Prizes are incentives that have long been used by public and private sponsors to accomplish a whole range of goals, including scientific and technological development. By offering sizable rewards and holding exciting competitions, they attract the attention of the most diverse participants, the media and the public. They can also play an important role in science, technology and innovation policy. Through innovation, they could help countries tackle and solve complex problems to become more competitive, advance the national health, and secure the national defense. Yet, they are still largely an experimental tool. This synthesis research seeks to shed light on several key aspects of prize design, governance and evaluation so that government agencies can make use of this kind of policy instrument more effectively.