Sunday, February 15, 2009

Energy/Environment Prize Roundup - February 15, 2009

Exclusive: Aptera 2e - Yahoo! Autos - This was on the Yahoo! front page today, featured in the main picture.

Automotive X Prize News: Feb 12th, 2009 - X PRIZE Cars blog:

Yours truly sits in an Aptera outside TED. Also, news from Axon, Western Washington University (pictured), Tesla, Electric RaceAbout, and a couple of messages from the PIAXP blog.

Tesla Motors Update - Elon Musk (link from the previous X PRIZE Cars post) - There are updates on a lot of Tesla information, but for the space readers I'll mention this one:

On March 26th, at the Tesla design studio located within the SpaceX rocket factory, we will unveil a street-drivable prototype of the Model S four door sedan.

In light of the SpaceX COTS-D promotion, it will also be interesting to see how this goes:

Regarding funding, I am excited to report that the Department of Energy informed Tesla last week that they may disburse funds from our $350M Model S loan application within four to five months.

Who's the best recycler of all? - MIT News:

This is the fourth year that MIT will participate in the national RecycleMania contest...

Top high school students to compete in Blue Lobster Bowl at MIT - MIT News:

Sixteen teams of students from 12 Massachusetts high schools will answer quick buzzer questions and more complex team-challenge questions in areas such as biology, marine science, chemistry and ocean engineering.

Behind the Prize at the X Prize: A New Model For Venture Capital - Xconomy San Diego (link from X PRIZE Foundation) -

His research led him to New Mexico for the X Prize Cup, which was conceived as an annual two-day Air & Space Expo. During the trip, he met four aerospace engineering graduate students from Romania who told Stein they had developed a composite rocket engine. “When I asked them if they had filed patents on their design,” Stein recalls, “they said, ‘Patents? We don’t even have enough money for lunch tomorrow.’ ” ...

“So basically, if we can place a bet on every horse in a race, we don’t care who wins,” Stein says. The contest rules will be structured so that Prize Capital charges each entrant a “fee,” which consists of several options. It could be the right for Prize Capital to take a small percentage of the entrant’s technology royalty sales, or it could be the right to join future venture capital investors when they enter the picture to fund technology development. In such deals, Prize Capital would invest only as a passive “tag-along” investor without a board seat. Prize Capital also can provide loans of roughly $100,000 to contestants for various needs, such as filing patents. ...

Stein is especially keen on the idea of developing a biofuels competition. His concern for deforestation also has led him to sign a letter of intent with a large foundation in Brazil to create a series of small prizes to develop what he calls “small-scale, distributed energy systems.” With an environmental X Prize focused on the right kind of technology breakthrough, Stein says the next “Netscape moment” could trigger a 21st Century gold rush that will save our global forests from destruction.