White House touts ‘challenge’ prizes for tech solutions
by Dan Vergano, USA Today, April 10, 2012
And if the government dangles prize money in front of inventors to come up with technology solutions to common problems, it can get results just as in the private sector, suggests a White House report out today that documents its successes in offering “challenge” prizes. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) report follows passage last year of the America COMPETES Act, which streamlined federal research funding rules, and gave agencies wider latitude to solve problems by offering competitive prizes. Prizes such as 2004’s Ansari X Prize, where philanthropists awarded $10 million to the first private spacecraft to reach 62 miles high twice in two weeks, helped inspire the move. …
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