Monday, June 21, 2010

Can X Prize help deliver Gulf region from BP oil disaster?

Can X Prize help deliver Gulf region from BP oil disaster?

X Prize Foundation CEO Diamandis says innovative group will talk with White House

By Layer 8

The X Prize Foundation, known for offering millions of dollars in prize money to drive innovations in aerospace, life science and energy will soon offer its potentially extensive help to the White House in an effort to tackle challenges of the devastating BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We have a call with the White House on Saturday to address clean up and or prevention," said Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation during an interview today at the Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

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While he wouldn't divulge exactly what proposals his foundation had regarding helping out on the BP oil spill mess he said, "We have lots of ideas we will present."

"One of the biggest challenges is defining what is a reasonable objective for such a project," Diamandis said.

Addressing the challenges of the oil spill and helping develop new ideas about preventing future spill problems would not be out of the purview of the foundation. A recent X Prize Foundation "Visioneering" workshop included: designing low-cost housing for the more than 1 billion people living without shelter; developing an artificial intelligence physician that can diagnose people in areas where there is no healthcare or access is limited; and mitigating the pollution caused by plastics choking the oceans.

Meanwhile, the government needs all the help it can get too as the amount of oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico rises everyday and criticism about how the cleanup is being handled mounts. BP CEO Tony Hayward and other oil executives have been skewered in Capitol Hill hearings this week as well.

The US Coast Guard last week issued a call for better specialized technology to help it better respond to the ever-widening BP Deepwater oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard is looking for all manner of technology such as advanced wireless sensors to help it track the movement and amount of oil in the Gulf.

The US Coast Guard Research and Development Center will evaluate the submissions - and their potential cost - to determine if the technology as a potential for immediate benefit to the spill response effort, the Coast Guard stated.

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