July 17, 2009, Forbes.com — The use of prizes by philanthropies and private businesses to encourage innovation and achieve social benefits is burgeoning. A McKinsey study of prizes worth more than $100,000 suggests that the aggregate value of such large awards has more than tripled over the past decade, to $375 million. Moreover, the role of prizes is changing: Nearly 80% of those announced since 1991 have been designed to provide incentives for specific innovations rather than to reward excellence in general. An understanding of the characteristics of effective prizes and of how they are evolving would be useful for not only philanthropists but also public- and private-sector players hoping to harness their potential for innovation.
The McKinsey Quarterly
July 20, 2009