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Innovation Inducement Prizes: Connecting Research to Policy
Article first published online: 8 MAY 2012
© 2012 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 752–776, Summer 2012
How to Cite
Williams, H. (2012), Innovation Inducement Prizes: Connecting Research to Policy. J. Pol. Anal. Manage., 31: 752–776. doi: 10.1002/pam.21638
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 8 MAY 2012
- NIA. Grant Number: T32-AG000186
Innovation inducement prizes have been used for centuries. In the United States, a recent federal policy change—the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010—clarified and simplified a path by which all federal agencies can offer innovation inducement prizes, thus intensifying interest in how government agencies can most effectively design and apply such prizes. This paper aims to review and synthesize the academic literature on innovation inducement prizes, to clarify what has been learned that is relevant to current policy discussions, and to highlight unresolved questions that would be fruitful areas for future academic research and policy experimentation. Relative to the existing literature, this paper aims to bridge two gaps. First, I synthesize the academic literature in this area with an eye toward drawing lessons for the types of innovation inducement prizes under consideration by federal agencies under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Second, I discuss the problem of how to evaluate the success or failure of innovation inducement prizes, arguing that careful empirical evaluations of innovation inducement prizes are needed in order to provide guidance to federal agencies (and others) on how to most effectively apply and design innovation inducement prizes.