InnoCentive Introduces Significant Enhancements to Prodigy for Analytical Challenges

Cleveland Clinic Using New Capabilities to Shorten the Time Required for Analysis of Genes which Predict Cancer Survival

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- InnoCentive, Inc., the pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing, today announced the next generation of its Prodigy online scoring technology for analytical Challenges.

Originally introduced by InnoCentive in March 2010, Prodigy allows InnoCentive Solvers working on analytical Challenges to obtain instant feedback on the accuracy of their solutions relative to solutions submitted from other Solvers; the accuracy of each solution is compared, scored and published in a leaderboard format on the InnoCentive website. Solvers are then able to rework and resubmit their solutions based on feedback to see their status on the leaderboard grow. Prodigy is one example of InnoCentive’s use of “gamification,” the integration of game design techniques and mechanics into innovation processes to engage Solvers. This game-based functionality has been popular with Solvers; since the Prodigy functionality and the ability to receive instant feedback on solutions was introduced, Solver engagement in analytical Challenges has more than doubled, and commercial and public sector interest in posting analytical Challenges containing large amounts of data has grown significantly.

The enhanced version of Prodigy enables dynamic computer code to now be uploaded directly by Solvers to InnoCentive’s Challenge platform where it is compiled, evaluated and scored instantaneously, allowing Solvers to view the accuracy of their solution and the performance of their code. Since all solutions are run on the same machine, this levels the playing field among Solvers by eliminating variables such as individual processing speeds. This is especially useful in Challenges where the objective is to optimize the performance of an algorithm.

“After a lot of hard work, I entered the top 10 and my excitement for my leaderboard status carried me to first place,” said InnoCentive Solver and Prodigy Challenge winner Konstantinos Vougas. “When I got there, I celebrated my ‘victory’ and relaxed for about a day, then realized that other people were catching up to me quickly. The desire to maintain first place was the dominant force, driving me to work even harder, to push the solution even further, make it even better and make sure that I remained at the top, right through the end. Prodigy definitely kept me on the right track, offering me instant feedback on every decision I made regarding my methodology. Apart from an invaluable testing tool, Prodigy helped me drive and boost productivity and efficiency to the highest possible extent.”

The new Prodigy functionality is being used for the first time by Cleveland Clinic in their most recent Challenge: Cleveland Clinic: Build an Efficient Pipeline to Find the Most Powerful Predictors. In this Challenge, Cleveland Clinic is using the Prodigy Challenge mechanism to engage Solvers in competing to shorten the time required for analysis of genes which predict cancer survival. Of particular benefit to Cleveland Clinic, and to any commercial organization posting a Challenge using Prodigy functionality, is the visibility into the progress on their Challenge throughout the process, since they can watch Solvers compete in real-time, using a valid data set. The evaluation process is significantly shortened, as solutions will have already been validated by the system.

"The advantage of using the Prodigy Challenge format was immediately obvious to us,” said Christine Moravec, Ph.D., Director of Basic Research at Cleveland Clinic and project manager for the InnoCentive collaboration. “Rather than simply giving us theoretical solutions to our problem, Solvers can actually try our data set and determine if the method they are proposing is better than what we already have. Fantastic!"

For InnoCentive’s clients, the enhanced Prodigy Challenge means a clear, objective methodology for evaluating solutions, and because the test is run on InnoCentive’s secure system, clients can keep their proprietary data behind InnoCentive’s firewall, allowing for scoring against the actual data set. Additionally, publishing the results on a real-time leaderboard spurs competition among Solvers that drives better and more accurate solutions. With more Solvers engaged and working on a particular Challenge, along with a faster time-to-solution, the enhanced Prodigy Challenge will result in an accelerated return-on-investment for clients.

“There is a huge demand for analytical Challenges among our clients, and the Prodigy Challenge capability allows us to deliver superior results in a very short time frame,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO, InnoCentive. “The level of openness now available is a win for all of our clients and our global community of creative Solvers. With Cleveland Clinic paving the way as the first to use our enhanced Prodigy capabilities in cancer research, the opportunities to effectively analyze and understand Big Data are endless.”

About InnoCentive, Inc.

InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, community of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Eli Lilly, Life Technologies, NASA,, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster and more cost effectively than ever before. For more information, visit


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