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XPRIZE Foundation

XPRIZE is a non-profit organization that designs and hosts public competitions intended to encourage technological development to benefit humanity.
XPRIZE Foundation
Leadership team

Anousheh Ansari (CEO)

Michael Birnbach (VP, Finance)

VP, Finance Peter H. Diamandis M.D. Peter H. Diamandis M.D. (Executive Chairman of the Board)

Jennifer Haslip (Chief Marketing Officer)

Chief Marketing Officer Peter Houlihan Peter Houlihan (EVP, Biodiversity & Conservation)

Jim Mainard (CTO, EVP Deep Technology)

Kathy Mandato (Chief People Officer)

Alexander Nicholas, Ph.D. (EVP, Learning, Innovation & Society)

Andrew Tauhert (Chief Advancement Officer, EVP)

Ose Ugochukwu, JD (General Counsel)

Headquarters
Culver City, CA
Region served
worlwide
Year stablished
1995
Address
800 Corporate Pointe, Suite 350, Culver City, CA 90230, US
Social Media
Summary

XPRIZE is a non-profit organization that designs and hosts public competitions intended to encourage technological development to benefit humanity. Their board of trustees include James Cameron, Larry Page, Arianna Huffington, and Ratan Tata among others.

It is a global organization that seeks to solve the world's Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale incentivized prize competitions. The organization is focused on driving radical breakthroughs in five key areas: Learning, Exploration, Energy & Environment, Global Development, and Life Sciences. XPRIZE believes that incentivizing innovation is the key to making a meaningful impact on these critical global issues. The organization's mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs that benefit humanity, and they are committed to creating innovative solutions that can transform the world.

XPRIZE has a long history of managing high-profile prize competitions that have had a significant impact on society. Some of its past competitions include the Ansari XPRIZE for suborbital spaceflight, the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE for energy-efficient cars, and the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE for improving crude oil cleanup from the ocean's surface. These competitions have helped to launch new industries, advance scientific research, and create innovative solutions to global challenges.

Today, XPRIZE continues to manage several major competitions aimed at driving breakthrough solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. These competitions include the $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE for developing robotic avatars that can enable remote human interaction, the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE for creating open source software to teach children literacy and numeracy, and the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE for developing innovative carbon capture technologies.

XPRIZE has a global impact and reach, with teams from around the world competing in its competitions. The organization has $269 million cumulative prize purses and over 1 million supporters worldwide. It has also launched 25 prizes till date, and partners with governments, corporations, and philanthropic organizations to fund and manage its competitions. 


History

The first XPRIZE – the Ansari XPRIZE – was inspired by the Orteig Prize, a $25,000 prize offered in 1919 by French hotelier Raymond Orteig for the first nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. In 1927, underdog Charles Lindbergh won the prize in a modified single-engine Ryan aircraft called the Spirit of St. Louis. In total, nine teams spent $400,000 in pursuit of the Orteig Prize.

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, a renowned entrepreneur, and futurist, founded XPRIZE in 1995. The organization was established with the goal of creating a new model for incentivized innovation that could drive breakthrough solutions to the world's biggest challenges. Dr. Diamandis believed that by leveraging the power of competition and incentivization, it was possible to catalyze radical breakthroughs that could transform the world.

In 1996, entrepreneur Peter Diamandis offered a $10-million prize to the first privately financed team that could build and fly a three-passenger vehicle 100 kilometers into space twice within two weeks. The contest, later titled the Ansari XPRIZE for Suborbital Spaceflight, motivated 26 teams from seven nations to invest more than $100 million in pursuit of the $10 million purse. 

In October 2004, the Ansari XPRIZE was awarded to Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a company led by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Their spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, had completed two successful flights to an altitude of over 100 kilometers, marking the first privately-funded human spaceflight in history. The Ansari XPRIZE helped to launch the private space industry, which has since grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Following the success of the Ansari XPRIZE, XPRIZE launched several more competitions aimed at driving breakthrough innovations in different fields. These included the Archon XPRIZE for Genomics, the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE, the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, among others. Each of these competitions aimed to address a specific global challenge and incentivize teams to develop innovative solutions that could have a significant impact on society.

Today, XPRIZE is a leading organization in the field of incentivized innovation, with a mission to drive breakthrough solutions to the world's Grand Challenges. The organization continues to manage several major competitions and is committed to creating innovative solutions that can transform the world. XPRIZE's work is guided by a strong set of values, including transparency, collaboration, and impact, and the organization remains dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the world.


Goals and Purpose

XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization that aims to solve some of the world's biggest challenges through incentivized competitions. 

XPRIZE Foundation has three primary goals: to attract investment from outside sectors to take new approaches to difficult problems, create real and meaningful results with measurable goals, and encourage teams from around the world to invest intellectual and financial capital to solve difficult challenges. Unlike other similar organizations, XPRIZES are awarded based on the first to achieve objective requirements, rather than a selection committee discussing relative merits. The prize can increase attention to endeavors that might not otherwise receive much publicity, increasing visibility for both the foundation and participants.

XPRIZE has established a model in which offering a prize for achieving a specific goal can stimulate entrepreneurial investment, as demonstrated by the success of the Ansari XPRIZE. The foundation is developing new prizes in exploration, life sciences, energy and environment, education, and global development, with hopes of improving lives, creating equity of opportunity, and stimulating new discoveries.

The organization's primary goal is to foster innovation and creativity to address grand challenges that require breakthrough solutions. XPRIZE seeks to inspire and empower individuals, teams, and organizations from around the world to develop novel, impactful, and sustainable solutions to problems in various fields, including learning, exploration, energy and environment, global development, and life sciences.

One of the main purposes of XPRIZE is to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among experts and stakeholders in different fields. By organizing incentivized competitions, XPRIZE seeks to mobilize a diverse range of resources and expertise from around the world to tackle complex problems that require multidisciplinary approaches. XPRIZE also aims to foster public-private partnerships that can drive progress and accelerate development, by bringing together stakeholders from government, industry, academia, and civil society.

XPRIZE promotes social impact and positive change. The organization believes that incentivized competitions can encourage people to think creatively and outside the box to develop innovative solutions that can have a lasting and positive impact on society. XPRIZE also seeks to create a sense of urgency and motivation to solve pressing global challenges, by offering significant rewards and recognition for successful innovations.

XPRIZE aims to create a global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to making a difference in the world. By promoting breakthrough innovations and novel solutions, XPRIZE hopes to inspire and empower individuals and organizations to create a better future for all. Through its network of innovators, partners, and supporters, XPRIZE seeks to drive progress, promote collaboration, and create meaningful impact in various fields, from space exploration to education, from energy and environment to global health.


Impact

XPRIZE manages several active prizes that aim to drive breakthrough solutions in various areas. The $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE challenges teams to develop robotic avatars that can enable remote human interaction in a way that feels as if the user is truly present. This prize seeks to revolutionize the way we interact with one another, particularly in the context of telecommuting and remote work.

The $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE aims to tackle the global literacy crisis by creating open-source software that can teach children literacy and numeracy skills. This prize seeks to address the fact that many children around the world lack access to quality education, particularly in underserved communities. By creating innovative educational tools that are accessible to all, XPRIZE hopes to improve educational outcomes and create more opportunities for individuals around the world.

The $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is a global competition that challenges teams to develop breakthrough technologies that convert carbon emissions from power plants into valuable products. The goal of this prize is to accelerate the development of technologies that can reduce carbon emissions, thereby mitigating the effects of climate change. This prize is particularly important given the urgent need to address the global climate crisis.

The $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE is aimed at improving adult literacy in the United States. The prize challenges teams to develop mobile apps that can help adult learners improve their reading, writing, and math skills. This prize seeks to address the fact that over 30 million adults in the United States lack basic literacy skills, limiting their opportunities for economic mobility.

The $8 million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE aims to advance ocean exploration by challenging teams to develop autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that can rapidly map the ocean floor at high resolution. This prize seeks to address the fact that we have explored less than 5% of the world's oceans, despite their importance to the global ecosystem and economy. By developing new technologies that can help us better understand the ocean, XPRIZE hopes to advance scientific research and promote ocean conservation.

XPRIZE has also managed several past prizes that have had a significant impact on society. The $10M Ansari XPRIZE for suborbital spaceflight, for example, helped to launch today's $2B private space industry by incentivizing the development of reusable spacecraft. The $10M Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE challenged teams to build cars that achieved at least 100MPGe in real-world driving, leading to the development of more energy-efficient vehicles.

The $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE aimed to develop sophisticated sensing technologies that put individuals in charge of their own health, while the $2M Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE helped to advance repeated rocket travel to the moon. The $1.4M Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE challenged teams to improve crude oil cleanup from the ocean's surface, while the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE sought to address ocean acidification by incentivizing the development of pH sensor technologies.


References
XPRIZE Foundation
Leadership team

Anousheh Ansari (CEO)

Michael Birnbach (VP, Finance)

VP, Finance Peter H. Diamandis M.D. Peter H. Diamandis M.D. (Executive Chairman of the Board)

Jennifer Haslip (Chief Marketing Officer)

Chief Marketing Officer Peter Houlihan Peter Houlihan (EVP, Biodiversity & Conservation)

Jim Mainard (CTO, EVP Deep Technology)

Kathy Mandato (Chief People Officer)

Alexander Nicholas, Ph.D. (EVP, Learning, Innovation & Society)

Andrew Tauhert (Chief Advancement Officer, EVP)

Ose Ugochukwu, JD (General Counsel)

Headquarters
Culver City, CA
Region served
worlwide
Year stablished
1995
Address
800 Corporate Pointe, Suite 350, Culver City, CA 90230, US
Social Media