Friday, May 16, 2008

Future X PRIZEs

I'm not sure if this is new or not, but the X PRIZE Foundation has a lot more information on their future X PRIZE plans than I've seen before on their web site. I've posted on some of this already based on XPF lectures and articles, but without nearly as much detail. I don't know how many of these will ultimately become actual competitions; some of them clearly at least have initial funding for prize development.

Exploration - No new space prizes are listed here, but they have

received a grant to explore an Ocean X PRIZE Suite. The suite will likely focus on any or all of four target areas:

oceanographic research, exploration, conservation, and healing. Some of these sound like they belong in the energy/environment suite as much as the exploration one, but there's nothing wrong with addressing 2 areas at the same time. In fact I'd like to see some space prizes that overlap with these other areas.

Life Sciences - This mentions a Human Longevity X PRIZE, but most of the section covers the Cancer X PRIZE Suite, which I'll discuss in a separate post.

Education - They are investigating education prizes that might involve learning technologies or city competitions. Their inspirations range from the FIRST Robotics Competition to Expeditionary Learning. One approach I might take, instead of something like an educational software tool prize, is an X PRIZE (or numerous smaller prizes) that students can try to win like FIRST, TARC, Cansat, and so on. The prizes of course would be designed to require the competitor students to learn a lot.

Global Entrepreneurship - From the site:

The X PRIZE Foundation has secured grants to explore a Village Utility X PRIZE. ... The global competition would leverage technology-based innovation to develop more effective ways to deliver power, water and connectivity to communities in need in the developing world.

Energy and Environment - Again from the site (I hope they find a synonym for "develop"):

The X PRIZE foundation received a grant to develop a prize to develop and promote widespread adoption of clean aviation fuel. We’re also developing a partnership for second generation small scale distributed biofuel production technologies.