VA Competition for New Ideas

The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to reward you for your good ideas.

As part of the VA’s Innovation Initiative (VAi2), the department launched the 2011 Industry Innovation Competition. The purpose of VAi2 is to solicit ideas from not only the department’s employees, but from non-profit organizations, academics and the private sector that improve VA services. Efficiency, delivery and performance of VA services are central to the program.

More specifically, the 2011 competition targets health care for veterans. The VA plans to find, consider and fund innovative technology pitches that could better veteran health care.

“VA has a long history of being an innovator and early adopter of health technology,” said Eric Shinseki, the VA secretary. “This competition continues that legacy and provides VA with a powerful tool to utilize the best and brightest within the industry to improve care and services for our Nation’s Veterans, their families and survivors.”

Overall, the VA could award a total of $100 million to those who come up with inventive proposals. Whether an entity is public or private does not matter. All of them are encouraged to submit ideas that:

-Introduce new prosthetic socket designs that reduce discomfort and improve proper fits
-Aid veterans who live far from medical centers who rely on telemedicine, but lack audiology services
-Make medical equipment sterilization a fully-automated process
-Improve the use of Blue Button, a way for veterans to digitally access their personal health information
-Propose self-management technologies that veterans can use for vocational rehabilitation

“VAi2 offers a unique opportunity to tap the talent and innovative power of the private sector,” said Jonah Czerwinski, an adviser to the VAi2 secretary and director. “The 2011 Industry Innovation Competition builds on the momentum established in 2010 by challenging industry and academia in five new areas.”

To find out more about the competition, the projects that have been awarded funding, and how to submit your own proposal, go to the VAi2 website.  The current competition is accepting concept papers until April 15th.



Photo thanks to dianecordell under creative common license on Flickr.

2 thoughts on “VA Competition for New Ideas”

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