Prizes represent tools for the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) to find solutions by tapping into the ingenuity and creativity of participants to foster research and development in new technologies. These prize models support the Administration’s work to spur manufacturing, develop innovative solutions and products, and create new domestic jobs and opportunities through public-private partnerships. WPTO is co-funding a National Academies project on the “Role of Inducement Prizes,” which includes a report that analyzes the role of inducement prizes in the American innovation process.
Prizes can help introduce, expand, and evolve what’s possible for the hydropower and marine energy industries. They can enable WPTO and the federal government to:
- Inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to solve difficult and important problems.
- Establish ambitious goals without having to predict which team or approach is most likely to succeed.
- Reach beyond the usual stakeholders to increase the number of perspectives working to develop solutions for a specific problem.
- Foster interdisciplinary collaboration and perspectives reflective of the modern research environment.
- Prizes and challenges make it easy for anyone to participate bringing people together from private sector and government to leverage resources.
- Make innovation easy, fast, and agile. Rapid innovation cycles will help boost competitiveness and accelerate the transition of inventions to industry.
- Collaborate closely with other federal agencies in the design and implementation of prizes through Challenge.gov.