October 23, 2018
During Visioneering 2018, XPRIZE’s annual gathering of philanthropists and innovators to evaluate concepts for future competitions, the Foundation revealed the results of its latest, completed XPRIZE. The Skysource / Skywater Alliance was announced as the grand prize winner of the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE, a two-year competition aimed at alleviating the global water crisis with energy-efficient technologies that harvest fresh water from thin air. In addition at Visioneering, five new prize concepts were evaluated with top honors going to a prize concept called “Coral Survival”, a prize designed to protect and restore coral reefs. This prize will move forward into the XPRIZE pipeline.
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The Skysource / Skywater Alliance team, based in Venice Beach, California, wins the Water Abundance XPRIZE (Photo: Business Wire)
The Water Abundance XPRIZE, powered by the Tata Group and Australian Aid, was launched in 2016 at the United Nations in New Delhi. The Skysource / Skywater Alliance, based in Venice Beach, California, received a grand prize of $1.5M for developing an easily deployable high-volume water generator that can be used in any climate, meeting the competition parameters of extracting a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than two cents per liter. A second team, JMCC WING, based in South Point, Hawaii, received a $150K prize to acknowledge the team's ingenuity in developing a unique technological approach.
“This year’s Visioneering beautifully encapsulates the full life-cycle of an XPRIZE with the awarding of the Water Abundance XPRIZE, which began as a prize concept proposed at a Visioneering just five years earlier by our trustee, Eric Hirshberg,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, XPRIZE founder and executive chairman. “It is testament to the basic premise that Visioneering is the forum where participants’ breakthrough ideas are presented, evaluated, upvoted, funded and then go on to have real-world, transformative impact.”
In addition, attendees of Visioneering deemed a “Coral Survival” prize concept, whose development efforts were sponsored by Wendy Schmidt, as the top prize design. This prize design, once funded, will launch as a future XPRIZE competition. The prize concept calls for innovations that can scale coral survival 1,000-fold, taking the survival rate of new coral larvae from 1 in 1 million, to 1 in 1 thousand, helping us to replenish our rapidly dying coral reefs.
“What particularly resonated about the coral reef presentation is the urgency with which we need to address this important issue caused by climate change before it is too late. We are committed to finding the necessary funds to capitalize and launch this competition as soon as possible,” said Anousheh Ansari, XPRIZE chief executive officer. “We are incredibly proud of the hard work done by all of the teams who designed this year’s prize concepts over the past several months and are grateful to our visionary sponsors, especially Wendy Schmidt, who underwrote the development of these prize concepts and whose visions for a positive future align with that of XPRIZE.”
The annual XPRIZE Visioneering convenes a select group of CEOs, world leaders, philanthropists, and other experts for three days to evaluate, prioritize and fund competition designs. Additional prize concepts presented at Visioneering 2018 were in the areas of: Off-Grid Energy Access, sponsored by Kingo; Natural Disaster Prediction, sponsored by Fairfax Financial Holdings; Lifting Farmers Out of Poverty, sponsored by Gagan Gupta; and Feeding the Next Billion, sponsored by The Tony Robbins Foundation and Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.
For more information on Visioneering, please visit https://www.xprize.org/visioneering.
For more information on the Water Abundance XPRIZE, visit https://water.xprize.org/.
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.