Back in 1996, the
British Ministry of Defence has established a suggestion box (GEMS - The
Defence Ideas Scheme). Each year, over a hundred cash awards are made for ideas
that addresses one or more of these criteria;
Improves the design, use or maintenance
Achieves greater efficiency/operational
Improves safety or quality;
Achieves savings for the Ministry of
Provides greater environmental benefit.
Most awards are for a few hundred
dollars, but several each year are for several thousand dollars. For those
ideas that save a great deal of money, the awards can go north of $10,000.
There are 200 local idea evaluation groups, scattered throughout the various
services. About half the ideas submitted result in a reward. The deployment of
British troops to Iraq and Afghanistan has caused a spike in good ideas. This
is often the case in a combat zone, where the danger tends to get people