British cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees has been charged with identifying a modern day Longitude Prize – this was set by the British Government in 1714 and promised £20,000 to the person who mastered the challenge of calculating longitude at sea. At the recent G8 conference Cameron is quoted as saying:

“What the world needs most of all right now is growth, and that growth in my view is going to come from small businesses and start-up businesses, more than from the big existing traditional businesses, so the whole agenda of innovation and entrepreneurship is absolutely vital,”

He added:

“There are so many problems in our world that need that amazing solutions – whether it is a cure for dementia, solving the problem of diabetes, having a flight from Britain to New York that's carbon-free… Let's challenge the public and challenge the scientist for which is the great problem we want to crack. I think it's an exciting idea and another example of Britain leading in innovation.”

The competition is open to everyone from individual citizens to academics and businesses. Any ideas?

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