Prizes for Innovation to Solve Ocean Grand Challenges
XPRIZE is committed to helping achieve the goals of the United Nations SDG 14 through launching at least two more ocean XPRIZEs. There are certain grand challenges facing humanity where progress and innovation toward a solution is stalled. An XPRIZE is a highly leveraged, incentivized prize competition that incorporates exponential technologies to push the limits of what is possible and change the world for the better. Using technology as a lever, the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative is committed to helping achieve the goals of the United Nations SDG 14 through applying our winning ocean technologies from previous ocean XPRIZE competitions and designing and launching at least two more ocean XPRIZE competitions that will further the targets to conserve and sustainably use the oceans.
Previous Prizes and Future Technologies
In October 2011, XPRIZE awarded $1.4 Wendy Schmidt Oil Spill Cleanup XCHALLENGE for improving oil spill cleanup technologies. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon crisis, the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE was designed to inspire innovative solutions to speed the pace of seawater surface oil recovery resulting from platform, tanker, and other industry spillage. Less than 2 years after the largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the winning team demonstrated that their technology could quadruple the rate of surface oil recovery over existing industry standards.
In July 2015, XPRIZEawarded the$2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a prize competition for developing breakthrough ocean pH sensors to improve understanding of ocean acidification. Prizes were awarded for accurate, affordable, and robust sensors. These sensors are allowing scientist to make laboratory quality in situ deep-sea measurements of ocean acidification. This XPRIZE also resulted in affordable and accurate sensors for environmental management.
In December 2015, XPRIZE launched the $7 million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a three-year competition challenging teams to advance breakthrough deep-sea technologies to rapidly map the sea floor at very high resolution and produce high-definition images. Embedded in this is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) $1 Million bonus prize to incentivize pioneering underwater technologies to detect a biological or chemical signal and autonomously trace it to its source. This will allow us to respond rapidly to emergencies and discover and monitor new marine life and underwater communities in an unprecedented manner.
Possible Areas for New Partnerships
We are seeking collaboration for sponsorship of new prizes, deploying and advancing the winning technologies, and growing the impact of our prizes. A broader success state would be to launch at least two more ocean XPRIZEs that fit the goals of the UN SDG 14 and create innovations that make our ocean healthy, valued and understood. Future ocean XPRIZE that match with the goals of SDG 14 include but are not limited to: addressing marine pollution, protecting marine ecosystems, making fisheries sustainable, and increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology.