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XPRIZE is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit humanity. Their Board of Trustees include James Cameron, Larry Page, Arianna Huffington, Ratan Tata among others.

XPRIZE
Logo-xprize.png
Founded 1995[1]
Focus Public Competitions
Location
Area served
Energy and environment, exploration, global development, learning, life sciences
Method Revolution through Competition
Key people
Peter Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman
Marcus Shingles, CEO
Robert K. Weiss, Vice Chairman
Slogan Making the Impossible Possible
Website www.xprize.org
Formerly called
XPRIZE Foundation

The XPRIZE mission is to bring about “radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity” through incentivized competition. It fosters high-profile competitions to motivate individuals, companies and organizations across all disciplines to develop innovative ideas and technologies that help solve the grand challenges that restrict humanity’s progress.

The most high-profile XPRIZE to date was the Ansari X Prize relating to spacecraft development awarded in 2004. This prize was intended to inspire research and development into technology for space exploration.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

 
SpaceShipOne Takeoff
 
The first, titled the Ansari XPRIZE, was presented on November 6, 2004.

The first XPRIZE – the Ansari XPRIZE – was inspired by the Orteig Prize, a $25,000 prize offered in 1919 by French hotelier Raymond Orteig for the first nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. In 1927, underdog Charles Lindbergh won the prize in a modified single-engine Ryan aircraft called the Spirit of St. Louis. In total, nine teams spent $400,000 in pursuit of the Orteig Prize.

In 1996, entrepreneur Peter Diamandis offered a $10-million prize to the first privately financed team that could build and fly a three-passenger vehicle 100 kilometers into space twice within two weeks. The contest, later titled the Ansari XPRIZE for Suborbital Spaceflight, motivated 26 teams from seven nations to invest more than $100 million in pursuit of the $10 million purse. On October 4, 2004, the Ansari XPRIZE was won by Mojave Aerospace Ventures, who successfully completed the contest in their spacecraft SpaceShipOne. The prize was awarded in a ceremony at the Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri.[2] As of 2011, the Science Center maintains numerous exhibits about the XPRIZE.

The foundation has also created the XPRIZE Cup rocket challenge competition.

XPRIZE unifying principlesEdit

XPRIZES are monetary rewards to incentivize three primary goals:

  • Attract investment from outside the sector that takes new approaches to difficult problems.
  • Create significant results that are real and meaningful. Competitions have measurable goals, and are created to promote adoption of the innovation.
  • Cross national and disciplinary boundaries to encourage teams around the world to invest the intellectual and financial capital required to solve difficult challenges.

Other organizations such as the Nobel Prize committee award prizes and financial rewards to individuals or organizations that produce novel advances in science, medicine and technology. One difference between the XPRIZES and other similar organizations is awarding prizes based on the first to achieve objective 'finish line' requirements rather than a selection committee discussing the relative merits of different endeavors. For instance, the Archon Genomics XPRIZE target is to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days or less, with less than one error per 100,000 DNA base pair, covering 98% of the genome and costing less than $10,000 per genome (note: this prize was cancelled because it was outpaced by innovation).

The prize can increase attention to endeavors that otherwise might not receive much publicity. For example, attempts in the recent Lunar Lander competition have been well publicized in the media, increasing visibility of both the foundation and the participants.

With the Ansari XPRIZE, XPRIZE established a model in which offering a prize for achieving a specific goal can stimulate entrepreneurial investment. Since then, new challenges have expanded into a range of other fields. XPRIZE is developing new prizes in Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Education and Global Development. Some hope the prizes will help improve lives, create equity of opportunity and stimulate new, important discoveries.

Prizes and events overseenEdit

As of June 2016, there are six completed contests, seven active contests and one contest that has been canceled.

Past contestsEdit

1996–2004 Ansari XPRIZE for Suborbital SpaceflightEdit

 
Astronaut Mike Melvill after his award-winning September 29, 2004 spaceflight

The Ansari XPRIZE for Suborbital Spaceflight was the first prize from the foundation. It successfully challenged teams to build private spaceships capable of carrying three people and fly two times within two weeks to open the space frontier. The first part of the Ansari XPRIZE requirements was fulfilled by Mike Melvill on September 29, 2004 On SpaceShipOne, a spacecraft designed by Burt Rutan and financed by Paul Allen, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft. On that ship, Melvill broke the 100-kilometer (62.5 mi) mark, internationally recognized as the boundary of outer space, winning the prize. Brian Binnie completed the second part of the requirements on October 4, 2004. As a result, US$10 million was awarded to the winner, but more than $100 million was invested in new technologies in pursuit of the prize. Today, Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and others are creating a personal spaceflight industry.

Awarding this first prize gave XPRIZE as much publicity as the winners themselves. After the 2004 success there was ample media coverage to afford both Scaled Composites and XPRIZE additional support for them to expand and continue to pursue their aims. Following this early success several other XPRIZES were announced that have yet to be awarded despite various attempts to meet the requirements.

The Ansari XPRIZE won the Space Foundation's Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award in 2005. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of space programs.[3]

2007–2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZEEdit

The goal of the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE was to design, build and race super-efficient vehicles that achieve 100 MPGe (2.35 liter/100 kilometer) efficiency, produce less than 200 grams/mile well-to-wheel CO2 equivalent emissions, and could be manufactured for the mass market.[4]

The winners of the competition were announced on September 16, 2010.[5]

  • Team Edison2 won the $5 million Mainstream competition with its four-passenger Very Light Car, obtaining 102.5 MPGe running on E85 fuel.
  • Team Li-Ion Motors won the $2.5 million Alternative Side-by-Side competition with their aerodynamic Wave-II electric vehicle achieving 187 MPGe.
  • Team X-Tracer Switzerland won the $2.5 million Alternative Tandem competition with their 205.3 MPGe faired electric motorcycle.

2010–2011 Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGEEdit

The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE was introduced on July 29, 2010. The $1 million prize had a goal to inspire a new generation of innovative solutions that will speed the pace of cleaning up seawater surface oil resulting from spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources. The team of Elastec/American Marine won the challenge by developing a device that skims oil off water three times faster than previously existing technology.[6]

2006–2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGEEdit

The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE (NGLLXPC) was a competition (co-hosted by NASA) to build precise, efficient small rocket systems. It was introduced in 2006 and awarded on November 5, 2009 in Washington D.C. to Masten Space Systems, led by David Masten, the top $1 million prize, while Armadillo Aerospace, led by id Software founder John Carmack took home the second place prize of $500,000, plus an additional $500,000 in 2008.

2012–2014 The Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGEEdit

The Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE goal is accelerating the use of sensors and sensing technology to tackle health care problems and find ways for people to monitor and maintain their personal well-being. It will be composed of two distinct Challenges held in 2013 and 2014. Prize purses totaling $2.25 million will be awarded. It was announced in 2012[7] and 12 finalists announced in 2013.[8] On 11 November 2014 the winner has been named.[9]

2013–2015 The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZEEdit

The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is a $2 million competition to improve our understanding of ocean acidification.[10] On 20 July 2015 the winners of the challenge have been announced.[11]

Canceled contestsEdit

2006–2013 Archon Genomics XPRIZEEdit

The Archon Genomics XPRIZE, the second XPRIZE to be offered by the foundation, was announced October 4, 2006. The goal of the Archon Genomics XPRIZE was to greatly reduce the cost and increase the speed of human genome sequencing to create a new era of personalized, predictive and preventive medicine, eventually transforming medical care from reactive to proactive. The $10 million prize purse was promised to the first team that can build a device and use it to sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less, with an accuracy of no more than one error in every 100,000 bases sequenced, with sequences accurately covering at least 98% of the genome, and at a recurring cost of no more than $1,000 per genome.

If more than one team attempted the competition at the same time, and more than one team fulfilled all the criteria, then teams would have been ranked according to the time of completion. No more than three teams would have been ranked and would have shared the purse in the following manner: $7.5 million to the winner and $2.5 million to the second place team if two teams were successful, or $7 million, $2 million and $1 million if three teams are successful.

Actual competition events were originally scheduled to take place twice a year with all eligible teams given the opportunity to make an attempt, starting at precisely the same time as the other teams. This was changed to a single competition scheduled for September 5, 2013 to October 1, 2013, which was canceled on August 22, 2013. The rationale for the change was articulated by the CEO: "Today, companies can do this for less than $5,000 per genome, in a few days or less – and are moving quickly towards the goals we set for the prize. For this reason, we have decided to cancel an XPRIZE for the first time ever."[12]

Active contestsEdit

2007 Google Lunar XPRIZEEdit

The Google Lunar XPRIZE was introduced on September 13, 2007. The goal of the prize is similar to that of the Ansari XPRIZE, to inspire a new generation of private investment in space exploration and technology. The challenge calls for teams to compete in successfully launching, landing, and operating a rover on the lunar surface. The prize awards $20 million to the first team to land a rover on the moon that successfully roves more than 500 meters and transmits back high definition images and video. There is a $5 million second prize, as well as $5 million in potential bonus prizes for extra features such as roving long distances (greater than 5,000 meters) capturing images of man-made objects on the moon, or surviving a lunar night.

2008 Future XPRIZEsEdit

XPRIZE has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a prize for a better tuberculosis diagnostic tool. Other potential prize ideas include preserving biodiversity, mapping the oceans, developing clean aviation fuels, energy storage, sustainable housing and carbon sequestration.[13]

2011 Tricorder XPRIZEEdit

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE was announced on May 10, 2011, and is sponsored by Qualcomm Foundation. It was officially launched on January 10, 2012.[14] The $10 million prize is awarded for creating a mobile device that can "diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board certified physicians".[15] The name is taken from the tricorder device in Star Trek which can be used to instantly diagnose ailments.[16]

2014 The Global Learning XPRIZEEdit

The Global Learning XPRIZE, launched in September, 2014, is a $15-million prize to create mobile apps to improve reading, writing, and arithmetic in developing nations. Each application will be developed during an 18-month period and the top five teams will receive $1 million each, with each of the winning apps being made available under an open source license. The finalist that develops an app with that produces the highest performance gains will win a $10 million prize.[17]

2014 A.I. presented by TED XPRIZEEdit

The A.I. XPRIZE was announced as having an aim to use an artificial intelligence system to deliver a compelling TED talk. Diamandis hopes to contrast the benevolent value of AI against the dystopian point of view that sometimes enter AI conversations. The winning team of the contest, which is scheduled for 2020, will be determined by the audience.[18]

2015 Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZEEdit

On December 14, 2015, Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of X Prize, announced the launch of a new $7 million prize that will be a three-year global competition that challenges researchers to build better technologies for mapping Earth's seafloor.[19]

2015 NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZEEdit

On 29 September 2015, Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of X Prize, announced the launch of a $20 million prize for a 4.5-year competition on testing technologies which converts CO2 into products with the highest net value to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of either a coal or a natural gas power plant.[20]

2015 Adult Literacy XPRIZEEdit

Find solutions how to improve literacy proficiency of adults in reading within a 12-month period. The challenge has been announced on 8 June 2015 and is awarded with $7 million by Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.[21] The winners will be announced in January 2019.[22]

Xprize Foundation IndiaEdit

Considering the potential of Indian talent, X Prize Foundation has set up a trust/NGO in India in Mumbai in November 2014.[citation needed]

Board of TrusteesEdit

The Foundation is run by a board of trustees, of which the members are as follows:[23]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The XPRIZE Heritage | XPRIZE". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 28, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ Boyle, Alan (November 6, 2004). "Spaceship team gets its $10 million prize". MSNBC. 
  3. ^ "Symposium Awards | National Space Symposium". Web.archive.org. February 3, 2009. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Competition Guidelines, Version 1.2" (PDF). Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. January 13, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 1, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Three Teams Awarded Share of $10 Million Purse in Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE for Super Fuel-Efficient Vehicles". X Prize Foundation. Archived from the original on September 19, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ Boyle, Rebecca. "Winner of Million-Dollar X Challenge Cleans Up Oil Spills Three Times Better Than Existing Tech | Popular Science". Popsci.com. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Nokia Sensing XChallenge Media Mentions". 
  8. ^ Scott Jung. "Nokia and XPRIZE Announce Finalists of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE". Medgadet. 
  9. ^ "XPrize names medical sensor challenge winners". sandiegouniontribune. 
  10. ^ url=http://oceanhealth.xprize.org/
  11. ^ "Montana team takes home both top rizes in $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE". xprize. 
  12. ^ Peter Diamandis (August 22, 2013). "Outpaced by Innovation: Canceling an XPRIZE". Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ "Thoughts on future prizes by the XPRIZE Foundation". Sep 18, 2008. 
  14. ^ "X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation Set to Revolutionize Healthcare with Launch of $10 Million Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE | X PRIZE Foundation". Xprize.org. January 10, 2012. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ "The X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Join Forces to Develop a Competition to Enhance Integrated Digital Health". X PRIZE Foundation. May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Zehn Millionen Dollar für den "Star Trek"-Trikorder". Der Spiegel (in German). May 14, 2011. 
  17. ^ Dominic Basulto (September 22, 2014). "New $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE wants to disrupt education as we know it". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Issie Lapowsky (February 17, 2016). "New $5 Million X Prize for AI That Gives the Best TED Talk". Wired. 
  19. ^ "New X Prize Challenge: Map Ocean Floor". 
  20. ^ "New $20 million XPRIZE aims to tackle CO2 emissions from fossil fuels". xprize. 
  21. ^ "Xprize and Barbara Bush foundation set sights on empowering 36 million U.S. adults through literacy". xprize. 
  22. ^ "Schedule". September 17, 2015. 
  23. ^ "XPrize Board of Trustees". 

External linksEdit