June 28th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

X Prize's multimillion-dollar challenge for Gulf oil solutions

An EPA worker takes photos of oil coming ashore in Orange Beach, Alabama.

The X Prize Foundation announced today that it is developing a multimillion-dollar “oil spill cleanup X challenge” to come up with solutions to cleaning up shorelines and open water fouled by oil leaking from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking at the TEDxOilSpill conference in Washington, Frances Beland of the X Prize Foundation asked the audience of 300, and many more watching the conference’s videostream, “What do you prize?” Beland told CNN after his appearance that the oil-related challenge will probably offer about $3 million in prize money for a cleanup solution.

The X Prize Foundation gained public attention for its X Prize of $10 million awarded for the development of private spacecraft, and the nonprofit foundation has created other prize challenges.

Beland said the foundation wanted to come up with a prize to find a solution to capping the well but found it was unable to obtain enough data to design such a challenge, so it opted to focus on the cleanup.

“We’re going to launch a prize for cleanup, and we’re going to kick ass,” he said, to applause.

Beland said 35,000 solutions to the Gulf crisis have been proposed to BP, the government and other organizations, including the X Prize Foundation.

“Every time we have a challenge, you know who wins? It’s not someone from the industry, it’s a maverick, a freethinker.”

soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. N'awleanschigga

    I"ll supply the nuke to anyone who wants to pay me $3 million! Let me know ASAP!

    June 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. N'awleanschigga

    any European person is smarter than an Amurican...even and Amurican with a PhD. European society has been around about ten times as long as Amurican society has. And that one tenth of the time span is soon to come to an END!

    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      Interesting. That is why the Europeans did not invent electricity, airplanes, the atom bomb or the internet. It is because they were too smart for worthless stuff like that I guess.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMAinNY

      Well, since you claim Europeans are SO much smarer than us, it would appear that you are NOT European since you can't even spell "American" correctly. LOL

      June 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cam

      Rofl You two fools replying to this guy got trolled so hard be proud.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FrankRicard

    How about a day of prayer? Hahahahahahaha.... That really worked well. Praise Jeebus...

    June 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. C

    @LUIS IN BROOKLYN, thank you for your response to Gary. I'm seeing a lot of people with his thinking and it's annoying me. Yes, a lot of things use oil! We need to lessen our dependency on it and try to replace it with other things.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. conoclast

    N'asleanschigga, you are obviously quite proud of your ignorance. If you're the norm in N'awleans I wonder why we think the place is worth saving!

    June 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    How about O'bama's head and his ears will hold it in.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chuck

    Not as simple as the comments here suggest. The primary responsibility of dealing with the spill lay with BP. If the Govt took over within 12 hours (as Netherlands does) the administration would have been accused of socialism. Nowhere have I read that BP requested that the Govt allows the Dutch ships to come in and help. If it was the case, the news channels would have been all over the story.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      And the problem would have been 2x as bad since the government knows nothing about cleaning up oil spills.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gce65

    Why wasn't BP investing in ideas BEFORE they blew out their oil rig?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. El Gordo

    Every American male who has ever shopped at Home Depot thinks he knows how to cork this spill. That hole will run out of oil before they finish looking at all the ideas that will be submitted.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cmcpolo

    The answer is simple and the Russians have already done it 4 times. Small nuclear device to essentially melt the rock around the bore hole. Water pressure would keep any fall-out issues at bay. Has to be better than millions and millions of gallons of crude in the ocean. Not sure on the clean up but get the leak stopped already.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMAinNY

      My understanding is that there are already cracks in the seabed resultant from the rig exploding and those cracks are also leaking oil. God forbid we set off a nuke and it doesn't work – there would be absolutely NO hope of containing it then and this oil deposit is supposedly the mother of all mother loads.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MVUvu

    People are so short sighted when it comes to our oil dependence. "The solution" will not be a single solution at all. It will be a gradual process of improving and eliminating. Our "dependence" on a lot of the oil we use isn't really a dependence either. We don't need over-packaged goods, out of season foods brought from overseas, or inefficient gasoline engines. We might want these things, but people used to want fur coats and slaves too.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Qwark

    Mother earth will eventually clean this up like every other time.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. IaCheNeHe

    BP doesn't want to loose the well so figure that into your solution.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tim Greer

    No link to the xprize info, and, as usual with things like that, no one will be actually heard unless they are already a known scientist. No normal person can just enter and win by the looks of it. Besides, it would be a lot easier to figure out how to stop the gusher than clean up, even if they didn't have the exact specs.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eli

    Tell the cast of Jersey Shore the leaking oil is a hair-care product.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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