Frequently Asked Questions

    • Registration officially opened on April 22, 2021.

    • Team registration will remain open throughout the prize. The following deadlines apply:

      • Registration for the Student Awards will close October 1, 2021 18:59:59 UTC
      • Registration for the Milestone Awards will close December 1, 2021 18:59:59 UTC
      • Registration for the Grand Prize will close December 1, 2023 18:59:59 UTC
    • Competing in an XPRIZE is an exciting journey that often requires a commitment of time, expertise, and resources. A small fee helps separate out teams who are not serious. All fees collected are used to support the XPRIZE Alumni Network.

      1. Create your free individual account profile on the XPRIZE Prize Operations Platform (POP)
      2. Create your team on POP
      3. Complete Extended Registration & Fee Payment under the Activities tab
      4. Sign the Competitor Agreement under the Activities tab
    • The XPRIZE Prize Operations Platform (POP) is the central portal for competing teams during the life cycle of the prize. POP is a virtual system that allows competing teams to interact with each other and with the XPRIZE Prize Operations team.

      POP is primarily used for finding team members, completing prize activities, and submitting documents for registration and testing. All XPRIZE competitors must keep their POP profile up-to-date throughout the prize.

    • Teams can be formed by anyone, anywhere. They are often startups, university groups, small to midsize companies, high school students, families, or even individuals. Teams can have any background, including but not limited to scientific and/or technical disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, ecology, geology, biology, and others. We believe the best new ideas can come from anyone!

    • Follow the competition at the XPRIZE Carbon Removal page, subscribe to our newsletter, and join the XPRIZE Community.

    • We welcome partners throughout all phases of the competition, whether you want to help recruit teams, support team success, secure an XPRIZE speaker or expert for your event, help scale winning solutions, or assist with testing operations. Contact XPRIZE to help.

    • Each team only needs to register for the competition once. Registered teams are eligible for each phase of awards provided they register by the relevant registration deadline. Each phase of competition requires a separate written & technical submission, which is due by the relevant submission deadline.

    • Grand Prizes (US$80M Total)
      After 4 years, judges will select the winners:

      • US$50 million paid to the single Grand Prize Winner
      • US$30 million to be distributed among up to 3 runners up

      Milestone Prizes (US$15M Total)
      After 1 year of competition the judges will review all submissions received by that time and award up to 15 Milestone Prizes of US$1 million each.

      Student Awards (US$5M Total)
      XPRIZE will award up to US$5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021.

    • All teams who register for the competition (both students and non-students) in advance of the Milestone Registration Deadline of December 1, 2021 are eligible to submit for the milestone prize.

    • All submissions must be made through the Prize Operations Portal (pop.xprize.org) ahead of the submission deadlines published in the prize guidelines. Submissions will not be reviewed prior to the submission deadline. You will be notified by XPRIZE when further submission guidance is published and the portal is open for submissions.

    • Teams retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop as part of their competition Entry. XPRIZE will retain ownership of measurement, scoring, statistical and other data (“Data”) collected by XPRIZE during the operation of the Competition. All competition materials, including team intellectual property, are protected by confidentiality agreements.

    • Yes, provided proper notice is given to XPRIZE within 10 business days of the change, and that the new legal entity retains the right to exploit the IP used in the competition entry.

    • No, these names do not need to match, but please note that your team name is how you will appear in the Prize Operations Platform and how we will be referring to your team throughout the competition for marketing purposes. The prize money will be paid to the legal entity used to sign the Competitor’s Agreement.

    • Of the US$100M prize purse, XPRIZE will award up to US$5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021 as part of the Carbon Removal Student Competition.

      These awards may fund participation in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal or the development of key supportive technologies. The areas of focus for these awards are:

      1. Student Carbon Removal Demonstrations (up to US$3M): Awards of up to US$250,000 for carbon removal demonstrations to compete for the $50M Grand Prize.

      2. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification Technologies (up to US$2M): Awards of up to US$100,000 for technology that may not directly remove CO2, but will enable carbon removal. Priority will be given to proposals in the following areas:

        1. Technologies and methods which improve the precision, accuracy, and time required for carbon measurement, especially in natural ecosystems.

        2. Methodologies and toolsets which improve the standards of assessment, reporting, and accounting for Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), Cost Modelling, and Techno-Economic Analyses (TEA) of carbon removal solutions.
    • Yes, each team (student teams and non-student teams alike) only need to register once. Each phase of competition requires a separate written & technical submission, which is due by the relevant submission deadline.

    • To qualify as a student, applicants must:

      • Be enrolled in at least one course at a educational institution at the time of application, or show proof of recent completion of the 2020-2021 academic year.
      • Not exceed 35 years of age at the time of application.

      Student Teams may be formed out of existing research groups, student clubs, or they may be independently incorporated, provided they meet the eligibility criteria listed below.

      Student Teams must:

      • Be composed of >50% students enrolled at an educational institution for the 2021-2022 academic year or show proof of recent completion of the 2020-2021 academic year.
      • Be led by a student who is enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year.
      • Identify an academic advisor or business leader who will act as a formal mentor to the team.
      • Provide a letter of support from their academic institution. This may come from faculty or an administrator.
      • Identify the legal entity to which the award will be paid: This may be the student’s academic institution or a registered private organization. XPRIZE cannot award prize money to individuals directly.
      • Example student teams could be research groups or extracurricular student groups.

      For additional information, please refer to the Student Award Guidelines.

    • Student Teams must be led by a student who is enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year. The team must be composed of >50% students enrolled at a post-secondary educational institution for the 2021-2022 academic year or show proof of recent completion of the 2020-2021 academic year.

    • As of the date of your submission, your team must own, or hold a license to commercially exploit, all technologies, methods, resources, and intellectual property included in the entry. It is the responsibility of each team to secure such rights from their partners.

    • Winning teams must demonstrate technologies that are carbon negative on a cradle-to-grave basis, as established by a Lifecycle Analysis (LCA). The CO2 must originate from the air or the surface layer of the ocean. Technologies that capture CO2 exclusively from fossil fuel sources are not eligible for this XPRIZE.

    • To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate durable sequestration of CO2 in addition to capturing it from the air or ocean.

    • Solutions must remove carbon dioxide to be eligible for an award. Solutions which remove other greenhouse gases in addition to CO2 may claim this as a value-adding co-benefit of their solution. CO2 equivalent units will not be considered, only direct removal of CO2.

    • Teams may field their final demonstration over multiple sites totalling 1000 tonnes/year, provided each site is similar in it’s design and performance. Teams must provide sufficient technical details and data for each of their sites, and teams must make a credible case that the solution can be scaled beyond 1GT in spite of the distributed nature of the solution. XPRIZE will issue more detailed guidelines on this point later this summer.

    • No, information provided about your team during the registration process will not be evaluated or scored. This information is collected in order for XPRIZE to learn about the teams competing in the competition.

    • Award winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges who are experts in the science and engineering of carbon removal. The judges will review team submissions and make all award decisions. The judges' decisions are final.

    • XPRIZE will publish guidance on the cost calculations and other elements of the formal submission later this summer.

    • Each team is responsible for obtaining verification of their technology for their milestone submission in Phase 1. XPRIZE will hire and manage a third party verification provider to assess all teams that are selected for site visits in Phase 2.

    • It is the responsibility of each team to provide the judges confidence in the efficacy of their solution. The best way to do this is through a robust, measurable demonstration that has been verified by a credible source. Teams will be invited to make the case for their solution in their prize submission, and the teams who make the strongest case, backed by demonstration, will win.

    • You can reach the XPRIZE Carbon Removal team at [email protected].

    • For technical support related to the PRIZE Operations Platform, you can contact [email protected].