Oil cleanup’s €1.1m prize

A US foundation that helped launch private spaceflight has this week turned its gaze and pocketbook towards earth, unveiling a $1.4 million (€1.1m) contest to find new ways to clean up oil spills.

The year-long Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge, named for the wife of Google chairman Eric Schmidt who put up the $1.4m purse and the X Prize Foundation which is organising the competition, kicks off tomorrow.

Frustrated at watching “the messy, uncoordinated” attempts to mop up oil from the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico using outdated technology, the contest aims to inspire new ways to clean up future spills, Schmidt said.


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