Bureau of Reclamation Partners with US Army Corps of Engineers and HeroX to Crowdsource Portable Devices for Field Assessment of Composite Structures
Reclamation to Award $380,000 for Innovative Solutions That Help Move Water Infrastructure into the 21st Century
Washington, D.C. — March 4, 2021 — The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier, in partnership with US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and HeroX, the leading crowdsourcing platform for solutions to global problems, today announced the crowdsourcing competition “The Imperfection Detection Challenge”. The challenge calls on the global community of solvers to design portable devices for field assessment of composite structures.
The ongoing use of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials for federal civil infrastructure, at both Reclamation and USACE, in applications such as pipelines, tanks, and other specialized equipment takes advantage of composites’ excellent corrosion resistance, reduced weight, and other helpful properties. As composites age in various infrastructure applications, reliable methods of assessing their condition in the field are needed. The goal of this challenge is to develop portable tools that use non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods to assess the condition of existing FRP composite structures.
“To help maintain America’s water infrastructure, Reclamation wishes to advance its field assessment capabilities of composites structures, and we have the community that can help do this,” said Christian Cotichini, CEO, HeroX. “Reclamation needs portable technology to reliably and non-destructively evaluate their composite structures in the field. Because HeroX can tap into such a far-reaching and diverse pool of problem solvers, there is no shortage of creative solutions at our fingertips, even for niche problems such as this one.”
The Challenge: Reclamation, in collaboration with USACE, seeks to develop portable tools that use NDE methods to assess the condition of existing FRP composite structures. This challenge will result in prototypes that can rapidly detect and quantify defects of interest, and are portable, rugged, and easily used in field settings.
The Prize: The Imperfection Detection Challenge is a three phase challenge, with a total prize purse of $380,000. Participants will have the opportunity to build prototype devices and have their prototypes’ performance verified in government laboratories. In addition to the prize money, winners will have access to subject matter experts from both Reclamation and USACE, as well as access to potential commercial partners.
To learn more and become a solver, visit https://www.herox.com/ImperfectionDetection
HeroX is a social network for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.
To accept the challenge, visit https://www.herox.com/ImperfectionDetection