AEM Announces “Fix The Infrastructure” Contest

By Mike Brezonick19 January 2016

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) today announced 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 what the Milwaukee-based association calls the crumbling infrastructure that Americans rely upon to move people, materials, products, services and information.

Open to everyone everywhere, AEM said the the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge leverages the HeroX crowdsourcing model designed to bring about business, technological and social innovation.

"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," said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. "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."

"HeroX was founded on our conviction that the crowd — everyday people with great ideas — can and will solve the world's most pressing problems," said 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."

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 launch today. 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: $5000 (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 $9000 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 http://www.aem.org

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