Competitions and challenge funds
The Progressive Automotive X Prize: teams must produce a low carbon, low polluting car which drives at least 100 miles per gallon. Upstream pollutants are taken into account and the car cannot generate more than 200 grams of CO2 per mile. In addition, the teams have to prepare business plans which demonstrate how the car can be taken to market immediately. This is the West Philly Hybrid X Team, a group of students from West Philadelphia High School’s Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering with their entry, the EVX. Image courtesy of the West Philly Hybrid X Team.
Competitions and challenge funds can be an effective means of spurring social innovation. The X Prize Foundation, for example, have offered $10 million to the first team to produce a device capable of accurately sequencing 100 human genomes within ten days, at a cost of no more than $10,000 per genome. If successful, this technology would mark nothing less than a revolution by truly personalising medical care. A similar revolution in the car industry is the hope for the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
Recently, the X Prize Foundation have partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle difficulties in treating tuberculosis and a new two stage Village Utility X Prize aims to bring drinking water, renewable energy and connectivity to villages in the developing world.