2.3.4 Prizes and Competitions To Encourage Innovation

LPDD Recommendation: “The federal government should consider government-funded competitions and prizes to incentivize low-carbon technologies in addition to or instead of traditional research grants or contracts.”

Virgin Earth Challenge

The Virgin Earth Challenge, offered by billionaire Richard Branson, was a $25 million prize for the development of a commercially viable design which results in the removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Proposed H-Prize Act

In 2007, the House of Representatives passed the H-Prize Act to authorize $70 million in prizes for advancements in hydrogen energy.

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Authorized DOE to offer cash prizes of up to $10 million for “breakthrough achievements in research, development, demonstration, and commercial application” for energy-related innovations.

Report, Eyes on a Climate Prize

Outlines the theory and history of the use of inducement prizes to encourage and direct inventive efforts and technological innovation and identifies several comparative advantages inducement prizes have over traditional grants and subsidies.