This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate a solution that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way. To win the competition, teams must demonstrate a rigorous, validated scale model of their solution at a level of carbon removal of 1 ton of CO2 per day, and further must demonstrate to a team of judges the ability of their solution to economically scale to gigaton levels. The objective of this XPRIZE is to inspire and help scale efficient solutions to collectively achieve the 10 gigaton per year carbon removal target by 2050, to help fight climate change and restore the Earth’s carbon balance.
The full competition guidelines will be announced on April 22, 2021, which is also Earth Day. On that same day team registration will begin. The competition will last for four years through Earth Day 2025.
Interested Teams and individuals are encouraged to collaborate and share skills. A team may recruit additional experts and can add new members to their team at any time throughout the competition. Teams may also merge with other teams during the competition. Teams must notify XPRIZE of a merger before it takes place. In the case of mergers, teams must register under one legal entity and assign one team leader.
Teams can submit entries across natural, engineer and hybrid solutions. Judges in the competition will evaluate the teams based upon four basic criteria:
- A working carbon removal prototype that can be rigorously validated capable of removing at least 1 ton per day.
- The team’s ability to demonstrate to the judges that their solution can economically scale to the gigaton level.
- The main metric for this competition is fully considered cost per ton, inclusive of whatever considerations are necessary for environmental benefit, permanence, any value-added products; and
- The final criteria is the length of time that the removed carbon is locked up for. A minimum goal of 100 years is desired.
XPRIZE will award up to $5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021. These awards may fund participation in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal, as well as the development of key supportive technologies. Student teams will need to make a compelling case to the judges that they will be competitive applicants in the overall competition. Student teams will be required to meet all demonstration requirements outlined in the main competition guidelines.
The $100M in prize purses will be distributed in the following manner:
After 18 months, at the discretion of the competition judges, the 15 top teams selected will receive $1 million each. Milestone Awards will kickstart team fundraising for their operating budgets to achieve the full-scale demonstrations required to win the prize.
In the same timeframe, a total of twenty-five $200,000 student scholarships will be distributed to student teams competing.
The remaining $80M in Purses will be distributed as follows:
- Grand prize Winner (First Place): $50M
- Second Place: $20M
- Third Place: $10M
Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research Web-Page.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted online, using the application form provided on the XPrize program website. Please submit an OR-5 and a completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org by the external deadline.