$3 million prize for open-source developers offered by a US government agency

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is challenging software developers to create new systems that can replace the current software that powers its nationwide health care system, and it's betting real money that open source is the way to do it. The VA's current software, known as VistA, is already too old, 25 years old.

The prize will be enormous, the agency is sponsoring a contest in which three entrants will be awarded prizes of up to $3 million each, provided they can demonstrate software based on open source code and open APIs that can successfully replace components of the VA's current systems.

"This contest marks a major change in direction by VA, away from software that is so customized that only VA can use it, toward open standards and commercial systems that build on proven practices", according to the press release yesterday on VA's official website.

Registration is due by May 13, 2013, and all entries must be finalized by June 13, 2013. The result of this contest will be announced around Sept 30 2013.

To read more about and register to this contest, click here
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