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

e 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.


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

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