It was first given in 2008 to encourage risk taking and new Float building techniques to better awe the crowd. The innovations of its winners often inspire others in later years as a result of exceptional design and engineering. For example, the Cal Poly Rose Float won this award in 2008 for innovating an artistic waterfall. Derivatives have appeared in floats ever since.
Who has won it? Many big-budget floats: Trader Joe's (2020), 24 Hour Fitness (2019), Amazon (2018), Mutual of Omaha, Farmers, and others. In 12 parades, including this year, only two self-builts have won it: CalPoly and now us.