Technological Innovation and Prize Incentives

"Technological Innovation and Prize Incentives. The Google Lunar X Prize and Other Aerospace Competitions" presents the results of an empirical, case study research on the effect of prizes on technological innovation. This research looks at three recent prizes in the aerospace sector: the Google Lunar X Prize for robotic Moon exploration; the Ansari X Prize for the first private reusable manned spacecraft; and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge for flights of reusable rocket-powered vehicles. The book also develops theoretical and practical implications for the design, implementation and evaluation of prize competitions and offer insights for entrepreneurs, professionals and other individuals or organizations interested in prize participation. Read this article to learn more about this book.

What other scholars say about this book:

"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, USA

"In the last decade innovation prizes have caught the imagination of policy makers and rich donors alike; those who actually care about the process and outcome of prizes and not only the hype, would do well to read Luciano’s new book."
- Dan (Danny) Breznitz, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

"A ground-breaking book on how prizes leverage a family of incentives to spur creativity and innovation."
- Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School, USA

Technological Innovation and Prize Incentives

Visit these links to order: Publisher's website (10% discount): USA, Other countries | Other online stores: | Google E-books

New: download first chapter from the publisher's website


Refereed Journal Articles1,2

Appelbaum, Richard; Han, Xueying; Gebbie, Matthew; Stocking, Galen; Kay, Luciano (2016). "Will China's quest for indigenous innovation succeed? Some lessons from nanotechnology." Technology in Society [link]

Kay, Luciano; Porter, Alan L.; Youtie, Jan; Rafols, Ismael; Newman, Nils (2015). "Mapping graphene science and development: Focused research with multiple application areas." Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 41(2), 22-25 [link]

Kay, Luciano; Youtie, Jan; Shapira, Philip (2014). "Inter-industry knowledge flows and sectoral networks in the economy of Malaysia." Knowledge Management Research & Practice, Online first [link]

Kay, Luciano; Newman, Nils; Youtie, Jan; Porter, Alan; Rafols, Ismael (2014). "Patent overlay mapping: Visualizing technological distance." Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(12), 2432-2443 [link]

Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano (2014). "Acquiring nanotechnology capabilities: role of mergers and acquisitions." Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 26(5), 547-563 [link]

Kay, Luciano; Youtie, Jan; Shapira, Philip (2013). "Signs of Things to Come? What Patent Submissions by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Say About Corporate Strategies in Emerging Technologies." Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 85, 17-25 [link]

Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano; Melkers, Julia (2013). "Bibliographic coupling and network analysis to assess knowledge coalescence in a research center environment." Research Evaluation, 22 (3): 145-156 [link]

Rogers, Juan; Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano (2012). "Program Level Assessment of Research Centers: Contribution of Nano-Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC) to US Nanotechnology National Initiative (NNI) Goals." Research Evaluation, 21, 5, 368-380 [link]

Kay, Luciano (2012). "Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Innovation Prizes as a Government Policy Instrument." Minerva, 50, 2, 191-196 [link]

Kay, Luciano (2011). "The effect of inducement prizes on innovation: evidence from the Ansari X Prize and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge." R&D Management, 41, 4, 360-377 [link]

Shapira, Philip; Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano (2011). "National innovation systems and the globalization of nanotechnology innovation." Journal of Technology Transfer, 36, 6, 587-604 [link]

Shapira, Philip; Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano (2011). "Building Capabilities for Innovation in SMEs: A Cross-Country Comparison of Technology Extension Policies and Programs." International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 3, 3/4, 254-272. [link]

Kay, Luciano; Shapira, Philip (2009). "Developing Nanotechnology in Latin America." Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 11, 259-278. [link]



Kay, Luciano (2013). "Technological innovation and prize incentives: the Google Lunar X Prize and other aerospace competitions". Edward Elgar: Northampton, MA. [learn more about this book]


Book Chapters

Kay, Luciano; Porter, Alan L.; Youtie, Jan; Newman, Nils; Rafols, Ismael (2017). "Visual analysis of patent data through global maps and overlays." In Lupu, M., Kando, N., Trippe, T. and Mayer, K. (eds.) Current Challenges in Patent Information Retrieval. Springer. [link]

Kay, Luciano; Youtie, Jan (2013). "Corporate strategies in emerging technologies: the case of Chinese firms and energy storage-related nanotechnology applications" In: Konrad, Kornelia, Christopher Coenen, Anne Dijkstra, Colin Milburn, and Harro van Lente (eds) Shaping Emerging Technologies: Governance, Innovation, Discourse. Berlin: IOS Press / AKA.

Kay, Luciano; Shapira, Philip (2010). "The potential of nanotechnology for economic development. The case of Brazil and lessons for Latin America." In: Cozzens, Susan and Wetmore, Jameson (eds) Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society Volume 3: Equity and Equality. New York: Springer. [link]


Other Peer Reviewed Publications

Kay, Luciano; Invernizzi, Noela; Shapira, Philip (2010). "The Role of Brazilian Firms in Nanotechnology Development." Science and Innovation Policy, 2009 Atlanta Conference IEEE Proceedings.


Professional Publications

Conrad, A., Narayan, T., Geyer, J., & Kay, L. (2017). AgResults: A Framework For Evaluating Innovation Challenges. A report submitted to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Available at "Challenges and Prizes Toolkit" and at Abt's website: AgResults: A Framework for Evaluating Innovation Challenges

Kay, Luciano (2011). Managing Innovation Prizes in Government. The IBM Center for the Business of Government. [link]

Shapira, Philip; Kay, Luciano (2009). Public Research Lab and other Scientific Collaborations of the Manchester City Region: A Bibliometric Analysis. Manchester, UK: Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester. [link]

Shapira, Philip; Kay, Luciano (2009). Mapping Organizational Capabilities for Innovation and Competitiveness: Research Performance and Patenting in Small Open Economies: Productivity, Innovation and Competitiveness in Small Open Economies (PIC SOE).

Youtie, Jan; Shapira, Philip; Kay, Luciano (2009). Practices and Plans for Sustainability in Georgia's Pulp and Paper Sector: Results the Georgia Manufacturing Survey 2008. Georgia Tech Program in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.

Youtie, Jan; Shapira, Philip; Kay, Luciano; Rivera, Ashley; Lynch, Brian; Cutler, Gordon; Fernandez Ribas; Andrea (2008). Innovation in Manufacturing: Needs, Practices, and Performance in Georgia 2005-2008. Georgia Tech Program in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.


White Papers

Shapira, Philip; Youtie, Jan; Kay, Luciano (2010). Corporate Entry into Nanotechnology through Patents and Publications: 1990 to 2008. Georgia Tech Program in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.


1Links to publications may require journal access to read full article.

2There is more under review, stay tuned for updates!


Selected media coverage

Need a Breakthrough? Offer Prize Money! [Wall Street Journal, Dec 2016]

New patent mapping system helps find innovation pathways [Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence newsletter, Jan 2014]

New patent mapping system helps find innovation pathways [, Jan 2014]

Global Patent Map Reveals the Structure of Technological Progress [MIT Tech Review, Sep 2013]

Tepid showing for genomics X prize [Nature, May 2013]

Government, Industry Look To Prizes To Spur Innovation [AviationWeek, Mar 2013]

White House touts 'challenge' prizes for tech solutions [USAToday, Apr 2012]