Seeking ‘Eureka!’ cries to solve environmental problems


Capital News Service

LANSING — The state’s $1 million incentive for anyone who comes up with a new and innovative solution to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great part of a trend in using cash incentives to crowdsource and solve natural resource problems.

For instance, Michigan State University recently sponsored a challenge to redesign water foundations. The winning team won $15,000.

“The students are innovative and energetic and we were very excited to support student team learning and effort through problem solving,” said Professor Joan Rose, an MSU expert in water quality and public health safety.

Another example: The Michigan Design Council has sponsored contests for K-12 students to develop products to better enjoy the state’s water and winter. Continue reading

Contest to stop invasive carp gets many bites


Capital News Service

LANSING — The clock is ticking.

What happens when state and federal agencies lack the technology to prevent a potential ecological disaster? What happens when the well-being of Michigan’s ecosystems and economy is on the line?

If it’s up to the governor, Legislature and Department of Natural Resources (DNR), you hand the problem over to the international community. You make it a contest.

The state has set aside $1 million for a “carp challenge,” a contest to crowdsource an innovative solution to save the Great Lakes from a looming invasive carp problem. Half of that $1 million will be designated as prize money.

Since the contest was announced in Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address in January, some 3,000 people from around the world have expressed interest in participating, said DNR Director Keith Creagh. Continue reading