Prizes for International Development


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Prizes for International Development

  1. 1. Prizes for International Development Context and Design THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH:Funding, Funding Mechanism, and Public-Private Collaborations USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) March 15, 2012
  2. 2.  Without the prize system the manufacturers would not have been guided to the production of implements really required. Royal Society of Arts, 1864 In, Brunt, Lerner, Nicholas, “Inducement Prizes and Innovation” (HBS: 2011)
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Benefits of Prizes Results-only financing. Pay for success. Investment leverage. Funds invested by competitors typically exceeds what is spent on operating and awarding the prize. Pathway agnostic. Won’t predict which team or approach is best; only desired outcome is specified. Global talent pool. Attract some of the best minds in the world, focus them on your problem. Highly publicized. Prizes can educate, inspire, and mobilize the public. *Adapted from X-PRIZE: Innovation Prizes and Development (2011)
  5. 5. Prizes for Development Context aka Why Now?Design for A creative, results-oriented community of practice that will “get” the call,Development engage, and bring energy to the effort.Challenge Driven Recognized approach to accelerating research and development whileInnovation mitigating risk by tapping creativity in crowds. Galvanize international attention and aspiration around some commonGrand Challenges purpose. Provision of broad authority and legitimacy for aspirational, experimentalFederal Prizes tools and approaches to innovation. An approach to problem-solving emphasizing networks, transparency, andOpen Innovation cooperation.
  6. 6. Prize Typology Recognition Stimulation Solution • Goal is validation, encouragement and celebration.Winner take all • A single winner selected Well-evolved for past achievement in a field or discipline. • Goal is ideation and mobilization. Rank order • A limited sequence of winners selected based on design criteria. • Goal is research and Experimental development focused. • A series of winners are Proportional selected for relative achievement based on solution criteria.
  7. 7. Oil Cleanup X Challenge
  8. 8. Set Up• Specific focus, relevant problem• Tiered prize design• Specific technical requirements for success (Clean surface oil at a rate >2500GPM, 70% efficiency)• Limited timeframe to achieve success (1YR)• Motivating prize purse ($1.4M)• Entrant run-off process• Significant team support• Full-scale simulation test facility 8
  9. 9. Outcome• 10 teams successfully competed• Performance judged by 8 field experts• $1M winner exceeded requirement (>4500GPM with 89.5% efficiency)• Single $300k runner up hit requirement (>2700GPM) 10
  10. 10. Agriculture Prizes
  11. 11. World Bank, Agriculture “Pull” Mechanisms • Inputs (increasing yields eg hybrid rice, water management, drought-resistant strains) • Outputs (post harvest management eg lower cost of storage technology, displacement of toxigenic organisms, and systems to improve plant health) • Livestock (protection, quality control, payment mechanisms, input tests) • Nutrition (Fortification in specific products eg cereals, noodles; iron bio-availability, and RUSF diversification *Adapted from AGPM: The Agricultural Pull Mechanism Initiative (World Bank, 2011)
  12. 12. Gates Foundation, Biotic Stress• Prevent or combat crop infection and infestation and post-harvest loss• Targeting small-scale farmers in developing world• Looking to expand from genetics and chemicals eg - Biological and engineering control - Novel strategies in crop and pest management - New strategies to couple sustainability, crop protection• Seeks to motivate new researchers, entrepreneurs
  13. 13. Agriculture Prizes at USAID• “Powering Agriculture” - Production - Storage - Value-added processing• Ready-to-Use Supplemental Foods (RUSFs)
  14. 14. Our Practice
  15. 15. Prize Design Continuum1. Problem - A prize to invite, discover new thinking and approaches to a problem2. Solution - A prize to develop new solutions to a well-defined problem3. Dissemination - A prize to determine the best pathways for technology delivery, scale4. Impact - A prize to achieve a specific result, regardless of technology approach
  16. 16. Prize Design Continuum Potential Prize Targets 1 2 3 4 Problem Solution Dissemination Impact Outcome +N Solutions + Time
  17. 17. Prize Design Approach Define Validate Design Build Implement Evaluate 1 2 3 4 5 6What is the What is the case What is the What platform, Who needs to How well was theproblem to be that this problem outcome desired, tools, and assets know about the problem solved,solved, and who is significant, and and what are needed to prize, and how and were theis directly who can help activities will incentivize will you reach outcomesaffected by this make that case? drive toward that behavior that will them? What is achieved?problem? outcome? Who lead to desired their role in the else needs to be outcome? prize process? involved? Time Carefully assess and lay out the time requirements for Carefully assess and lay the resource requirements - each stage of the prize design process human and financial - for each stage of the prize design process
  18. 18. Prize Design Roadmap YES c.3 Redesign NO NO YES YES 1. Define 2. Validate 3. Design 4. Build 5. Implement 5a. Recruit NO YES 5b. Judge NO 5c. Winner 5c.2 Relaunch YES NOKEY Start/ Product/ Secondary Decision/ Secondary 5d. Announce 6. Evaluate END End Outcome Outcome Action Decision
  19. 19. Roadmap Considerations• Market uptake. If its a “solution” prize, understand the potential for the market uptake and dissemination of successful solutions. Plan to put agency resources and technical assistance toward this end after the prize contest.• Design for engagement. Consider the enormous potential to create an innovation marketplace - a place where skills and ideas are naturally shared and connected - an how that can be leveraged over time, beyond the prize.• Solver community. Understand range of potential solvers and ensure that necessary administrative procedures and supports are in place to make an award for success. Know where to go to reach them ie the right prize platform.• Caretaking. Prizes can be stiff processes. Agencies can transform them into robust community building and learning processes through feedback, mentoring, connection making, celebration. This is critical for long-term success of prizes as a mechanism.• Champion results. Regardless of whether the prize was a success or failure, have a plan to communicate the outcomes, lessons learned, and key insights - including feedback from participants.
  20. 20. Agency Considerations• Internal uptake. Prizes are a new mechanism and will require internal advocacy, capacity building, and administrative procedures to work.• Design for learning. Its easy to focus on delivering bureaucratic value. Design each prize with the focus of performance improvement as well.• Implementation. Prizes have to be seen as part of a larger strategy to deliver better outcomes. Ensure prizes are backed by a long-term “go to market” play.• Transparency. Transparency is not part of many agencies’ DNA. To succeed over time the agency must respond to fairness requirements - intent, process, and outcomes.
  21. 21. Researchers Can Help• Prize Prospecting. Can you help us identify key gaps in agricultural practice that can be assisted through innovation?• Prize Process. Can you help us understand ways to improve practice and better engage stakeholder community?• Prize Assessment. Can you help us to measure the impact of innovation in ways that help us understand pathways and outcomes?
  22. 22. Thank YouLars Hasselblad Torres Prize Advisor, DAI 202-549-2322