Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prizes and Obama's Administration

Briefs: Next-gen spacesuit combo; Transition interest in prizes; Space reading - RLV News - From the linked Parabolic Arc post:

X Prize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis said that the incoming Obama Administration has reached out to his non-profit group to explore offering incentive prizes to spur innovation in a number of areas. ...

The X Prize founder mentioned two prominent individuals involved in the transition who has sought out the group’s help: Lori Garver, who is heading up the NASA team; and Tom Kalil, a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform group. Kalil is Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology at UC Berkeley.

Space readers will already be familiar with Lori Garver. Here's a document that Thomas Kalil wrote with John Irons:

A National Innovation Agenda - Progressive Policies for Economic Growth and Opportunity Through Science and Technology - From the document:

We also need to increase the impact of our investment in R&D and experiment with new tools
for promoting innovation such as prizes and Advance Market Commitments. ... Congress should pass legislation that gives federal agencies the authority to support prizes and Advance Market Commitments. This legislation should encourage agencies to partner with non-profit groups and the private sector, which would take the lead on public relations, defining the rules, recruiting additional and philanthropic sponsors, and selecting the judges. The legislation should make clear that the government can make commitments to prizes and AMCs that are legally binding, and not subject to the whims of the annual appropriations process. Finally, the legislation should allow agencies to experiment with a broad range of topics, prize amounts, and rules.

There is more there about innovation prizes.