Competition Addresses $3.6 Trillion Infrastructure Problem in America

AEM has launched the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, a crowd-sourced competition that will award $150,000 to innovative infrastructure solutions
Competition Addresses $3.6 Trillion Infrastructure Problem in America

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The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has announced details of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge — a three-phased, crowd-sourced competition to award a total of $150,000 in prizes for innovative ideas to overhaul aging infrastructure that Americans rely upon to move people, materials, products, services and information.

Open to everyone everywhere, the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge leverages the HeroX crowdsourcing model designed to bring about radical business, technological and social innovation benefiting local and global communities, inspiring new industries and catalyzing markets.

“The United States is the strongest and largest economy in the world and yet the overall quality of our infrastructure is falling dramatically behind our global competitors,” says Dennis Slater, AEM president. “AEM’s members thought it was time to break the cycle of patchwork fixes and deferred maintenance and lead the conversation in a different direction.

“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,” Slater added. “With the HeroX crowdsourcing model, we’re confident we can bring these solutions to life.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the U.S. a combined grade of D+ for the condition of its infrastructure. The report cites the nation’s estimated 240,000 annual water main breaks as examples for why rebuilding the country’s infrastructure is such a critical issue. The report further estimates that it would take a $3.6 trillion investment by 2020 to bring all U.S. infrastructure up to exceptional standards.

Competition Phases, Judging and Prizes
Finalists and winners of the three-phased Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge will be determined by a judging panel and crowd voting. The first two phases launched Jan. 19, 2016. The third phase is scheduled to launch in mid-summer 2016.

First phase: The “Complain Phase” will engage the public to describe the biggest infrastructure challenge facing their community.

  • Total Prize: $5,000 (10 finalists receive $250; overall winner receives $2,500)
  • Deadline to enter: March 15, 2016 

Second phase: The “Dream Phase” will seek to solicit new thinking and solutions, especially from non-experts.
Total Prize: $45,000 (5 winners receive $9,000 each)

  • Deadline to enter: May 31, 2016

Third phase: The “Build Phase” takes the second phase a step further and solicits plans to implement those solutions on a larger scale.

  • Total Prize: $100,000 (Winner receives $100,00)
  • Deadline to enter: TBD

Judging criteria and other information can be found at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge website.

About AEM
AEM is a trade association that provides services on a global basis for companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the following industries: agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility. AEM's membership is made up of more than 850 companies and represents over 200 product lines. www.aem.org.

About HeroX
Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. A suite of tools and services to help spark and build awareness for new solutions to social and economic challenges, the HeroX incentive prize platform connects funding companies and individuals with problem solvers. www.herox.com.



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