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Technological Innovation And Prize Incentives

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Technological Innovation And Prize Incentives

The Google Lunar X Prize and Other Aerospace Competitions

Luciano Kay

Luciano Kay, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, University of California, Santa Barbara, US and Georgia Tech Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US

2012 256 pp Hardback 978 1 78100 647 4

Hardback $103.00 on-line price $92.70


Available as an eBook for subscribing libraries on Elgaronline.

For individuals at paper price on Google ebooks and

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‘The recent renaissance in the use of prizes to spur innovation and extraordinary novel performance warrants close attention. Luciano Kay does so through a series of compelling case studies which shows the potential of prizes, the range of factors that influence their performance and the importance of understanding their non-pecuniary dimensions, even when there is a substantial purse. This is an important contribution to the innovation literature.’
– David J. Teece, University of California, Berkeley, US


Further information

Inducement prizes – in which cash rewards are offered to motivate the attainment of specific targets – have long been used to stimulate scientific discovery and technology research and development. This volume presents an empirical investigation of the effect of these prizes on innovation.

In this in-depth study, Luciano Kay focuses on three recent cases of prize competitions in the aerospace industry: the Google Lunar X Prize, the Ansari X Prize and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Using a combination of real-time and historical analysis based on personal interviews, workplace visits and questionnaire and document data analysis, the author examines the particular dynamics of the prize phenomenon and offers a comprehensive discussion of the potential of prizes to induce innovation. This fascinating volume also sets out a systematic method to studying prize incentives, offering a concrete innovation model and case study design approach that will prove highly useful to further research efforts in the field.

Scholars, policymakers and corporate officials interested in incentives for innovation and the practical implementation of prize competitions will find this an invaluable resource. Potential prize sponsors and entrepreneurs, professionals and other individuals or organizations interested in participating in such competitions will also find much of interest in this groundbreaking book.

Full table of contents

Contents: Foreword by Philip Shapira 1. Introduction 2. Innovation, Policy and Prizes 3. Key Questions and Hypotheses 4. Methodological Aspects 5. A First Approach: The Ansari X Prize and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge 6. A Closer Look: The Google Lunar X Prize 7. Discussion 8. Theory, Policy and Research Implications 9. Conclusions Appendix References Index

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