Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE
We were informed by a US customer who thought the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE might be something that NOFI Current Buster systems would be interested in. The sky high demands for the oil recovery rate caught our interest, and although the competition seemed a tough challenge.
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill raged on with no end in sight. Surface oil recovery technology hadn’t advanced in 40 years. And, though the crisis was eventually contained, we know that it is not a matter of if another spill will happen, but rather when. Clearly a paradigm shift was needed to address future crises to minimize the potential disastrous effects on our ocean, food supply and the very air we breathe.
Demonstrate rapidly deployable, highly efficient methods for cleaning up crude oil from the ocean surface.
The $1.4 M Wendy Schmidt Oil cleanup XCHALLENGE incentivized competing teams from all over the world to find innovative, effective and environmentally safe solutions for capturing oil from spills at the spill site.
1st Place: $1 million
2nd Place: $300,000
3rd Place: $100,000
The competition launched on July 29, 2010 and awarded on October 11, 2011.
Phase I: An expert panel of judges evaluated the teams’ proposals against numerous criteria.
Phase II: 10 finalist teams demonstrated their ability to effectively and rapidly clean up oil on the ocean surface at Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response, Research &Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey.
Phase III: Winners awarded.
First place $1 Million winner Elastec / American Marine with their achievement of 4670 gpm (at 89.5% efficiency), reached more than 3 times the industry’s previous best oil recovery rate tested in controlled conditions.
Second place $300,000 winner NOFI with their achievement of 2712 gpm (at 83% efficiency), reached more than two times the industry’s previous best oil recovery rate tested in controlled conditions.
Third Place will not be awarded as no third team met all of the challenging minimum targets of the competition. The XPRIZE Foundation’s competitions set targets that are on the boundary of audacious and achievable in order to inspire breakthrough innovation. The fact that, in the short timeframe of the competition’s timeline, two teams exceeded our requirements in this competition and that several other teams came very close shows that that balance was properly struck in this XCHALLENGE. We congratulate all of the Finalist teams on their efforts to achieve the audacious goals of this competition. The XPRIZE Foundation and Wendy Schmidt have agreed to redirect the $100K from the un-awarded third place prize purse to the XPRIZE Foundation’s development of future competitions that would address one of the many challenges still facing the protection of our oceans, coastlines, marine life, and coastal economies, such as oil spill cleanup.