The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has found that federal agencies used the authority under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 to launch 47 prize competitions during fiscal year 2015 in an effort to spur innovation and address complex problems.
OSTP said in the August 2016 report that agencies also conducted 69 challenges in FY 2015 through the adoption of other government authorities.
The report also noted that the Obama administration has introduced several measures in order to encourage agencies to use challenges and prize competitions as a tool to advance innovation.
These measures include the Strategy for American Innovation, the March 2010 release of an Office of Management and Budget policy framework that seeks to help agencies carry out their missions and the launch of Challenge.gov in September 2010.
OSTP said that Challenge.gov had posted at least 700 prize competitions from more than 100 federal agencies, bureaus and departments through the use of provisions under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act and other authorities.
According to the report, 23 agencies leveraged the law’s prize authority to offer prizes in FY 2015 and those agencies include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, General Services Administration and the seven components of the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS offered $2.1 million in total cash incentives associated with the 18 competitions the agency launched in FY 2015, according to the report.
OSTP prepared and submitted the report to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in compliance with the law’s requirements.