Encouraging innovation through government challenge programmes: a case study of PV-based boats
This chapter examines the role that could be played by government-sponsored or -supported challenge programmes in the process of innovation using the example of the Frisian Solar Challenge and its role in stimulating the development of the photovoltaic-powered boat market in Friesland. About 30-40 companies worldwide are engaged in the development of solar-powered boats. Solar-powered boats are used mainly in Europe, which is where most of these companies are located. There are a number of areas where further technological development is required before smaller solar boats can be competitive with conventional fossil fuel-powered boats. The most significant of these areas are: engineering of the components and design of overall electronics, Motors and propellers for small boats and batteries. The challenge strategy in Friesland began in 2000 when a group of about ten people from within and outside the region started to generate a series of ideas for challenge programmes.