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  (Source: Get Eco Now)
Millions of dollars goes to anyone who can solve the problem

The X Prize Foundation announced yesterday that it will give away millions of dollars in prize money to participants who can submit their best ideas on how to clean up the BP oil spill.

The competition is called the Oil Cleanup X Challenge, and aims to encourage scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers to come forward and design creative ways to clean the oil from the ocean's surface, which was left by the BP's oil spill that started April 20. 

The X Prize Foundation is a nonprofit group known for awarding prize money to those who make great advancements in the benefit of mankind in areas such as life science, energy and environment, global development and exploration (space and oceans). 

In the past, the X Prize Foundation has ran competitions such as the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, the $10 million Archon X Prize for Genomics and a $10 million Ansari X Prize, which was awarded to Burt Rutan. Rutan was able to fly the SpaceShipOne private space vehicle, which was a flight backed by Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder.

The X Prize Foundation has not yet released specific details to the contest yet, such as the prize money amount, entry details, and actual goals of the prize. But the foundation plans to share these details at a press conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday. 

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Congress, the White House and various environmental groups will be at the press conference. 

The press conference will also have many big names in attendance such as Peter Diamandis, X Prize Foundation founder and chairman; Dave Gallo, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Phillipe Cousteau Jr., grandson of undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau and CEO of Earth Echo International and Azure Worldwide; and Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation.  

Some reports have criticized that the competition may take too long to find an answer for the BP oil spill cleanup, but the X Prize Foundation works in a way that is time sensitive. For breakthroughs that can be completed in one to two years, typically a $1 million prize is given. But for "large-scale competitions" that could take as long as three to eight years, the prize increases to around $10 million or more. Depending on what kinds of solutions are submitted will determine time frames. 





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