Tavis Smiley and the University of Maryland Announce $75,000 Social Innovation Challenge
Broadcaster Tavis Smiley, in partnership with the University of Maryland, will launch a $75,000 TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge to help address some of society’s most pressing issues in three key areas: hunger, education, and sustainability.
The inaugural TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge invites aspiring entrepreneurs to develop transformative solutions to affect positive change for individuals and communities across the nation. The Challenge serves as a prompt for diverse groups of people to come together to solve specific societal issues by harnessing inventiveness and bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace.
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel comprised of representatives from academia, business, community/grassroots, government, nonprofit groups and the technology community. The winners will be announced in January 2014.
The TS/UM Social Innovation Challenge supports Tavis Smiley’s initiative to dramatically reduce poverty in America and the University of Maryland’s commitment to increase the number and quality of new businesses inspired by competition to create a large and strong new generation of entrepreneurs who benefit society.
"Solutions to the many daunting problems facing the United States and the global community will come from a diversity of thinking in the areas of science, engineering and technology," says Smiley. "I can think of no better way to invest in our collective well being than to invest in the minds of the future."
Adds Darryl Pines, Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Clark School, “I believe that competitions are crucial to create a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship, and for driving new advances in targeted social areas. The future economic growth and competitiveness of the United States depends on our capacity to innovate.”
Key Information for Challenge Entrants:
The winners and the three promising projects will share a minimum of $75,000 in cash prizes. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com/socialinnovator or via Twitter #socialinnovator.
About Tavis Smiley
The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S., with graduate and undergraduate education programs ranked in or near the Top 20. In 2012, the Clark School was ranked 14th in the world by the Institute of Higher Education and Center for World-Class Universities in its Academic Ranking of World Universities. Three faculty members affiliated with the Clark School were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering within the last three years.
The school, which offers 13 graduate programs and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs tailored for working professionals, is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the country. The Clark School garnered research awards of $171 million last year. With emphasis in key areas such as energy, nanotechnology and materials, bioengineering, robotics, communications and networking, life cycle and reliability engineering, project management, intelligent transportation systems and aerospace, the Clark School seeks to develop engineering solutions that impact the lives of millions.
July 12, 2013