The Harvard Innovation Labs today announced that applications are now open for the 2020 President’s Innovation Challenge, an annual event designed to bring together the Harvard community to work on compelling solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. For the 2020 Challenge, an additional $100,000 will be awarded to the winning teams. This brings the total prize money to $510,000, which is funded entirely by a gift from The Bertarelli Foundation.

“Much like the innovative ideas we see coming from students and alumni of every Harvard school are constantly evolving, our team is always working on new ways to engage more of the Harvard community in the President’s Innovation Challenge,” said Jodi Goldstein, executive director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “For the last Challenge, we designated a track for our alumni accelerator, added a new Ingenuity track for ideas at their earliest stages, and gave finalists a larger platform for sharing their ideas with 1,000 attendees at our annual awards ceremony. For the 2020 Challenge, we are thrilled to add an additional $100,000 as part of a new track for teams in the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab.”

Dedicated in the fall of 2016, the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a shared laboratory space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars. The 15,000-square-foot facility is a fully-equipped and permitted laboratory and office space for early-stage companies, and is adjacent to the Harvard i-lab.

Added Goldstein, “What we’re most looking forward to this year is not the winning ideas from any one of our six tracks, but rather the progress they will make on their ideas throughout the process and the breadth and diversity of ideas we’ll see from students who want to make a difference in the world. It will be a true reflection of the innovation from the Harvard community across industries and stages.”

The six tracks for the 2020 President’s Innovation Challenge include: Social Impact or Cultural Enterprise; Health or Life Sciences; Open for ideas that transcend categories; Launch Lab X for alumni ventures selected to participate in the accelerator program; Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab for current residents of the shared laboratory space; and Ingenuity for ingenious ideas at their earliest stages.

The President’s Innovation Challenge Showcase and Awards Ceremony will be held on May 13 at Klarman Hall, the 1,000-people convening space at Harvard Business School. During the event, Challenge finalists will have the opportunity to present their work in front of leaders from the global business and innovation community.

To learn more about the 2020 President’s Innovation Challenge, visit https://innovationlabs.harvard.edu/presidents-innovation-challenge/.

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