SOURCE: X PRIZE Foundation

June 26, 2008 02:00 ET

BT and the X PRIZE Foundation Team Up to Inspire World-Changing Innovations

Global Partnership Will Help Leverage Up to $300 Million in Prizes to Spur Major Breakthroughs in Life Sciences, Global Entrepreneurship, Education, Exploration, Energy and the Environment

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - The X PRIZE Foundation, an educational non-profit that designs and administers competitions with prizes of $10 million or more, and global communications services provider BT, have joined forces to combat some of the world's biggest challenges, such as disease, poverty and energy efficiency. BT Global Services, which employs more than 32,000 people worldwide, is providing $7 million in operating funds to the Foundation over the course of a three-year partnership. These funds will allow the X PRIZE Foundation to focus on developing new prizes to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time. These prizes could have a combined purse total of over $300 million.

The partnership represents the largest sponsorship BT Global Services has ever provided an organization in North America, and is one of the largest sponsorships BT has engaged in world-wide. BT's investment in the X PRIZE model of philanthropy will help accelerate innovation to benefit humanity. With the recent addition of Michael Boustridge, President of BT Americas, to the X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees, BT will have a voice in shaping future X PRIZEs.

BT brings to the partnership a history of innovation in various arenas, many of which align with the X PRIZE Foundation's areas of focus: energy and the environment, exploration, education, global entrepreneurship, and life sciences. BT has a world-class team of researchers, scientists and developers, including 3,500 people at Adastral Park in England, a research team based in Malaysia and a new R&D center in China. It has a global patent portfolio of 8,000 breakthroughs in a wide range of sectors from finance and retail to transport and oil and gas.

With customers in more than 170 countries around the world, BT's global reach will strengthen the X PRIZE Foundation's position outside the U.S., helping the Foundation bring together the top minds in a variety of industries worldwide. BT's expertise in communications will be a valuable resource for the Foundation and prize competitors to mobilize ecosystems of innovators and scientists around the world to collaborate.

The X PRIZE Foundation currently has three active competitions, including:

--  The $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics that aims to usher in a
    new era of personalized, preventive medicine;
--  The $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE to create a
    new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles;
--  The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE to send privately funded rovers
    to the Moon.

With a number of prizes now in active development, the X PRIZE Foundation will launch 12 or more new prizes over the next five years.

"BT is a worldwide leader in technological innovation and collaboration. Their expertise and global reach will give the X PRIZE Foundation an even greater impact in the areas that are in desperate need of a breakthrough. Together, we can achieve what was once considered unachievable," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation.

Francois Barrault, CEO, BT Global Services said: "This partnership is the latest step in BT's long legacy of innovation. For more than 100 years, BT has been helping customers to use communications and collaboration to make the world a smaller, and better, place. We believe the X PRIZE Foundation is a valuable demonstration of how collaboration and global networks, both human and technological, can create positive change for business and society."

"This is a global partnership for the 21st century. As a non-traditional property, we commend BT's vision and leadership in believing in the X PRIZE model. The X PRIZE Foundation is extremely selective when deciding to partner with an organization, and we were delighted to find in BT a group that shares our values: global vision, collaboration, rapid innovation. Where traditional sponsorships might result in advertising and billboards, X PRIZE sponsorship results in tangible breakthroughs that have a positive impact on the world. X PRIZEs command headlines, capture imaginations and change history," said Brent Kocher, SVP of Partnerships and Marketing for the X PRIZE Foundation.

About the X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world's attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation is creating prizes in Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit

About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2008, BT Group plc's revenue was £20,704 million with profit before taxation and specific items of £2,506 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, please visit

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