The X PRIZE Foundation, an educational nonprofit prize institute, recently announced the launch of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. This competition will provide a total of $1.4 million in cash awards to the top three teams that develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface.
"The devastating impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will last for years and it is inevitable that future spills will occur – both from wells and from transport tankers," stated X PRIZE Chairman Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. "To be prepared to safeguard oceans and shores, the X PRIZE Foundation is announcing the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE to find the most effective and environmentally-safe solutions for capturing oil from all spills at the spill site, thus limiting their impacts and protecting our oceans, shores, marshes, and, importantly, the health and well-being of the people and wildlife which live and thrive in these communities."
"With more then ten thousands of ocean oil platforms across the globe, and million of barrels of oil being transported every day by tankers, it's not a question of 'if' there will be another oil spill, but 'when,'" stated Wendy Schmidt. "We need to come up with better solutions to capture oil on the surface, to minimize the harm these spills are causing to marine life, coastal wetlands, and beaches, and to our livelihoods – a harm that can last for generations. This is why I am personally funding this X CHALLENGE: to inspire innovators around the world – and all those who want to help address what has happened in the Gulf – to focus on solutions to an ongoing, systemic problem."
The $1.4 million in prizes was funded by Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Co-founder, with her husband Eric, of the Schmidt Marine Science Research Institute. The video below provides an overview of the competition and complete eligibility and application information is available on the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE website.
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