Nov 03 2021

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People ask us all the time - how do you actually win the prize? The answer is always written down ahead of time in the guidelines and rules of the competition. In the case of XPRIZE Carbon Removal, it’s these three things:

  • Build and demonstration a working CDR solution at minimum scale of 1000 tonnes per year
  • Calculate your fully considered costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year (assuming the team has not yet built a CDR system at that scale…)
  • Articulate a plan for achieving gigatonne scale sustainably

Like all XPRIZE competitions, this one centers first and foremost in objective proof of the achievement in the form of a real-world demonstration. But who decides whether the performance data is credible? Who reviews the detailed cost calculations? And who analyzes the scale-up plans and assesses any fundamental limits to scale? The answer is the judges. 

XPRIZE recruits a panel of expert judges who are completely independent of XPRIZE, and the panel is given full discretion in evaluating all teams and eventually selecting winners, free from interference of XPRIZE Foundation and the prize sponsors at the Musk Foundation. This practice of independent judges is a cornerstone of the XPRIZE process. 

In addition to being at the top of their respective fields, internationally recognized, and all around great and generous collaborators, these judges stand out for their breadth and depth of expertise. Judges in this competition span the spectrum of carbon removal, climate innovation, energy transition, technology development, and natural ecosystems. 

Since carbon removal can take so many different forms, we worked hard to recruit a group of 12 judges whose expertise is not only complimentary, but balanced across the various flavours of carbon removal that we expect to see in the prize. From forest management and remote sensing of carbon content in natural ecosystems, to chemical engineering and plant design - and everything in between - these judges offer a tremendous breadth of expertise, experience, and curiosity among them. We are honored to have their critical eyes and voices to help select the best innovations we will see during this prize.

Meet them here.