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The crowdsourced challenges are focused on “making flying more efficient” and “improv[ing] the patient experience” in hospitals. While the two quests share some traits, they are different in their scope and desired outcomes.
First, the flight quest. In a video announcing the challenge, GE claims that airlines spend $22 billion managing flight plan efficiency – a hefty sum the company thinks can be reduced. GE has made available a number of data sets participants can use to “develop a usable and scalable algorithm that delivers a real-time flight profile to the pilot, helping them make flights more efficient and reliably on time.”
The contest is made up of two phases. The first phase asks users to come up with an algorithm for predicting runway and gate arrival times. The second phase will use the winning algorithm to create a real-time simulation that may be implemented in GE’s flight management systems.
Each phase, then, has a submission, evaluation, and prize making aspect. A total of $500,000 will be given out in prizes over the two phases; up to six teams can earn a prize during each phase. The competition will end in March.
The hospital quest, on the other hand, is a much more open call for application ideas that will incorporate operational solutions “that can promote an improved health care system experience for patient and family.”
Unlike the flight quest, which deals with objective, quantifiable data, the hospital competition features a judges panel, made up of representatives from GE, Ochsner Health System, and Kaggle. They will be evaluating ideas on their overall quality, potential impact, and ease of adoption and implementation. A total of $100,000 will be awarded to up to eleven prizewinners. Thus far, six submissions came in, which the readers can view here. The hospital quest will end in March, as well.
Both quests are open to individuals over 18 who are unaffiliated with GE and its competition partners. Multiple submissions are allowed, and teams can form over the course of the quests. In the competitions' terms, GE says it “makes no claim to ownership of your Entry or any intellectual property that it may contain,” though by accepting prizes, individuals grant the company a right to use the entries in any way it sees fit.
These seem to be the first of many such crowdsourced innovation quests for GE. In the upcoming year, GE promises to launch the initiatives across the rail, oil and gas, and power industries, in addition to healthcare and aviation.