When the American Society of Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a D on its 2013 report card, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) took note.
Criticisms in the report included 70,000 structurally deficient bridges, $101 billion in wasted time and fuel due to congested highways, and 240,000 annual water main breaks. Total cost to fix these and other various infrastructure problems: $3.6 trillion.
AEM didn’t have that kind of money laying around, but it decided it should still take action. Those plans come into play with its recently announced the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge. This crowdsourced competition will award $150,000 in prizes for ideas to overhaul America’s crumbling infrastructure.
"We need to engage innovators who we haven't heard from before and who have the ability to imagine how people, freight, energy and information will move in the country of tomorrow - even as far out as the year 2050," says AEM president Dennis Slater. "We're confident we can bring these solutions to life."
AEM has partnered with HeroX, a crowdsourcing platform that encourages creative competition in identifying new solutions to existing problems.
"HeroX was founded on our conviction that the crowd - everyday people with great ideas - can and will solve the world's most pressing problems," says HeroX CEO, Christian Cotichini. "The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge moves the U.S. infrastructure conversation beyond traditional political channels for the first time and gives everyone affected by these issues a chance to voice their opinions and find solutions."
The competition is divided into three phases. The “Complain Phase” asks the public to describe the biggest infrastructure challenges their communities face. The “Dream Phase” will solicit new thinking and solutions from experts and non-experts alike. The “Build Phase” will attempt to implement and scale up those solutions.
The first deadline to enter is March 15, 2016. Additional details about the challenge can be found at https://herox.com/Infrastructure2050.