Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Diamandis: Obama Administration Very Interested in Incentive Prizes

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 16, 2008
Filed under , ,

During a teleconference on Tuesday, X Prize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis said that the incoming Obama Administration has reached out to his non-profit group to explore offering incentive prizes to spur innovation in a number of areas.

Diamandis said the X Prize will be offering a series of prize concepts to transition team members during the next 30 days. He noted that NASA’s Centennial Prizes – which offer awards for various space-related achievements – came out of work the agency did with the X Prize.

The X Prize founder mentioned two prominent individuals involved in the transition who has sought out the group’s help: Lori Garver, who is heading up the NASA team; and Tom Kalil, a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform group. Kalil is Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology at UC Berkeley.

He also noted that Peter Orszag, who is Obama’s pick to head up the Office of Management and Budget, has praised the X Prize’s work with the WellPoint Foundation in creating a $10 million prize for innovations in health care.

Diamandis spoke to reporters during a teleconference to announce two new teams for the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million contest to land a rover on the moon. The event was held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Asked about the effects of the economic downturn, Diamandis said that he believes that incentive-based prizes would hold their own. The sponsorship market – which totals $20-$30 billion – is an effective form of advertisement. Getting your company’s name on the moon is worth quite a lot, he noted.

Leave a Reply