The Freedom Prizes will address the challenge of oil dependence using American ingenuity and the spirit of competition. We will be awarding over $4 Million in Freedom Prizes to inspire Industry, Schools, Government, Military, and Communities to significantly reduce their use of oil, thereby promoting America’s national security, economic prosperity and health.
The prizes are still in development. The money is from Congress, but I'm not sure if it's authorized or actually appropriated. It at least seems like they have the funds. It will be interesting to see what the detailed rules are for this kind of "deployment" prize.
Breaking Free from Oil - Renewable Energy World.com - Jack D. Hidary - This article on the prizes mentions the Ansari X PRIZE with one of its results - Virgin Galactic:
Once Rutan won the space prize, the X Prize foundation and my foundation, the Hidary Foundation, provided the seed funding to kick off the work of the Automotive X Prize and over a 3-year period the X Prize team developed a comprehensive set of metrics and goals for the next inducement prize: a 100 mpg or equivalent vehicle.
While the Automotive X Prize addresses one part of the breakthroughs needed to reduce our dependence on oil and would change the auto industry in 5-7 years, there are now many off-the-shelf technologies that could be deployed in just one year to reduce our petro-dependence.
Freedom Prize disbursements are scheduled to begin in 2009 and candidates will be able to apply at www.freedomprize.org.
Freedom Prize Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy Announce Awards to Lessen America’s Oil Dependence - Business Wire - The Freedom Prize Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled the Freedom Prize, the first competition of its kind that will direct more than $4 million to reward and encourage efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and enhance the nation’s security, economic prosperity and health. ...
Freedom Prize takes off - CleanTech - "People are talking and talking about oil prices. This is money that's fully funded today. This is not just talk, it's now an actual program," said Becker.