NewTech: Got a good idea ? Join EPFL Fusebox challenge !

NewTech. Lausanne, 13 novembre 2013. EPFL is setting up an online platform to get all those neurons on campus busy generating novel ideas. Fusebox has launched its first challenge: What will the interior of the car of the future be like? Will our cars someday be in continuous contact with one another over the Internet? Will they be able to anticipate obstacles? Will the seat change shape in response to the driver’s state of alertness? Will owners be able to customize steering wheel controls? Most drivers have imagined novel things — useful, futile, or just fun – that they’d like their cars to be able to do. But millions of small ideas like these, often born during interminable hours stuck in traffic jams, are forever lost by the wayside. They simply never have the chance to make their way out of the heads of their creators and onto the car manufacturers’ drawing boards. Using the social networking model, a platform has been created by EPFL and its partner Alcoa Foundation, where these ideas can be shared and developed: Fusebox. The first Fusebox challenge, in collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën, ask people to imagine future cars.

Creative thinking platforms are based on a simple concept: that outside their research and development departments, universities and companies have thousands of employees who have ideas for solutions to ordinary problems, define new needs and come up with new uses for things. Most of the time these ideas are lost along the way because there’s no opportunity for them to be shared.

Fusebox is open to the entire campus community, from students to administrative and technical staff to professors. It’s inspired by the experience of business partners who have successfully set up similar idea platforms. In order to make the game more enticing, the most talented participants will receive points based on the relevance and frequency of their contributions – and at the end of the school year a prize will be awarded to the best idea generator.

An open model and ideas for everyone
The ideas that are shared on the platform belong to everyone – a bit like the open source software model. Fusebox is also accessible outside the EPFL campus, and external contributions are welcome.

Fusebox will regularly launch new challenges drawn from a wide variety of areas, such an energy, robotics, and applications for new materials. To make sure that the ideas generated don’t end up just gathering dust on a shelf, EPFL will insure the participation of a business and institutionnal partner in each contest. PSA Peugeot Citroën, already present on campus, will naturally be leading the future car challenge launched on October 14.

The Alcoa Foundation is partnering in the project. Only one more partner is needed for Fusebox to be a resounding success, and this partner is the most important one of all: you! Visit the website,, and get your thinking caps on.

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