Innovation contests spread through government

It was the America COMPETES Act that really opened the door for the federal government to use contests and incentives to inspire innovative technologies. America COMPETES stands for America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act.

Now Cristin Dorgelo, formerly with the X Prize Foundation, is the White House’s assistant director for grand challenges, and believes the concept has great potential in government, according to an interview with Daniel Terdiman at CNET.

“Over the last couple of years, there's been growing use by federal agencies of the incentive prize model as a way to engage in a highly financially leveraged way as well as a way to engage with new solvers that would not normally come through a government procurement or grant process," she told Terdiman.

Later, she adds, "I've been pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful and strategic use of this tool as one in a toolkit. It's not always the right solution, but sometimes it's a very interesting thing for agency personnel to experiment with and get new ideas from.”

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