Monday, June 30, 2008

Aviation Fuel Prize Investigation

You can sometimes get more details on what an organization is doing by looking at their help wanted ads. Here's one from the X PRIZE Foundation: Senior Advisor/Project Manager, Energy and Environment:

The team leader will supervise another full-time contractor (Technical Advisor), who will research and analyze domain specific issues related to alternative aviation fuels and technologies. ... The team leader is responsible for delivering a fully vetted and refined proposal to Volpe that will contain one or more detailed prize proposals ...

Here's more on Volpe. The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center is part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration and is an innovative, federal, fee-for service organization.

DOT Seeking Better Ways to Drive Development of Alternative Aviation Fuel Technology - Green Car Congress - A couple excerpts from this news release (which is, by the way, not new - it's from from Feb 1):

The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), part of the US Department of Transportation (DOT), has issued a Broad Agency Announcement seeking research that would help it determine the best methods to drive the development of alternative aviation fuel technology. Options could include a technology prize along the lines of the Ansari X Prize. ... The studies must present a detailed investigation of the option, culminating in a research roadmap that brings the best minds in the aviation and science communities together to solve this technical problem and how to speed up, to the greatest extent possible, the process of finding a viable technology that will provide a non-fossil alternative aviation fuel. ...

Each Proposed study is to consider only one of the following three options:

2. Prize Incentives. The format of a prize competition such as the Ansari X Prize for space travel offers opportunities to generate huge technological breakthroughs by attracting diverse competitors and rewarding real outcomes, according to the Volpe Center. ... Contractors exploring this route will need to assess its viability to the development of alternative aviation fuel technology.

Contract No. DTRT57-08-C-10036 - Volpe contract on NEXTGEN Alternative Fuel Development Roadmap awarded to X PRIZE Foundation on April 15