About the Prize

In 2014, the British public chose Antibiotics to be the focus of the new Longitude Prize.
The challenge is to create an affordable, accurate, rapid and easy-to-use diagnostic test for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time.

How can we prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics?

Now that the challenge has been chosen, we want everyone, from amateur scientists to the professional scientific community, to try and solve it.

How were the six different challenges chosen?

The Longitude Committee led by Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees, started in the summer of 2013 in a roundtable consultation with over 40 of the country’s leading scientists, engineers, and politicians at 10 Downing Street. Ideas were discussed under the broad themes of:

  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Global development
  • Technology and robotics
  • Democratising access to communications
  • Health and wellbeing

Under these themes the group identified a number of global challenges suitable for Longitude Prize.

These initial challenge areas were subjected to multiple rounds of critical analysis and deliberation, working with over 100 scientists, academics and the public to review, question and comment on them.

Co-funded by Sciencewise, the UK’s national centre for public dialogue in policy making involving science and technology issues, we commissioned IPSOS Mori to hold six public dialogue workshops across the country and one workshop with public and private stakeholders. We presented the findings along with the final list of proposed areas to the Longitude Committee.

The Longitude Committee shortlisted six challenges and the Great British public had the opportunity to vote for the one they thought should become the focus of Longitude Prize.

Voting took place between 22 May and 25 June and the winning challenge was announced on 25 June 2013.