The Open Science Prize

The Wellcome Trust have teamed up with the US National Institute of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to launch an new prize for the scientific community? It’s aim? To help researchers realise the power open content and data has to help advance research and its application for health benefit.

So, what is the motivation behind this collaboration?  The volume and complexity of data produced by genomic research – including datasets, online publications, computer code and other outputs – is growing at an exponential rate! In fact many big data experts predict that by 2025, genomic research will produce as much data as internet giants YouTube and Twitter! This increase in data has created many new and exiting opportunities for researchers and other innovators to mine and extract value from. However, the stark reality is that not all of this data is shared, and if it is online somewhere – it is not easily found or accessed! The solution? Open Science!

Wellcome Trust, NIH and Howard Hughes Medical Institute are all long-standing supporters and advocates of open science and together they wanted to find ways to bring researchers, innvovators and businesses into one space to address this challenge, and in the process harness the the creative power of Open Science. The result was The Open Science Prize’.


What is the Open Science Prize?

The aim of the Open Science Prize is to stimulate the development of novel and ground-breaking tools, services and platforms to enable the re-use of genomic data, relevant to biomedical or health applications. The prize is open to EVERYONE! All you need is an idea that demonstrates the benefits of making research open.

For example:

• new platforms to integrate and repackage open content and data from biomedical and health sciences domains and beyond
• novel text and data mining applications
• tools to package and tailor open content and data for new audiences (such as healthcare professionals / general public)
• new services to enable users to discuss and assess the quality of data

Open Science has the potential to transform research globally and another key goal of ‘The Open Science Prize’ is to stimulate international collaborations between innovators and build links within communities.


The prize consists of a two-phase competition:

  1. Six teams will receive prizes of $80,000 to take new ideas for products or services to the prototype stage or to further develop an existing early-stage prototype.
  2. The team with with the greatest potential to advance open science will be selected by a independent panel and the winner will receive an additional prize of $230,000.


The Open Science Prize is open to entires until 29th February (yep, it’s a leap year!).

Further information is available on The Open Science Prize website or can be obtained by emailing


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *