Under current law, heads of federal agencies can run prize competitions to incentivize scientific and technological innovation in the U.S. This bill would clarify that federal agencies can partner with both nonprofit and for-profit entities in the private sector to support their competitions. The bill would also require that all competitions be broadcast to the public on a government website.
Partnerships with non-profit or private sector for-profit organizations means that those organizations can offer money and resources to these federally-sponsored competitions. Agencies would be prohibited from giving special consideration to any of these non-governmental entities in exchange for their donations.
These changes to science prize-competitions sponsored would come through changes to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act. Information about these prize competitions would be made available on a publicly accessible government website. Agencies could waive this publication requirement, and log each usage of the waiver in an annual report with detailed explanations of why the waiver was granted.