A few days ago I posted a review for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s new book, Real Change. Somewhere in this book Speaker Gingrich talks about the need for large monetary prizes from the government which will spur an innovation revolution. It would appear that Senator John McCain read that chapter as he is proposing a $300 million prize for the first person who develops, “an automobile battery that far surpasses existing technology.” From the article:
The bounty would equate to $1 for every man, woman and child in the country, “a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency,” McCain said in remarks prepared for delivery Monday at Fresno State University in California.
McCain said such a device should deliver power at 30 percent of current costs and have “the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.”
I think everyone in America would be willing to pay $1 for such technology to be created. But why stop there? Why not make the contest aspire to even greater heights and look for a battery that can be mega-mass produced not just in America, but around the world? This type of engine could breathe life back into Detroit and make GM the number one name in automobiles once again. In fact, if every American is willing to pay $1 for McCain’s competition, then wouldn’t we all be willing to pay $3.33 so we can create a $1 billion prize? I’d be down for it.
This is the type of innovation that will put America back on top of the leading edge of science and technology. We will, however, have to rely on foreign scientists and immigrant scientists to make these discoveries, but that’s another topic for another time. Hey, maybe if we can figure out this type of automobile technology we can figure out how to make math and science interesting in our schools again!