1 See page iv for the steering committee roster.

2 Windham, P. H., “Background Paper: Workshop on the Potential for Promoting Technological Advance through Federally Sponsored Contests and Prizes,” prepared for the National Academy of Engineering (March 1999). See excerpted sections of the Windham paper, “A Taxonomy of Technology Prizes and Contests,” in Appendix A.

3 Workshop participants are listed in Appendix B.

4 The workshop prospectus and agenda are included in Appendix B.

5 For further information concerning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which is administered by the Department of Commerce, see the award's website at (date accessed: 14 June 1999). Various design and standards contests sponsored by U.S. government agencies in the areas of defense aerospace technology and communications have been labeled and evaluated as “prize contests” by a small community of scholars—wherein the “prize” may be the profits associated with winning a procurement contract, the temporary but profitable monopoly provided by intellectual property rights, windfalls from having the winning standard, etc. (Farrell and Shapiro, 1992; Rogerson, 1994). Moreover, contests for publicly funded research grants in highly competitive fields of research have also been looked at as “prize contests.” This research seeks to explain the incentive structure and dynamic of “prize-like” policy instruments and to assess their effectiveness relative to other policy mechanisms, and as such offers useful insights concerning the design of explicit inducement prize contests. However, the focus of the NAE workshop and this report is on explicit prize contests, i.e., contests for a named prize or award, not on “prize-like” contests.

6 See, for example, Farrell and Shapiro, 1992; Fullerton and McAfee, 1999; Lazear and Rosen, 1981; McLaughlin, 1988; Nalebluff and Stiglitz, 1983; Noll and Rogerson, 1998; O'Keeffe et al., 1984; Rogerson, 1989, 1994; Rosen, 1986; and Taylor, 1995.

7 For further information concerning the Nobel Prizes, Draper Prize, and Lasker Awards, see their respective websites:;; and (accessed 5 November 1999).

8 Nevertheless, highly prestigious recognition prizes like the Nobel Prizes have been known to induce a certain amount of lobbying activity on behalf of particular prize candidates.

9 See Appendix A, section 2.1.2.

10 See Sobel, 1995, and Appendix A, section 2.1.1.

11 For further information, see Appendix A, section 2.2.2; Knezo, 1999; and the prize websites:;; and (accessed 5 November 1999).

12 See Knezo, 1999, p. 4.

13 See the text below, excerpted from section 244 of Public Law 106-65, 106th Congress, 2nd session (5 October 1999), National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000.

Sec. 244. DARPA Program for Award of Competitive Prizes to Encourage Development of Advanced Technologies.

(a) AUTHORITY.—Chapter 139 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 2374 the following new section:

“S 2374a. Prizes for advanced technology achievements

“(a) AUTHORITY.—The Secretary of Defense, acting through the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, may carry out a program to award cash prizes in recognition of outstanding achievements in basic, advanced, and applied research, technology development, and prototype development that have the potential for application to the performance of the military missions of the Department of Defense.

“(b) COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS.—The program under subsection (a) shall use a competitive process for the selection of recipients of cash prizes. The process shall include the widely-advertised solicitation of submissions of research results, technology developments, and prototypes.

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