The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.
Throughout 2012, innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate in three challenge rounds, each with focused topics on emerging trends.
Round 1 - on networks - is closed, and the winners will be announced June 18.
Round 2 - on data - will be open May 31 - June 21. We’re looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day. Winners will be announced in late September.
Details on Round 3 will available later this year.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
Re-engineer the system of collecting and distributing avalanche condition data with a mobile application to protect backcountry and highway travelers.
Many avalanche forecast centers currently exist. They are disconnected and rely on hamstrung technology. This project will modernize their communications and provide an open source framework all can use.
We’ll unify the Utah Avalanche Center’s forecaster and subscriber communications, tying their current web, email, SMS and social media alerts into a common database and management system. Of critical import: We’ll also enable the mobile contribution of snow science data by forecasters and public, and enable rapid reporting of emergencies.
Avalanche forecast information is critical not only to backcountry travelers and ski resorts, but to state highway departments protecting motorists and the economy. Mountain states’ avalanche centers are already well-subscribed to, but they lack the modern technology to most efficiently collect and distribute their valuable information. Streamlining data collection will create a positive feedback loop: more data, and more accurate models. Improving the info delivery will increase the service’s accessibility and grow its user base and support. Avalanche centers across states (and countries) already collaborate, and a new open system will enhance this sharing of life-saving information.
The Utah Avalanche Center employs pioneering experts in the field of snow science. Director Bruce Tremper is a world-renowned author with 30 years of experience in avalanche study. The center has the support of a variety of state and federal agencies and private businesses and citizens. WELD is a content and technology agency specializing in the outdoor industry and connecting more people to healthy lifestyles. WELD comprises technologists, journalists and designers, all with extensive backgrounds in outdoor sports and in integration, development and management of new media platforms. The UAC and WELD are teaming up to build this system.
The Utah Avalanche Center currently operates a website and newsletter distribution, as well as content production based on field studies of snow conditions. WELD has built interest-based communities using a combination of content, web- and mobile-based applications for organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and some of the country’s largest travel outfitters. This project would also take advantage of similar systems recently developed by the Canadian Avalanche Center, either through licensing or code-sharing.
Existing avalanche centers in the US are currently funded by a mix of government appropriation, ski industry contributions and subscriber donations. By augmenting the delivery of this information, avalanche centers would be able to grow their base of support to attract even more funding from citizens and private enterprise.