X-Prize Goes Energy—With “Crazy Green Idea” Prize to Debut at MIT Today

A prize for a prize. That’s essentially the reason a trio of heavyweights—Ray Kurzweil, Xconomist George Church, and Saul Griffith—will be on hand at MIT this afternoon, as they help announce a $25,000 prize for whomever comes up with the best idea for a $10 million energy and environment prize to be awarded by the X Prize Foundation.

More specifically, the $25K will be offered for the best YouTube video proposal for the big kahuna energy prize. The contest itself will be formally announced at a forum called “Seeking Radical Breakthroughs in Alternative Energy—What I Would Advise the Next President,” which will be held at 4:30 this afternoon in MIT Building 34, room 101 (you can find a few more details here).

The competition for the $25K prize should be tough. In addition to tapping various experts and its public YouTube call, the foundation is hosting the X PRIZE Lab @ MIT, a class this fall that focuses on the energy and environment sector. According to a press release, “The semester-long X PRIZE Lab class is asking students to conceive potential X PRIZEs that could help solve aspects of global warming and resource depletion. Last semester, the X PRIZE Lab @ MIT focused on healthcare. Students in the class proposed a Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnostics X PRIZE that would have the potential to save more than 1.6 million lives per year. The TB Diagnostics prize proposal was awarded a grant and is now being developed into an official X PRIZE.”

Here are the guidelines for your YouTube video submissions.

The winning video must answer the following three questions:

1. What is the specific prize idea?

2. What is the Grand Challenge or world-wide problem that you are trying to solve?

3. How will this prize benefit humanity?

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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