British Prize Promises £10m Kitty for Economy-Boosting, World-Improving Inventions

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Longitude Prize 2014 is offering a total of £10m in prizes to clever folk able to chuck out solutions to the problems faced by the world.

So if you've been idly thinking about a method of beating the emerging menace of antibiotic resistance that threatens to push medical science back 100 years, step right up.

The prize is looking for ideas in six broad categories -- antibiotics, water, dementia, food, flight and paralysis -- and, in a nod to the modern world, will open the best ideas chosen by a jury to an eventual public vote, with the competition explaining rather oddly that: "...we want YOU to choose which major issue facing humanity we should focus on."

Which seems a bit unfair if the public voting system allows some new and exciting kind of aeroplane with reliable Wi-Fi to beat something harder to market like a cure for dementia.

Meanwhile, if you're less of an ideas man and more of a silly costume, round glasses and twirly moustache kind of guy, companion exhibition Longitude Punk'd is currently running in the Greenwich Royal Observatory, creating a bizarre alternative world in which steampunk inventors had all the good ideas back in the 1800s. [Longitude via Engadget]

Image credit: Inventor from Shutterstock