With the recent news that the health of our oceans leaves a lot of room for improvement for how we manage their resources and keep them clean, today's announcement by the XPRIZE foundation of their commitment to three new ocean competitions couldn't have been better timed.
XPRIZE is probably best known for their spaceflight and lunar competitions. However, their true focus has always been simply on using competition to drive technological innovation, no matter if it's for launching things into space or tackling problems much closer to home. Some of their more down-to-earth competitions have involved helping us to kick our fossil fuel habit and improving medical technology, as well as two competitions to help improve the health of our oceans — the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE that ended in 2011 and the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, that started just last month, to combat ocean acidification.
Now, it seems that the oceans are becoming the new priority for XPRIZE, as the announcement of their new Oceans Initiative program includes a commitment to start three new ocean-related competitions by 2020.
"At XPRIZE, we believe great ideas can come from anywhere. Teams from around the world, from all walks of life, compete in our competitions," said XPRIZE chairman and CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis in a statement. "We know that crowdsourcing has enormous potential, so we are inviting the public to help us hone in on the Grand Challenges facing our oceans. Whether it's overfishing, pollution, plastics, or the myriad of other challenges, hearing directly from concerned and motivated individuals will yield new and unexpected solutions."
[ More Geekquinox: What would the moon look like if it was only 400 km away? ]
With all the dire news we see in the media about the damage we're doing to our planet, sometimes it's overwhelming and we feel like we can't do anything about it ourselves. However, it's crowdsourcing solutions like XPRIZE that give us an opportunity to help, even if it's just by spreading the word, but we can also donate to the cause, attend their events, and even get directly involved by starting up a competition team.
Geek out with the latest in science and weather.
Follow @ygeekquinox on Twitter!