$100M XPRIZE for Carbon Removal

Are you an environment enthusiast? Is your head always buzzing with ideas to save the earth? XPRIZE Carbon Removal is looking just for you!

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at undertaking the biggest menace facing humanity – fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, these $100M competitions are an extraordinary milestone and the largest incentive prize in history.

Given the present climate situation, It’s very clear that we will need gigaton-scale carbon removal in the coming decades to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the need at roughly 10 gigatonnes of net CO2 removal per year by the year 2050 to keep the global temperature rise under 1.5 or 2C. Undoubtedly, we will need a range of carbon removal solutions to be proven through demonstration and deployment to complement work that is already underway.

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This four-year global competition calls visionaries and teams worldwide to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and impound it durably and sustainably. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year; model their costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year; and show a pathway to achieving a scale of gigatonnes per year in future.

Any carbon-negative solution is eligible: nature-based, direct air capture, oceans, mineralization, or anything else that achieves net negative emissions, impounds CO2 durably and shows a sustainable path to achieving low cost at gigatonne scale.

To win the prize teams must demonstrate CO2 removal at the 1000 tonne per year scale, model costs at the million ton per year (megatonne) scale, and present a plan to sustainably reach the gigatonne per year scale in the future. In the first phase of the competition, teams must demonstrate the key component of their carbon removal solution, at a minimum. For further details, please visit the official website.

Benefits

  • Grand Prizes (US$80M Total)
  • After 4 years, judges will select the winners:
    • US$50 million paid to the single Grand Prize Winner
    • US$30 million to be distributed among up to 3 runners up
  •  Milestone Prizes (US$15M Total)

After 1 year of competition, the judges will review all submissions received by that time and award up to 15 Milestone Prizes of US$1 million each. At the discretion of the judges, these awards may be granted on a conditional basis, subject to the team’s demonstrated commitment to developing and advancing their solutions and competing for the  Grand Prize. Teams that do not receive or do not compete for US$1 million Milestone Prizes are still eligible to compete for the Grand Prizes.

  • Student Awards (US$5M Total)

XPRIZE will award up to US$5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021. These awards may fund participation in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal or the development of key supportive technologies. The areas of focus for these awards are:

  • College & University Carbon Removal Demonstrations (up to US$3M): Awards of up to US$250,000 for carbon removal demonstrations to compete for the $50M Grand
  • Measurement, Reporting, and Verification Technologies (up to US$2M): Awards of up to US$100,000 for technology that may not directly remove CO2, but will enable carbon removal. Priority will be given to proposals in the following areas:
    • Technologies and methods which improve the precision, accuracy, and time required for carbon measurement, especially in natural ecosystems.
    • Methodologies and toolsets which improve the standards of assessment, reporting, and accounting for Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), Cost Modelling, and Techno-Economic Analyses (TEA) of carbon removal solutions.

Eligibilities

  • XPRIZE believes that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere: Scientists, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, and other innovators from all over the world are invited to form a team and register to compete. To participate, a team is required to first create an account in the Prize Operations Platform (POP) and pay a registration fee of $250. POP is an online platform through which teams will register for the competition, pay the registration fee, and submit important documents throughout the competition. Teams are expected to maintain their POP profiles throughout the competition, ensuring their profile is up to date with the most recent team information. A Team may recruit and add additional team members at any time throughout the Competition.
  • Because XPRIZE is a US-based nonprofit organization, to be eligible to receive prize money a Team must not include any individual or entity organized or with primary residence in  Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Crimea Region of Ukraine, or where otherwise prohibited by law. (See Sanctions Programs and Country Information | US Department of the Treasury).
  • Interested Teams and individuals are encouraged to collaborate and share skills. A team may recruit additional experts and add new members to their team throughout the   Teams may also merge with other teams during the competition. Teams must notify XPRIZE of a merger before it takes place. In the case of mergers, teams must register under one legal entity and assign one team leader. Additional details regarding team mergers are provided in the Competitor Agreement.
  • XPRIZE will host a series of webinars and another programming for all Registered Teams throughout the registration period. XPRIZE webinars will allow teams to get to know each other and also to receive important Competition updates. Participation in these programs, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged. While global in focus, the competition will be conducted in English. All teams must be prepared to communicate with XPRIZE and make their submissions in English.
Eligible Regions: Citizens from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Crimea Region of Ukraine, or where otherwise prohibited by law are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

  • Apply online through the given link.
  • Team registration will remain open throughout the prize. The following deadlines apply:
    • Registration for the Student Awards will close October 1, 2021 18:59:59 UTC
    • Registration for the Milestone Awards will close December 1, 2021 18:59:59 UTC
    • Registration for the Grand Prize will close December 1, 2023 18:59:59 UTC

Looking for fully-funded opportunities, install the Youth Opportunities Android or iOS App here.

Application Deadline: October 1, 2021 (8 Days Remaining)

Apply nowOfficial link
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