Sunday, June 04, 2006

Prizes, not patents?

Relevant to discussion of a "prize" approach for stem cell research, recall that the US House passed legislation for an "H prize" on May 10, 2006:

Legislation creating the "H-Prize," modeled after the privately funded Ansari X Prize that resulted last year in the first privately developed manned rocket to reach space twice, passed the House Wednesday on a 416-6 vote. A companion bill is to be introduced in the Senate this week.

"This is an opportunity for a triple play," said bill sponsor Rep. Bob Inglis, R-South Carolina, citing benefits to national security from reduced dependence on foreign oil, cleaner air from burning pollution-free hydrogen and new jobs. "If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create."

"Perhaps the greatest role that the H-Prize may serve is in spurring the imagination of our most valuable resource, our youth," said co-sponsor Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois.

Bob Park had written on March 24, 2006:

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), Research Subcommittee Chair, announced that next week he will introduce legislation to create a major new incentive of perhaps $100 million to overcome scientific and technical barriers to a hydrogen economy. Like maybe the First Law of Thermodynamics? Inglis was inspired by the "success" of the Ansari X-Prize, which awarded $10 million for bringing a few minutes of space sickness into the lives of the rich and bored.


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