The Federal Office of Management and Budget recently released a memo titled "The Use of Challenges and Prizes to Promote Open Government." The gist is that contests pay off much more than straight research investment, and some agencies are heeding the call.
John O'Leary writes, "The OMB memo not only sends a strong signal to agencies, it also provides guidance and support for agencies looking to use prizes. In its memo, the OMB promised that it would launch a Web-based platform for prizes and challenges by early July. This platform will provide a forum for agencies to post problems and "invite communities of problem solvers to suggest, collaborate on and deliver solutions."
The use of so-called "crowdsourcing" by state and local governments has also been gaining momentum rapidly."