The InnerSpace Foundation
Exploring, enhancing, enriching innerspace

The IF Prize

Current IF Prizes and Names

NOTE: Each prize name is subject to change as the largest donor changes.

The InnerSpace Foundation organizes and runs The IF Prize, a series of worldwide prize-based neuroengineering competitions. The ultimate goal of current competitions and other foundation activities is to accelerate the development of devices for greatly enhancing learning and memory. Achieving this goal has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of all people. While this might seem a bit futuristic, recent developments suggest the time is right.

The future begins today

In just the past few years thought-driven prosthetic devices--including limbs, computer desktop interfaces and even speech synthesizers--have become reality. These dramatic developments in neuroscience and neuroengineering suggest that we are no more than 8 to 10 years from accomplishing the goals of current IF Prizes, and history tells us that such a horizon is right for prize-based competitions. Two famous examples are the Orteig and X Prizes. The Orteig prize was established in 1919 by Raymond Orteig to challenge brave and adventurous aviators in the early days of powered flight to attempt to fly non-stop from New York to Paris. The Prize was won 8 years later by Charles Lindbergh, propelling him to international fame and fortune. The X Prize Foundation began in 1995 and the initial spaceflight prize wasn't won until 9 years later, but during this time it greatly accelerated humankind's expansion into outer space. One or more thoughtfully designed neuroengineering prizes will similarly accelerate our expansion into inner space through 2016 and beyond.

Current and future prizes

Two IF Prizes are currently being offered. One is for learning and the other is for memory. More specifically, the learning prize will be awarded for the development of a device that allows thought-driven access of standardized information, such as text. The memory prize will be awarded for a device that allows storage and later retrieval of memory information. Aided by members of its internationally recognized Scientific Advisory Board, the foundation is carefully crafting the structures and exact goals of these prizes, which will be announced around the end of 2008. But you don't have to wait until then to donate to this cause. Current donations will fund these prizes and relevant neuroengineering research. Future prizes will build on and continue to reward the successes of today's researchers and prize competitors.