Last year, I spoke with some folks in the White House about various systems for doing "innovation prizes." I got the impression that the whole concept of innovation prizes and encouraging and rewarding breakthrough ideas in more creative means was a top priority among the team I spoke with. So, it's no surprise to hear that the White House is now planning to launch its very own innovation prize platform
. The government, of course, is no stranger to innovation prizes, with things like the DARPA's "grand challenge"
for autonomous vehicles, and its more recent "find the red balloons"
challenge. However, I believe the goal here is to make it easier for other parts of the federal government to quickly offer up compelling innovation challenges. While I'll be curious to see the platform in action -- and how it's used -- it's really great to see the federal government seriously exploring and enabling new and different ways to encourage innovation. It's especially encouraging to see them not just fall back on thinking that "patents" are the only lever they can pull.