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Gary Kebbel on The Knight News Challenge and Digital Innovation

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If you do it right, giving away $25 million for digital innovation isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Knight News Challenge is a $25 million, five-year quest for innovations in digital news and information that help build and bind community in a specific geographic area. As the Challenge ends its second year, the contest was revised to meet new goals, such as making grants to individuals in foreign countries or focusing the wisdom of the crowd on weak applications so that they could be strengthened and resubmitted. Additionally, $500,000 was set aside for the ideas of people 25-years-old and younger. These changes create new problems of grant administration, intellectual property and having a minor win a monetary award. In this year’s open submission process, we encouraged people to rate and comment on, and thereby try to improve, initial applications. We allowed the applicant to take elements of public comments and incorporate them into a revised and resubmitted application. What if that application wins a grant? To whom should the grant be given? Who owns the intellectual property in that idea — the applicant only, or the applicant and the four or five people whose comments were incorporated to create the winning application? More info on this event here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2007/11/kebbel
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