X PRIZE Foundation and Shell Convene “Visioneers” to Explore Innovation to Help Address China’s Energy Challenge
Los Angeles, CA (October 24, 2012) — The X PRIZE Foundation is partnering with Shell, an innovation and technology leader in the energy space, to explore potential opportunities in China for developing incentivized competitions to help drive innovations in the energy sector. The two organizations convened in Beijing earlier this month for a Visioneering session, an engaging and collaborative workshop where 35 leading innovators from academia, private and state-owned energy companies, environmental non-governmental organizations and others designed and pitched innovative prize concepts that focused on making energy sources, such as electricity generation fuels and transportation fuels, sustainable for the future.
During Visioneering, Shell introduced open innovation as a tool that can assist companies in accelerating progress in constantly evolving industries. This is exemplified by the company’s global GameChanger program, which invests in people around the world, whether in or outside the company, to help advance breakthrough ideas from creation to proof of concept. Incentivized innovation, a model that is synonymous with the X PRIZE Foundation, takes open innovation one step beyond and provides a monetary award or other incentive to accomplish major breakthroughs. X PRIZE Labs also were discussed as a way to institutionalize open and incentivized innovation in China.
“There is a natural synergy between the X PRIZE Foundation and Shell because we have both embraced open innovation by leveraging local and global resources to help identify much-needed radical breakthroughs in the energy sector,” said Christopher Frangione, Senior Director, Energy and Environment Prize Development, X PRIZE Foundation. “Incentivized competitions help motivate individuals, companies and organizations across all disciplines to pioneer ideas and technologies that push the limit of what’s currently possible as we work to help overcome one of China’s most pressing challenges.”
Throughout the one-day workshop, the discussion focused on three key areas: addressing ways to make China’s traditional fossil-fuel-based energy sources more efficient and sustainable; making mainstream renewables such as wind and solar more efficient; and identifying new sustainable energy resources. In small groups, the participants identified specific opportunities that are ripe for energy innovation within these key areas. Those opportunities were then discussed, debated and prioritized as potential prize concepts.
Open and incentivized innovation can help leverage existing research and development dollars by hosting a prize competition with a clear goal and allowing teams to compete to achieve that goal while securing their own financial capital to do so. “I believe the future of innovation is open with collaboration across the boundaries of companies, countries and disciplines,” said Thijs Jurgens, Vice President Innovation, Shell Global Solutions International.
The top prize concepts resulting from the Visioneering session included ones to help consumers better understand their own energy consumption to make more educated choices, to make zero-energy homes, to help China to improve local air quality and to make traditional energy sources free of carbon dioxide emissions. The concepts will be investigated in more detail in the coming months.
ABOUT XPRIZE LABS
The goal of XPRIZE Labs is to engage the next generation of leading thinkers in recognizing areas that are ripe for breakthrough innovation. Interdisciplinary students explore the strengths of prize philanthropy with academic rigor, using the excitement of the XPRIZE model as an anchor for engaging them in the world’s biggest challenges. Through the XPRIZE Labs, graduate students participate in a semester-long lab researching and dissecting the prize philanthropy model.
XPRIZE Labs currently has teaching and research activities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, and the University of Southern California. The labs provide a platform to educate university students and faculty around the emerging field of prize theory.
ABOUT THE SHELL/XPRIZE FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP
Shell is the exclusive presenting sponsor of the XPRIZE Foundation Exploration Prize Group, which aims to foster innovation through exploration to improve life on Earth. As part of a three-year, $9 million sponsorship, the XPRIZE Foundation will address these objectives through its incentive prize model to stimulate innovation, competition and collaboration at the frontiers of space, Earth, and its oceans. To learn more, please visit www.xprize.org.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with approximately 90,000 employees in more than 80 countries. Shell delivers a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include producing, transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling transport fuels, generating electricity and providing energy-efficiency advice. Shell also produces and sells petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers globally and is investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy sources competitive for large-scale use.
To learn more about Shell & Innovation, download the INSIDE ENERGY app for iPad or visit www.shell.com/innovation
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE conducts competitions in five Prize Groups: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. For more information, go to www.xprize.org, “like” us at www.facebook.com/xprize and follow us on twitter @xprize.