The tragic and continuing saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ongoing until recently since at least April 22, is one of the worst environmental disasters to ever occur in modern history. Clean up efforts have met decent success at mopping up much of the oil, but in the future we will need better technologies to more quickly and efficiently clean up the mess. Could a multi-million dollar prize stimulate this as yet not created technology?
That is the idea the X Prize Foundation, best known for the ongoing $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition focused on vehicles using alternative forms of power sources, hopes to find out. The foundation is set to announce next week the Oil Cleanup X Challenge, which is “designed to inspire entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface.”
At a press conference on July 29 in Washington, D..C, that will be attended by noted environmentalists, White House staff, the EPA, NOAA and members of Congress, the X Prize Foundation will discuss the goals and objectives of the prize, team rules for entry, amount of the prize purse and announce the competition benefactor.