CONTESTS: Cash In on Creativity

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Science  18 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5554, pp. 411
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5554.411c

Dream up a better way to synthesize 7-formyl-indole, and you could pocket $75,000, more than enough to pay off those Christmas debts. Find out more about this and other potentially lucrative scientific challenges at InnoCentive, a spin-off of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. that serves as a scientific matchmaker. Companies post their pressing problems, and hopeful “solvers” submit their best efforts through the site.

The 10 active challenges are all problems in organic chemistry, with rewards of up to $100,000. Naturally, all potential solvers have to abide by some small print. For instance, if your solution is selected as the best, you will have to turn the rights over to the “seeker” company to collect your reward, and you may have to sign a contract even to view some of the hush-hush problems. If organic chem isn't your forte, InnoCentive promises future challenges in analytical, biological, and combinatorial chemistry and in informatics.

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