While the Clay Mathematics Institute's Millennium have received quite a bit of spotlight with the size of the prize, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has also been promoting engineering's own Fourteen Grand Challenges of Engineering".
In no particular order, they are:
-Make Solar Energy Economical
-Provide Energy from Fusion
-Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods
-Manage the Nitrogen Cycle
-Provide Access to Clean Water
-Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure
-Advance Health Informatics
-Engineer Better Medicines
-Reverse Engineer the Brain
-Prevent Nuclear Terror
-Enhance Virtual Reality
-Advance Personalized Learning
-Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery
One of the most positive aspects of these types of programs is the focused alignment between experts in the scientific community to raise awareness of the most challenging problems facing us in the coming decades, enabling the realization of pressing global technological challenges.