SOURCE: X PRIZE Foundation

X PRIZE Foundation

April 16, 2010 08:00 ET

X PRIZE Foundation Reveals Expanded Vision for Future; Prize Groups Aim to Solve World's Most Urgent Problems by Targeting Four Key Areas

Foundation Aims to Launch $100 Million in Prizes Over Next 10 Years, Expanding Energy & Environment, Exploration of the Oceans and Space, Life Sciences, Education & Global Development

PLAYA VISTA, CA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) -  The X PRIZE Foundation (XPF) is transforming its vision to address worldwide challenges in the areas of Energy & Environment, Exploration of the Oceans and Space, Life Sciences and Education & Global Development. The Foundation aims to launch $100 million in prizes over the next 10 years, accelerating the rate of positive change with competitions that capture the public imagination and inspire results.

"X PRIZE works to align competitions with corporate partners who share our vision to enact fundamental change for the benefit of humanity. In the past two years, X PRIZE has launched several landmark prizes and challenges with the support of organizations like Google, Progressive, Archon, NASA and Northrop Grumman," said Robert K. Weiss, President & Vice Chair, X PRIZE Foundation. "With the introduction of our prize group structure, we're creating more opportunities for entities that want to be a part of something truly innovative and change the paradigm of what's possible in our world."

X PRIZE is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs, inspiring the formation of new industries, jobs and the revitalization of markets that are currently stalled. Through strategic design of ground-breaking competitions with significant, multi-million-dollar prize purses, X PRIZE spurs collaboration among the world's most brilliant minds to address the issues. Today, it is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. The Foundation was named 2007 "Policy Leader of the Year" by Scientific American and recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative.

Energy & Environment

Working with the world's most esteemed experts, X PRIZE's Energy & Environment Prize Group will catalyze a new era of clean, renewable, cost-effective energy with minimal impact on the climate and environment.

Areas of consideration include breakthroughs in climate change, water resource management, energy distribution & storage, clean energy, and energy efficiency/use.

Areas of Interest:

  • Climate Change: CO2 utilization/sequestration, ocean acidification, forest conservation, forest carbon measurement, emissions, climate modeling

  • Water Resource Management: watershed, sewage, conservation, desalination

  • Energy Distribution & Storage: transmission and distribution (e.g. smart grid), storage (grid level, end user, community), monitoring and measurement

  • Clean Energy: solar/PV, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, biofuels

  • Energy Efficiency/Use: smart buildings, transportation, command

  • Aircraft Efficiency: electric/hybrid aircraft, alternative aviation fuels

Current Prize:

  • Progressive Automotive X PRIZE (PIAXP): XPF's goal is to inspire a new generation of viable, safe, affordable and super fuel-efficient vehicles that people want to buy. Working with the U.S. Department of Energy, X PRIZE will award $10 million in September 2010 to the teams that win a rigorous stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe).

Prize under Consideration:

  • Clean Fuels: X PRIZE received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a prize resulting in the widespread adoption of clean aviation fuel. The Foundation is also developing a partnership for second-generation small-scale distributed biofuel production technologies.

Exploration (Oceans and Space)

The vision of the Exploration Prize Group is to expand the use of space, the oceans and other unexplored frontiers to improve life on Earth.

Areas of Interest:

  • Ocean Exploration: sensing (e.g. pH, temperature, current), mapping (e.g. floor, marine spatial mapping)

  • Ocean Environment: fisheries/fishing, coral reefs, biodiversity

  • Space Transportation: beamed power propulsion, hypersonic point to point, solar power satellite

  • Space Exploration: orbital debris, asteroid deflection

Current Prize:

  • Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP): The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition for the first privately funded team to land a robot on the moon, explore at least 500 meters and beam packages of high-definition video and imagery back to Earth. The competition goal is to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration, thereby opening access to the moon and its valuable resources. GLXP is the largest international prize ever offered.

Previously Awarded:

  • Ansari X PRIZE: On October 4, 2004, X PRIZE captured the world's attention when it awarded the largest prize in history, the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE, to famed aerospace designer Burt Rutan and financier Paul Allen for creation and successful mission of the first private spacecraft, SpaceShipOne. These flights opened the commercial space travel industry. Twenty-six teams from seven nations competed for the prize, spending more than $100 million to win a $10 million prize. Since 2004, public and private entities have invested more than $1.5 billion dollars in support of private spaceflight.

Prizes under Consideration:

  • Ocean: research, exploration, conservation, healing

Life Sciences

The X PRIZE Life Sciences Prize Group is designed to investigate specific opportunities to improve disease diagnosis and treatment, and to extend healthy living.

Areas of consideration include breakthroughs in neurobiology, Human 2.0 devices, personalized medicine, and physician augmentation/telemedicine.

Areas of Interest:

  • Neurobiology: brain-computer interface, imaging, learning, memory, consciousness, decision making

  • Human 2.0 Devices: bionics (assistive and additive), artificial skin/limb/joints/sensory substitutes (e.g. prosthetic eye, haptics)

  • Personalized Medicine: risk assessment, disease prevention, early detection, therapy, response monitoring, Tx/Rx development

  • Healthcare Advancement: cost of care/reimbursement, quality of care, compliance, disease surveillance, electronic medical records

  • Diagnostics

  • Physician Augmentation/Telemedicine: artificial intelligence physician, disease prevention, patient diagnosis, acute care management, disease management

Current Prize:

  • Archon Genomics X PRIZE: The $10 million Archon Genomics X PRIZE will be awarded to the first team that can build a device and use it to sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less. There must be no more than one error in every 100,000 bases sequenced, with sequences accurately covering at least 98 percent of the genome. This must be achieved at a recurring cost of no more than $10,000 per genome. This prize and the resulting technology can help bring about an era of personalized medicine. With this information, participants may learn of genetic medical conditions to which they're susceptible so they may take preventive steps to avoid illness, rather than trying to cure conditions after the fact.

Prize under Development:

  • Tuberculosis Diagnostics: The overall goal of the prize will be to promote better management of the world's second most lethal infectious disease in under-developed regions. In 2006 there were more than nine million new cases of TB worldwide.

Education & Global Development

X PRIZE's Education and Global Development prize group will address major challenges in agriculture, capital, education, health and water. The goal of these competitions will be to highlight the most scalable enterprises that can stimulate economic growth and uplift the widest set of stakeholders from poverty.

Areas of consideration include breakthroughs in education technologies, education systems and structures, clean energy production and storage, hunger and agriculture, poverty abatement, water and sanitation.

Areas of Interest:

  • Education Technologies: literacy, numeracy, STEM achievement, online education, primers/learning technologies

  • Education Systems and Structures: charter schools, magnet schools, self-sustaining schools, early learning vs. middle school vs. high school vs. university, standards, curriculum, teacher effectiveness, certification

  • Hunger and Agriculture: agricultural productivity, food aid, importation

  • Poverty Abatement: housing, import/export, regional integration/common markets, entrepreneurship, microfinance

  • Water and Sanitation: water access, water quality, sewage/wastewater, watershed

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need people who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy

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