NASA is launching a competition that encourages scientists, developers and space fans worldwide to build new software and hardware that addresses critical issues about our planet, such as weather impacts on the global economy and depletion of ocean resources.
NASA's International Space Apps Competition comes on the heels of the President Barack Obama's announcement yesterday (Sept. 20) that the country will be participating along with dozens of other nations in the new Open Government Partnership program. The initiative is part of an effort for governments to promote transparency, empower its citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies.
NASA will work with space agencies around the world to coordinate the challenge, which will culminate with a two-day event in 2012 that will provide an opportunity for governments to use the tech software and hardware to help address global challenges. [Top 7 Space Apps to Grab Today]
"The unique challenges posed by spaceflight often result in solutions to issues we see every day here on Earth, and development of these solutions can be expedited when leveraging the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of those outside government institutions," NASA said in a statement.
In addition, Obama's 2012 budget request focuses NASA's efforts on a vigorous path of innovation and technological development.
"Our investments in space exploration have generated incredible amounts of data and resulted in the development of new technology that continues to improve life on Earth," NASA added. "The challenge before us is to leverage data and new technology to create practical applications that benefit humanity."
Although NASA is working to define the content and timing of the competition, software submissions are not being accepted yet. However, NASA is encouraging people to enter "problem statement ideas" about key topics that should be addressed and can be collaborated on.