Can Crowdsourcing Help Japan's Nuclear Crisis?
BY Ariel Schwartz
Wed Mar 16, 2011In the past few years, online crowdsourcing has emerged as an ultra-popular method of finding solutions to difficult problems such asinfant mortalityrates andout-of-control oil spills. Could crowdsourcing help Japan quell its nuclear disaster and help the country get back on its feet?TheGlobal Innovation Commons, a repository of innovations that can be usedbecause of patent expiration, abandonment, invalidity, or lack of in-countryprotection, has compiled a list of patent disclosures and open source technologythat could be used as part of Japan'searthquake response--or even tocool downthe
rapidly worsening nuclear reactor situation in Fukushima.The set of earthquake response innovations is a treasure trove of helpfulinformation related to potable water, road reconstruction, solar energy, water filtration, shelter, and more. The potable water section, for example, featurespatents for modular water filtration systems, the removal of arsenic from drinkingwater, and a system to generate potable water from sea waves, among other things.Entrepreneurs can comb through those patents over the coming weeks as therebuilding process begins. But the more pressing issue is Japan's failing nuclear reactors, which could ultimately lead to a full meltdown. A quick look at some of