For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) LAUNCH Program was chosen by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation as one of the “Top 25” programs for this year’s Innovations in American Government Award. The Innovations in American Government Awards competition is the nation's preeminent program devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector.
USAID, NASA, NIKE Inc., and the U.S. Department of State created LAUNCH in 2010 to identify, showcase, and accelerate innovative approaches to solving complex global problems. Past LAUNCH Challenges have addressed the systems and dynamics that are driving challenges related to water, health, waste, and energy. LAUNCH searches for visionaries whose world-class ideas, technologies, or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society. LAUNCH and the other “Top 25” programs represent the top five percent of all applications received for the award
“We are incredibly excited about the progress that LAUNCH has made,” said Alex Dehgan, USAID’s Science and Technology Adviser. “USAID and our partners have leveraged the power of the private sector and the federal science community to source and support remarkable innovators and entrepreneurs who are addressing critical development problems in fundamentally new ways. From health to energy, water to waste reduction, LAUNCH has consistently been at the forefront of developing groundbreaking technology and novel program models to help solve our planet’s fundamental challenges.”
LAUNCH recently kicked off its program challenge at NIKE World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The new challenge, “LAUNCH Systems Challenge 2013,” focuses on the textiles and apparel industry and on finding innovation to improve the materials and manufacturing system that drives it. As so many people living in developing countries are employed in the textile industry, it has a disproportionate impact on the livelihoods and the environmental and social well-being of the world’s poor. While its complex global supply chains have continually expanded in recent years, innovations in the industry have not kept pace. LAUNCH intends to support innovations that will help drive transformative progress in the industry. The current LAUNCH cycle will also feature the program’s first ever “nano-challenge,” which will engage university students to address a specific problem in the system of materials and manufacturing.
Visit www.launch.org for more information about the program, to review the current challenge and submit an application, and for an overview of the nano-challenge.
Last updated: April 16, 2014