 31, 2015, by a panel of judges.
For more detailed information about the Water Liberation Prize, you can download the official guidelines here (PDF).
Donate to the Water Liberation Prize:
Historical Prizes in Science and Technology
An Important Stimulus for Breakthrough Thinking
Although scientific grants today are the most common source of funding for scientific and technological research, prizes awarded for specific accomplishments have played an important role in the advancement of science and technology. In the 18th and 19th centuries, prizes were the most common form of funding for scientific advancement. That was particularly true in France, the leading scientific nation of that era. Goal-specific prizes remain important today as a means to stimulate breakthrough thinking. The Feynman Grand Prize offered by Foresight Institute thus continues an important tradition in the funding of scientific and technological advance.
The Longitude Prize
One of the most famous prizes in science history led to the development of accurate nautical navigation. Skilled mariners have known for more than two millennia how to establish their latitude. However, accurate positioning at sea also requires knowing the ship’s longitude. The means to do so had eluded the world’s best thinkers for centuries. As the leading maritime power in the 18th Century, England had a vast strategic interest in finding a useful means for its ships to establish their precise location at sea. Thus, the English Parliament passed the Longitude Act of 1714. It specified a prize of £20,000 (equivalent to about $2.5 million in today’s funds) for the person who devised a reliable means for a ship captain to establish his longitude within half a degree of great circle (30 nautical miles at the equator). Two smaller prizes were also designated for lesser accuracy.
Although scientists of the era sought celestial solutions to the problem, the question ultimately was answered not by an astronomer but rather by a clock maker, John Harrison. He designed and built the world’s first chronometer – a special clock capable of keeping accurate time under the adverse circumstances of life at sea. By comparing the difference between the time of a known location and the ship’s local time (established by the sun’s position), navigators could tell longitude accurately. An early test voyage proved Harrison’s chronometer’s ability to establish longitude within a few miles through the duration of a trans-Atlantic voyage.
The Orteig Prize
In 1919 Raymond Orteig, a wealthy French hotel owner, offered $25,000 for the first nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh won the prize in a modified single-engine Ryan aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis. Others had been pursuing the prize diligently, using different approaches. Two weeks after Lindbergh’s feat, Clarence Chamberlain and Charles Levine flew nonstop from New York to Germany in a Bellanca monoplane. A month later U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd and a crew of three also crossed the Atlantic, in a Fokker trimotor. Their efforts changed the way people thought about flight, and about the world itself.
The Orteig Prize was one of many offered to stimulate the development of the fledgling aeronautical industry. Between the first flight by the Wright Brothers and 1929, over 50 major aeronautical prizes were offered by governments, individuals, newspapers and corporations. In 1926 and 1927, Daniel Guggenheim offered more than $2.5 million in prizes and trophies.
The Kremer Prizes
The Kremer Prize for Human Powered Flight was offered in 1959 at £5,000 by British industrialist Henry Kremer. It grew to £50,000 (worth $95,000 at that time) before it was claimed by Dr. Paul MacCready and his team in 1977 for flying a figure eight along a half-mile course with his Mylar-skinned Gossamer Condor. Kremer immediately offered a second prize of £100,000 for the first human powered aircraft to cross the English Channel. Only two years later, MacCready’s Gossamer Albatross won that prize as well. The lightweight construction techniques MacCready developed for these human-powered aircraft contributed to MacCready’s more recent design for the General Motors Impact, the first modern car designed “from the wheels up” as an electric vehicle.
Prizes Offered by Richard Feynman
A defining moment in the history of molecular-scale technology was a 1959 speech at the California Institute of Technology by Nobel Laureate physicist Dr. Richard P. Feynman. “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” he declared in his discussion of the possibilities of molecular-scale engineering. To spur work in that direction, he offered $1,000 prizes from his personal funds to the first person to construct a working electric motor 1/64 inch or less on a side, and to the first person to produce written text at 1/25,000 scale (the size required to print the entire Encyclopedia Britannica on the head of a pin).
The motor prize was claimed in 1960 by an engineer who found a way to construct a very small motor using conventional mechanical techniques. Dr. Feynman had unfortunately set the size limits slightly too large to require breakthrough technology. He paid anyway. The printing challenge took longer; but in 1985 a Stanford University graduate student named Thomas Newman reproduced the first page of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities, on a page measuring only 1/160 millimeter on a side (20 times smaller than the human eye can see), using electron beam lithography. Dr. Feynman paid that prize enthusiastically, since it had produced technological advance.
Super Efficient Refrigerator Prize
In 1992, a consortium of U.S. electric utilities, seeking to enhance environmental quality and energy efficiency, announced a prize of $30 million to be awarded to the most energy-efficient refrigerator design that did not using environmentally harmful CFC refrigerant. Fourteen manufacturers submitted entries. The winning company, Whirlpool Corp., devised a refrigerator that used 25% less energy than the most energy-efficient available model before the contest, and 40% less than the Federal energy efficiency standard for new refrigerators.
The Ansari X Prize
The Ansari X Prize was a space competition in which the X Prize Foundation offered a US$10,000,000 prize for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. It was modeled after early 20th-century aviation prizes, and aimed to spur development of low-cost spaceflight.
Created in May 1996 and initially called just the “X Prize”, it was renamed the “Ansari X Prize” on May 6, 2004 following a multi-million dollar donation from entrepreneurs Anousheh Ansari and Amir Ansari.
The prize was won on October 4, 2004, the 47th anniversary of the Sputnik 1 launch, by the Tier One project designed by Burt Rutan and financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, using the experimental spaceplane SpaceShipOne. $10 million was awarded to the winner, but more than $100 million was invested in new technologies in pursuit of the prize.
Several other X Prizes have since been announced by the X Prize Foundation, promoting further development in space exploration and other technological fields.