X Prize Foundation Announces $10 Million Oil Disaster Cleanup Challenge

Gulf oil spill cleanup


Have an innovative solution to clean up the BP oil disaster in the Gulf? Now’s your chance to be heard–and make some money in the process. At the TEDxOilSpill conference this morning, Francis Beland, VP, Prize Development at the X Prize Foundation announced a sweet incentive for figuring out a way to mop up BP’s mess: a $10 million X Prize.

The prize is a testament to the difficulty of stopping the oil spill–similarly large X Prizes have been offered for DNA sequencing technology, fuel-efficient vehicles, and robotic moon missions. No word yet on requirements for winners, but Beland is already soliciting suggestions at Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

This is a prime opportunity for anyone who has tried (and failed) to reach BP directly with potential disaster fixes. And with the oil leak growing by the day–oil and tar balls reached Mississippi beaches for the first time today–there is little time to waste.

Of course, no one’s yet said whether BP has agreed to let the winner actually try and fix the leak (we contacted the X Prize Foundation and have not yet received a response), so this could just be the 909th thing BP ignores.


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Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.