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Technology prizes are nothing new, but they tend to be focused on specific issues like space travel or security flaws. The upcoming Longitude Prize, funded by the Nesta charity and the UK government, will be a little more... ambitious. The duo is promising a £10 million ($17 million) reward for the best solution to one of six greater challenges that humanity faces today, such as developing eco-friendly flight or giving independence to the paralyzed. While the winning entry will have to help the British economy in some way, this is otherwise a truly global competition; anyone can enter, and the end result will ideally help the world at large.

And unlike many such challenges, you'll get a say. Longitude's committee is opening up voting to the public between May 22nd and June 25th, so there's a real chance that your preferred cause will get the nod. Whether or not your pick wins, the prize may help foster interest in technology as a humanitarian tool -- there's a chance that everyone will benefit in the long run.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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$17 million technology prize lets you choose which of humanity's problems to solve