XPRIZE Announces Winners
XPRIZE, which designs and operates incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, has announced the winners of the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a global competition to advance ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.
GEBCO-NF is a 14-nation team that integrated existing technologies and ocean-mapping experience with a robust and low-cost unmanned surface vessel, the SeaKIT, along with a novel cloud-based data processing system that allows for rapid seabed visualization, to contribute toward comprehensive mapping of the ocean floor by 2030.
KUROSHIO integrated technologies from their partners to create a surface vessel and software platform that can operate with different autonomous underwater vessels, which increases the versatility of their technology.
The $1 million NOAA Bonus Prize for teams to develop technology that could detect a chemical or biological signal underwater and autonomously track it to its source was split between the junior-high-school team Ocean Quest from San Jose, California, claiming $800,000 as the winner, and Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers, from Florida, taking $200,000 as runner-up.
“Currently, more than 80 percent of the world’s ocean is unmapped, and I’m proud to have worked alongside the people who will change this as a part of this XPRIZE,” said Executive Director of the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Jyotika Virmani. “Our vision is that these new technologies will enable the discovery of new ocean species, underwater resources, geological features, and safer methods of exploring the deep sea, while illuminating the mysteries of the deep and discovering what has remained unknown since the dawn of time.”
As part of its post-prize impact work, XPRIZE announced a partnership with Seabed 2030, a collaborative project between The Nippon Foundation and The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), to inspire the complete mapping of the world’s ocean by 2030 and to compile all bathymetric data into the freely available GEBCO Ocean Map.
Additionally, XPRIZE will launch a science fiction ocean anthology featuring 19 original short stories and artwork set in a future when technology has helped unlock the secrets of the world’s oceans.
For more information, visit oceandiscovery.xprize.org.