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US, UK to Launch Prize Challenges for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies; OSTP Director Eric Lander Quoted

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The U.S. and the U.K. have announced new bilateral innovation prize challenges aimed at innovating technologies that use data while protecting privacy and intellectual property.

Starting in the spring of 2022, the two countries will task participants from the academe, industry and government to address technical gaps and challenges related to adopting privacy-enhancing technologies, the White House said Wednesday.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards will work with the U.K.’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to develop the PET challenges.

“It is imperative that we come together as democracies to develop approaches to unlock the economic, scientific, and societal benefits of emerging technologies while protecting shared values such as privacy, accountability, and transparency,” shared Eric Lander, OSTP director.

“This prize challenge will build on the UK’s comprehensive National Data Strategy and help to raise the profile of these technologies on both sides of the Atlantic, laying the foundations for future collaboration,” added Nadine Dorries, U.K. state secretary for digital, culture, media and sport.

The two countries first announced the partnership at the Summit for Democracy, a part of the International Grand Challenges on Democracy-Affirming Technologies. Initial results of the effort will be released at the second summit.

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