To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the television premiere of Star Trek, the Roddenberry Foundation today announced a million dollar prize competition to encourage innovation that will build a ‘boldly better’ future. Each year the Roddenberry Prize (like the foundation, named for the creator of Star Trek) will recognize five ideas that will help bring about the vision of the future presented in Star Trek. The prize fits in with the other work of the foundation, which is focused on supporting people and institutions looking to improve the human condition.
The goals are broad, and science and technology are just one of the broad categories wherein we can build the better future we’ve been watching for half a century. The judging criteria are perhaps the best way of trying to envision the entries contest organizers want. They are looking for solutions notably distinct from other efforts in the same area and capable of transforming the intended audience. All the same, entrants will have to demonstrate their capability of implementing their idea through a combination of their skills, experience and plans.
The competition window is short, running from September 8 to November 16. The winning entries will be recognized in January (trying to build synergy with the new Star Trek series expected to premiere at the same time). The prize money is intended to support the expansion of the winning ideas to a larger scale. If you don’t get in this year, there’s always next year.