A new X Challenge to clean up the oil in the Gulf Region has been announced. The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge is a $1.4 Million prize to promote highly efficient methods for cleaning up crude oil on the ocean surface. “The goal of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE is to inspire entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface” X PRIZE Foundation said in a statement. “The devastating impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill will last for years and it is inevitable that future spills will occur – both from wells and from transport tankers,” stated X PRIZE Chairman Peter H. Diamandis.

The competition begins on from August 1, 2010 and will close in April 2011. An expert panel of judges from industry and academia will evaluate all of the proposals along the following criteria: a) Technical approach and commercialization plan b) No negative environmental impact c) Scalability of and ability to deploy technology; cost and human labor of implementation and d) Improvement of technology over today’s baseline booms and skimmers. The winner will be announced at the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility (OHSMETT) in New Jersey and will receive the $1 million Grand prize. Second place will win $300,000 and third place will win $100,000 in purses.

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