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Incentivizing Innovation

By February 9, 2021 No Comments

Elon Musk has announced the details of his US$100 million prize (“the largest incentive prize in history,” claims the competition site) for technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Musk has been the kind of bold visionary and promoter that electric vehicles needed to enter the mainstream. With him turning his attention — and money — to the removal of carbon, he’s set to do the same thing for carbon-negative technology. “Competition with big payouts is a big driver of the innovative spirit,” says Peter Tertzakian. “Musk thinks mega-big, and he’s training others to do the same.”

For more details, read Elon Musk’s $100 Million Prize Is for Removing Carbon Dioxide From the Air on Bloomberg.

Competition guidelines will be announced on Earth Day, April 22. Sign up for XPRIZE Carbon Removal updates.

This may be the biggest prize of its kind, but it’s nothing new. Bloomberg notes that technology prizes date back at least a few centuries, when the UK government offered rewards for developing methods to pinpoint the position of ships at sea. In 1805, the Scandiscope was the recipient of such a prize. The competition, sponsored by the Royal Society of Arts, awarded designs for chimney-sweeping machines. Its purpose: to save the young climbing boys used to clean chimneys from their tragic servitude. Find out more about the Scandiscope in Too Soon to Rejoice New Technology.

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