Navigation Links
CWRU law professor eyes prize-based incentives to generate climate innovation
Date:6/27/2011

Could a multi-million dollar prize spur the next big innovation in sustainable climate technology?

Jonathan H. Adler, professor and director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University's School of Law, suggests that prize-based incentives could do just that.

"Technology-induced prizes have a long and storied history," writes Adler in his article, "Eye on a Climate Prize Rewarding Energy Innovation to Achieve Climate Stabilization," recently published in the Harvard Environmental Law Review.

Historically prizes have led to discoveries: James Maxwell's mathematical theory of Saturn rings; Heinrich Hertz's detection of radio waves; and the solution for deriving longitude by English clockmaker John Harrison, who invented the marine chronometer that revolutionized sea travel in the 1770s and continues to guide nautical travel. More recently, Richard Branson inspired inventors to strive for a $25 million prize in the "Virgin Earth Challenge" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Adler adds that a clear need exists for these new technologies that will make climate change costs for business and countries less expensive and more available.

With President Obama's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, "Global climate change is a terribly vexing environmental problem," Adler writes. "Its scope, complexity and potential costs are daunting."

Carbon emissions currently outpace available solutions to curb them. To achieve what climate experts call the stabilization goal would require reducing carbon emissions to between 450 and 550 parts per million. Those lower levels have not been seen in the U.S. for nearly a century, when the population was at 100 million people. Today, the population is approaching 400 million.

"Yet even reductions of this scale would not leave developing nations much room to increase their emissions," Adler notes.

He suggests shifting some of the dollars earmarked for alternative energy research to prizes. There are drawbacks, he says, to the $3 billion in federally funded grants offered to researchers working on climate change solutions. Among those drawbacks, Adler suggests, is the potential for politics to impact the grant-award process.

No guarantees exist that the research money will produce the desired results, he says, and often, research breakthroughs can take longer as basic science builds from one small piece of the solution to another. Researchers are motivated by the grant structure to take on projects requiring research in long time frames, he said.

Prizes offer an incentive to design a proven solution. The award is given after the innovator has proven the solution works. Additionally, the design process is funded privately.

"Prizes are no panacea," he writes, but, he adds, they provide a comparatively low-cost way to encourage greater innovation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
2. University professor stresses links between US Navy sonar and whale strandings
3. Minnesota ecology professor wins international award for biodiversity and biofuels research
4. NJIT professors research suggests changes in underwater data communications
5. 2 Alexander von Humboldt professorships go to LMU Munich
6. Top biophysics award to Professor Ray Norton
7. University of Leicester professor adds new perspective to rainforest debate
8. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
9. Chemistry professor 1 of only 3 at UH to achieve prestigious AAAS status
10. Florida professor creates endowment for insect scientists
11. Dinner, lecture series to honor legacy of distinguished UH professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... LONDON , March 18, 2016 ... Established Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical ... & security companies in the border security market and ... and Europe has led ... your companies improved success. --> defence & ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... - --> - Renvoi : image disponible ... --> --> DERMALOG, ... fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement ... DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016 This BCC ... future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market ... such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and ... various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing ... Identify the main factors affecting each segment and forecast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... MedDay, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment ... Moukheibir as Chairman of its Board of Directors. ... , who contributed to the rapid development of the Company ... started her career in strategy consulting and investment banking in ... .  She held C-Suite level roles in some of ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as Chief Business Officer. Arianpour, a ... innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently Chief Commercial Officer of Pathway ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mr. Palmer created the RPO business for Ceridian and lead ... managed services contract in the U.S. intelligence community with The SI (a Lockheed Martin ... Younger, founder of Accolo. “We are growing and his experience guiding our expansion ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Washington (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... today announced receipt of a significant operating grant from 1Plus12 Corporation. The grant ... to commence pre-proposal activities as outlined on the organization's website http://www.ivsci.org ...
Breaking Biology Technology: