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Encouraging and testing new ideas

Challenge Prizes are a great way to encourage and test new ideas. By offering incentives  such as development funding and practical support to their winners, challenge prizes encourage people to think about what could help solve a problem and invest in making advances. They can shine a light on neglected issues, result in great ideas, and forge new collaborations.

Essex faces many challenges. Often, we know what the problem is but we don't know what all the answers are.  That's why we established Essex Challenge Prizes, working in partnership with Nesta,  to engage with a range of ‘innovators’ and encourage them to get  their thinking caps on. Together we can find innovative ideas to solve these problems.

We ran our pilot prize during 2016  - Families Included. Families in Essex have told us that they experience day to day pressures related to raising a young child and for some this can leave them feeling lonely. Families Included threw the challenge open to innovators across Essex to come forward with ideas about how this could be tackled. Fifty entries were whittled down to eight finalists who worked to test and develop their ideas with local families. Our winners – Mums and Families UK  - won a prize of £10,000 to support them to further develop and grow their idea. 

The next Challenge Prize will focus on supporting Essex residents to live well with Dementia and will open to entries in January 2018. You can read Richard Puleston's blog on preparing for the Challenge Prize 2018 here. 

If you would like to find out more e-mail the Essex Challenge Prize team or visit the Challenge Prize website here.


last updated 20/11/17



Hear directly from our 2016 winner what it was like to be part of the Challenge Prize process