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.
To provide with the world a crowd-sourced first alert system for identifying unsafe water conditions in real-time.
No appropriate sensors exist for measuring critical water quality parameters in real-time. Our devices are open-source, wireless, easy to use, and detect microbiologicals, nutrients & pollutants.
Leveraging an existing network of over 500,000 water resource monitoring volunteers in the US alone, Water Canary devices will galvanize these volunteers as a citizen scientist community armed with devices that enable them to rapidly identify and contain sources of contamination before they spread causing irreversible damage.
There are plenty of citizens who want to monitor water quality, but existing tools are slow, expensive, require extensive training, and provide an incomplete picture of water quality conditions. Even when unsafe conditions are detected, serious action takes months and often years. This ensures continued pollution from fertilizers, fracking and other contaminants, making cleanups more expensive and challenging than they would be if we had more information sooner. Equipping ordinary people with scientific instruments that allow them to collect more data in a single day than any environmental watchdog organization, will empower them to fight unsafe water with information.
Sonaar Luthra, CEO/Co-Founder
Greenfab Laboratory, India Today Group, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, 2011 TEDGlobal Fellow
Zach Eveland, Lead Engineer
Arduino, Interaction Design Lab Potsdam, Scott Laboratories, Studio 5050
Eric Rosenthal, Senior Scientist
Disney Imagineering, DARPA, Sony, Naval Research Lab, Applied Minds
Sarah Szalavitz, Director/Strategist
MIT Media Lab, Harvard Law, Nokia, Microsoft
Jono Rosen, Director
Venture Partner at Applied Minds
Clay Shirky (Author: Here Comes Everybody), Eric Rasmussen (Strong Angel), Kevin Slavin (Area/Code), Tom Igoe (Arduino), Red Burns (ITP), Derek Dukes (Dippity), and John Dimatos (MakerBot).
The science behind the device is used in labs on a regular basis, our innovation is making it cheaper and easier to use so that it can be utilized by anyone. The device has been built, transmits data in real-time, and its basic capabilities already work in controlled settings. In order to take the next steps, we need to ruggedize the device for field testing so that we can optimize it for the needs of water testing volunteers, sharpen our analytics and run pilots.
We have an existing grant from UNICEF, a groundbreaking business model, and limitless demand. Revenue alone should sustain the company by the time funding expires, but we will most likely raise growth capital, or seek grant funding so that we can reach every country Water Canary devices are needed.