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X Prize Foundation Unveils $1.4 Million Oil Cleanup X Challenge

X Prize Foundation Unveils $1.4 Million Oil Cleanup X Challenge

oil spill in waves

The X Prize Foundation first announced plans for a million dollar oil spill X Challenge last month. Today, the foundation revealed the details of the $1.4 million Oil Cleanup X Challenge, which asks entrants to clean up the Gulf oil disaster. It’s a “flash prize”, according to Peter Diamandis, Founder & Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. That means entrants need to work quickly, for obvious reasons.

The competition, which is funded entirely by Wendy Schmidt of the Schmidt Marine Science Research Institute, will offer $1 million to the first place winner, $300,000 to the second place idea, and $100,000 to the third place winner. Entrants will be judged on a number of factors, including cost, environmental impact, scalability, oil recovery rate, and efficiency. Scaled versions of the best ideas will be built and tested in a head-to-head competition at the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility (OHMSETT) in Leonardo, New Jersey.

The winning idea won’t just be kept in a lab–the X Prize Foundation is working with companies like Shell to bring solutions to the marketplace, and fast. Check out the video below for more details about the upcoming prize, and preregister your X Challenge team here.



Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.