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. Randy Travis

    First ; "clean-up" is a useless term concidering the flow hasn't been stopped and storms (not just hurricanes) can wipe out any previous efforts...Second ; the government and the media aren't telling us what we really "need to know", such as effects we can anticipate based on previous spills or more importantly, "sub-surface imaging" so we know what has happened below the LMRP...Third ; attempts to stop the flow were abandoned quickly and survivor accounts of lead-up and comments by "intellectually elite" made (but not followed up on or questioned) and known issues regarding methane & other gasses, reports of the LMRP now listing (leaning) 12% leads to ONE inescapable conclusion, the LMRP itself needs to be encased AND a muti-directional retreival docking system placed on the top to actually contain the flow and redirect oil & other gasses to nearby rigs and collection vessels, before the first storm devestates much more than coastlines and wildlife...I just can't seem to reach out beyond local engineers & geoscientists who have verified what I'm trying to offer...

    June 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Shamwow should work

    June 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael in Phoenix

    BP does not want to stop the leak or they already would have.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    What 3 million in BP shares?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris (DC)

    Here is a unique idea. How about offering millions to develop a cheap, clean gas alternative? That way we have no more oil spills?

    June 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Towne

      If you are interested, I have plans for an electic vehicle that will accept any body style and charge its self while running plus have 4 wheel hydrolic steering.

      July 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. IronRider

    Politics – Its rubbish. @N'awleanschigga learn how to spell and get the facts. Put "government" before greed and money and your getting warmer. Otherwise keep your anti-american semantics to yourself or the next time Hitler comes back we'll let him do ya.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. uracrackpot

    The dutch offered to help build a dike. um. Not so helpful. Do a google search for this and all you'll find are crackpot websites with misspelled urls masquerading as news sites. aka - uracrackpot. Thanks for playing.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Troll and Grammar Police from Canada

    Ok, I'e noticed America spelled as Amurica, you must be under educated or simply choose to speak the ebonics tongue. Let's get down to business, shall we? Ok, The oil in the gulf when it comes down to the bottom line is it's not that bad. Why?, well if you calculate how much water is in the ocean campared to the oil that was spilled, it will not be a bg deal in the future. Mother nature will remove the oil for us eventually. Second, this oil spill will make America rich from the jobs it is creating. The last thing is the animals,...yes they look like chocolate covered marshmellow but with dawn and if we relocate them,...itll be ok. I think everyine is leaving out Jesus also, he may have done that to revenge us, just a thought.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phil Landers

    The oil might be cleaned up faster if people in the gulf would stop be a little less worried about whose parish employee job it is to clean up areas and stop arresting people who trespass into "their area" during the clean up. Great way to clean up the oil – volunteers and businesses come down there, bring their own equipment. Ooops they crossed an invisible line into a new parrish – get arrested and have their equipment confiscated until they are released, with no charges a few days later. Did I hear it on the news? Nope – heard it from other volunteers who flew down from Alaska to help out. Would be great if the media would report this stuff.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Randy Travis

    I feel the need to respond to N'awleanschigga and anyone who thinks this way...I am a full blooded American (in other words, a mutt with multiple bloodline ancestories from many other countries) and though WE are not perfect, the Gulf oil "spill" happened here, but, BP is NOT an American oil company, the American oil companies have MUCH better safety records and it was a British CEO of a British oil company drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that showed his disregard for Global safety and disdain for American survival concerns by stating this was a small amount of oil compared to the size of the ocean...I wonder what YOU and BP will say to Venezuala, Columbia, Cuba, then Canada, then Russia and the possibly his own Brits when oil washes up on their coasts and their survival is threatened...I want to hear BP publically acknowledge and appologize for setting in motion (for the almighty POUND NOT DOLLAR) what could be the beginning of the end...Hmmm, gee that sucks if you think about the facts huh?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Human

    You are all idiots, concider the amounts of damage (Ozone-gas emitance, 'El Nino'-a simple state of condensation/wrong place/wrong time, Global Weather Rampage. Suttle, Gentle cleanup is the answer ! Drain the oil from the sea water/mesurements at a time. The well should dry up eventually, in regards proceed with a plan B (concidering weather fluctuations world wide) and inform governments to secure the public not with false expectations but rather precausionate weather proof solutions. Hope Believe & Goodness.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Slim

    Amuricans eh? Where are they from?

    June 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lisa

    I don't think this contest will yield any helpful solutions, especially if the general public is allowed to participate. It is apparent from reading this board and many others that most Americans are basically ignorant and undereducated. We really need to improve the level of science and technological education in our schools.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. super dave

    the need to make a supper size funnel turn it up side down on the oil leak

    June 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. J

    Create 1 billion dolls that bare the likeness of Sarah Palin wearing "Drill Baby Drill" shirts and jam them down the hole.

    June 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mary

      You my friend are a complete idiot!!! Why do you all fear Sarah so much???? Drilling can be done safely. Your president gave BP an award and you ignorant libs turned around and blame Sarah Palin. Interesting how we protect this guy and when Bush was in office and even now that he's been out of office you continue to point the finger at conservatives. Almost reminds me of the child telling the parent "no." If it weren't for the conservatives you liberals would (and have already begun) completely destroy this country. You ALL need to grow up and become responsible adults...is that too much to ask????

      June 30, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
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