Sunday, February 01, 2009

Maximizing Ocean Progress with Prizes

Following up on my two recent ocean-themed posts about 2009 TED Prize Winners including a prominent ocean explorer, the recent MIT Ocean X PRIZES Workshop, and an announcement planned tomorrow (mentioned in both posts I just linked) that probably involves ocean-related features of Google Earth, here's more about the MIT workshop. It's all from Maximizing Progress, a blog with strong MIT content that summarizes itself with the following: Exponential Innovations Everywhere - Joost Bonsen's Opinions on Money, Ideas, and Talent Enabling Liberty, Prosperity, and Vitality for All.

Deep Dive ~ X-Prizes for Ocean Exploration? - This was before the workshop. In addition to general information like the workshop flyer had, it mentions the participation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Aquatourism ~ Emergent Oceanic Eco-Industry -

At MIT's IAP X-Prize Workshop I was delighted to see for the first time Graham Hawkes speak about his Deep Flight family of submersibles. These currently luxury devices (~US$1 to 3M each) will soon enable aqua-limo services and ultimately be a class of readily accessible toursubs, thus transforming the aquatourism sector. ... Graham Hawkes is the creator-engineer, a multi-company entrepreneur, most recently operating both Precision Remotes and Hawkes Ocean Technologies.

Precision Remotes is in the business of remotely operated reconnaissance, surveillance, and weapons systems. They depict scenarios where critical infrastructure is defended with remotely-operated, armor-protected machine guns, and forward military bases add a layer of remotely-operated machine or sniper guns to their defense.

Hawkes Ocean Technologies offers the mentioned Deep Flight submersibles. From their web page:

Deep Flight Challenger Deep Flight Challenger was built to enable adventurer, Steve Fossett, to set the ultimate solo dive record for all time (37,000 feet). Unfortunately Fossett perished in a plane crash before he could dive the submersible to record depth. Hawkes Ocean Technologies is now the only organization in the world that has full ocean depth technology.

Deep Flight Super Falcon Now available for sale to private owners. The first full productionized submersible capable of sub-sea flight. HOT is currently building a Super Falcon for Tom Perkins, founder of Kleiner Perkins Venture Capital. Perkins owns the largest privately-owned sailing yacht, S/Y Maltese Falcon. ...

Getting back to the Maximizing Progress posts on the workshop:

Ocean X-Prizes ~ Exploring Possible Challenges -

Organized by Erika Wagner, who runs the MIT X-Prize Lab, and Jaison Morgan from the X-Prize Foundation, this session brought together a couple dozen students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs, journalists and other oceans enthusiasts. ... We split into four idea teams and in the end, proposed two preliminary concept themes:

Treasure Quest -- Discovery and mapping of wonderous ecological, geological, and archaeological marine riches, and
Blue Space Race -- a Tour de Oceans competition via Formula One-like manned submersibles in the briny deep

Maximizing Progress is a potential source of more innovation prize and competition information. Here's the current post:

Energy Innovations ~ MIT Yunus Challenge 2009 -

This year the theme is... "innovative small-scale energy storage solutions to help alleviate poverty. Solutions must address the needs of people living on less than $2 per day. ..."

In "My Activities", the first item Joost mentions is the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.