XPRIZE Rainforest was announced on 19 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Early registration for XPRIZE Rainforest closed on 15 October 2020. Regular Registration closed on 15 March 2021. Additionally, XPRIZE had sole discretion to register and qualify additional teams between 16 March 2021 and 15 June 2022 (Discretionary Late Registration).
The competition will take place in four rounds over five years. Following the competition, an additional year will be devoted to amplifying the impacts of XPRIZE Rainforest.
XPRIZE Rainforest is currently in the final stage of the competition. On 24 July 2023, XPRIZE and Alana Foundation announced the six finalist teams from around the globe who will participate in this round of XPRIZE Rainforest at the Society for Conservation Biology’s 31st International Congress for Conservation Biology in Kigali, Rwanda.
The XPRIZE Rainforest finals will take place in 2024 in a more remote and challenging tropical forest, with plans to identify prize winners later that year. Six teams from around the globe will participate in this round of the competition.
Semifinalist teams were announced on 28 June 2022. The XPRIZE Rainforest semifinals happened in Singapore in June 2023. Teams each had 24 hours to test their technologies in defined plots within the forest. Successful teams demonstrated the ability to survey the forest over a wide area, capturing images, bioacoustics, eDNA, and physical samples and identifying them within a 48-hour period of data analysis to provide a species richness assessment.
Teams can come from anywhere. They are often startups, university groups, high school students, people from the Maker- or Hackerspace, small to midsize companies, families, or even individuals. They can come from scientific and/or technical disciplines, including but not limited to robotics, VR, AI, biodiversity, ecology, remote sensing, or big data. We also encourage teams from local forest communities to join. We believe a good idea can come from anyone!
The finalist teams will be required to have team participation from Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and/or an academic institution from one or more of the countries that contain a rainforest.
You can follow the competition at xprize.org/rainforest. Whether you just want to learn more and amplify the reach and impact of this competition or want to directly support teams with resources and expertise, there is an opportunity to participate without competing. Also, join the XPRIZE Discord server to meet directly with team members and discuss your big ideas.
The winning team will develop novel technologies to rapidly and comprehensively survey rainforest biodiversity and use that data to improve our understanding of this complex ecosystem to benefit both biodiversity and forest communities. For the finals, teams must be able to survey 100 hectares of tropical rainforest in 24 hours and produce the most impactful real-time insights within 48 hours. Teams also need to demonstrate the scalability of their technology and maximize performance on biodiversity surveying and producing insights to meet the prize criteria and effectively disrupt the current biodiversity assessment landscape.
Insights are a new understanding of the ecosystem and may include, but are not limited to, new ecological dependencies, biodiversity, climate connectivity, anthropological findings, undiscovered threats or even sustainable societal interactions with the forest.
A crucial pillar of this competition is the inclusion, empowerment, and appropriate credit, attribution, and rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who are the primary stewards, protectors, and knowledge holders of the planet’s tropical rainforests. Every team's approach, consideration, and inclusion of this core value and adherence to the Nagoya Protocol and CARE and FAIR principles will be factored into the evaluation of their solution in this competition. Teams must have goals for co-designing, developing, deploying, and scaling their solutions with the voices, perspectives, and knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Additionally, the XPRIZE Rainforest team actively facilitates conversations and collaborations amongst Indigenous Peoples and local communities and teams throughout the life of the prize via webinars, summits, and other resources.
The XPRIZE Rainforest team is working closely with Indigenous Peoples and local communities as the traditional land owners and stewards of the rainforest alongside local NGOs and government officials to ensure a collaborative, safe, respectful, and impactful finals testing event can take place in the forest. These stakeholders will be involved in the planning and facilitation of finals and be considered both partners and advisors to this milestone.
Teams will own their intellectual property on any technology or data integration techniques and processes they develop as part of their competition entry. XPRIZE and the competing teams will adhere to the Convention on Biological Diversity, CARE and FAIR principles, and national or international regulations regarding both ownership of the data (biological or otherwise) and the insights produced as part of the competition as outlined in the Competitor Agreement.
Additionally, XPRIZE Rainforest intends that the efforts of the XPRIZE team and all competitors will be respectful of Indigenous culture and wisdom. In particular, care will be taken to ensure that no knowledge or data is extracted from Indigenous territories without first obtaining appropriate consent from the Indigenous Peoples and local communities involved and that Indigenous Peoples' intellectual property and data sovereignty are elevated and defended.
XPRIZE Rainforest will facilitate the sharing and access of these data and insights following the conclusion of the competition to interested, at-need stakeholders, especially Indigenous Peoples and local communities, reputable conservation NGOs, and other trusted parties who have demonstrated a commitment to preserving rainforests and who will be incentivized to sustain the forest.
There will be $10 million (USD) in total prize purses available.
There will be a Finals Prize Purse in the amount of $7,500,000 (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand USD). The Finals Prize Purse will be divided among the top-ranking Teams as First, Second, and Third Place Awards.
● First Place: $5,000,000 (Five Million USD)
● Second Place: $2,000,000 (Two Million USD)
● Third Place: $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand USD)
There will be a Bonus Prize Purse in the amount of $250,000 (Two Hundred Fifty Thousand USD). that may be awarded at the Judging Panel’s discretion to one or more Finalist Teams whose Solutions demonstrate groundbreaking achievements.
$2,000,000 (Two Million USD) will be shared equally among the six teams selected as Finalists.
There will be $250,000 (Two Hundred Fifty Thousand USD) to be shared equally among all Teams (up to 25) selected as Semifinals