Kelly Olson: Challenge.gov to Expand Coverage, Open Fed Marketplace to More Innovation

InnovationLightBulbKelly Olson, senior innovation adviser and director of the General Services Administration‘s Challenge.gov website, has described the online crowdsourcing portal as a tool that opens government contracting sector to more ideas in an interview with FCW posted Monday.

Olson told FCW that Challenge.gov also aims to minimize risk in acquisition and enable agencies to select the best from a larger pool of solutions.

“It’s an approach that opens up space for individuals and smaller businesses to shine in a sector often crowded out by big companies,” she added.

Olson said the platform has seen 80 agency users, more than 440 challenges, $150 million in total prizes since its launch in 2010 and at least 20 new challenges posted over the summer.

She told FCW that her team continues work to support challenges for larger-scale IT projects, such as the project with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program to solicit an open source tool that will automate quality reviews of FedRAMP documentation.

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