In his Strategy for American Innovation, released in September, President Obama directed agencies to increase their use of incentive prizes as a tool for stimulating technological innovation. The White House is enthusiastic about prizes for a number of reasons:
Last week was a phenomenal week for prizes, a number of which are being supported by the Department of Energy, NASA, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Congratulations to the winners, the agency and private-sector sponsors, and the partnering organizations such as the X Prize Foundation and the Spaceward Foundation! The Office of Science and Technology Policy is working with a variety of Federal departments, foundations, and prize experts, and we hope to have additional progress to report on prizes in the months ahead.
Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Policy at the Office of Science and Technology Policy