The Oil Spill Recovery Institute has awarded $20,000 to John Davis, an oil industry outsider, for solving a problem in oil-spill recovery. OSRI, set up by Congress after the Exxon Valdez spill, used InnoCentive, a website for scientific problem solving, to post three challenges. One of them sought a method for separating oil from water on oil recovery barges after the mixture had frozen to a viscous mass. Davis used his concrete industry expertise to suggest a tool that vibrates to keep cement in liquid form during large cement pours. "We never would have found this through our regular request-for-proposal process," says OSRI Research Program Manager Scott Pegau.