Today marks the official start of on-site field testing at the OHMSETT facility in Leonardo, New Jersey. As the first competing team feverishly attempts to complete and ship their system in hopes of winning $1M, the X PRIZE team heads out to New Jersey to prepare for the team?s arrival and the start of the Competition.
Just short of a year after the announcement of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE, the X PRIZE Foundation is ready to greet the teams as they unveil their systems, test the waters and prepare for a technological throw down.
Twelve months of preparation is about to pay off for the X PRIZE team and the excitement is beyond imagination.
Jennine Dwyer, our Director of Sponsorship Services, has been working closely with the Prize Operations Team for the last six months, playing a significant role in various aspects of the Competition and preparing for the final countdown.
XPF: Jennine, what will you be doing on the ground at OHMSETT once the competition begins?
JD: My role is pretty standard throughout most Competitions. I work with the Foundation and Challenge sponsors and partners to create a bridge between the Competition and their partnership role. I also work with the competing teams as they attempt to secure sponsors, design their Competition branding and create an overall cohesiveness when it comes to partnerships. As far as this particular competition, I have worn a few additional hats (so to speak) which includes liaison between the Foundation and our Judging Panel, website branding, creation of marketing assets and a few bonus elements which I am not currently at liberty to discuss (insert secret menacing laugh here).
XPF: Are the teams ready to test in OHMSETT pool waters?
JD: Oh gosh I sure hope so! From my understanding, the teams are in their final days of assembly and tweaking before they ship their systems out to OHMSETT early next week. All teams must ship their systems on the same day in order to maintain fairness, so they have just a few remaining days to complete their entries. It?s so exciting for them AND for us, as we have such a vast grouping of teams testing we want to see them all succeed. Some teams have not had the opportunity to really test their systems and this allows them the opportunity to do so which, in and of itself is SO exciting. Others have tested at OHMSETT before, but not under the Competition conditions so this is all new to them as well. I?m crossing my fingers for all the teams and wishing them the best in these final days of preparation.
XPF: I know you have met the teams personally, what is the overall feeling among the teams right now, as they prepare for testing?
JD: I did have an opportunity to meet the teams at the Team Summit in May and to be honest, they are all just so excited to be involved and so very humble ? it?s just amazing. The camaraderie that ends up showcasing itself and the banding together for the greater good really starts to take shape in these last weeks and days within the team camps and that is just the BEST thing to witness. Really, just an awe-inspiring group of people who want nothing more than to change the World which is as we know, no small feat, but such an admirable and shared dream.
Thanks, Jennine. We are so excited to hear more. Keep us updated as the Competition unfolds from ground zero in NJ!
Alex at X PRIZE