Tempus Fugit – the Longitude Prize 2014

Time flies and is fast running out for voting on the 2014 Longitude Prize.

The first Longitude prize was offered by the British Government in 1714 for the solution of the seemingly intractable problem of determining a ship’s longitude at sea. The prize of ~£20,000 (nearly £2.5m in 2014) was awarded to John Harrison in 1765 for his invention of a pendulum-free mechanical clock that could keep accurate time under the unstable conditions at sea.

This year sees a renewal of the prize to the tune of £10m for a solution to an as yet undecided problem, to be selected from one of six categories – Antibiotics, Water, Dementia, Food, Paralysis, and Flight – by a public vote.

Voting to select the problem to be addressed ends 25th June 2014.

It just shows that by defining a problem and providing a significant financial award can lead to great innovation.  Hopefully, the 2014 award will be just as successful as the first.

To read more about the Longitude Prize 2014, and to vote, visit the Longitude Prize website.

Read more about the first Longitude Prize and the contribution made by John Harrison on Wikipedia.

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