In an effort to accelerate the development of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy operations, the XPRIZE Foundation, along with co-sponsors Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and power company NRG, launched the Carbon XPRIZE competition in September of 2015.

The $20 million global competition challenges the world to reimagine what we can do with carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO² into valuable products. The competition will have two tracks. The first focuses on testing technologies at a coal power plant, while the second focuses on testing technologies at a natural gas power plant. Each track will operate as a separate competition on the same timeline. Teams will compete in three rounds for a total prize of $20 million.

The competition hopes to develop breakthrough technologies that will convert CO² emissions from power plants and industrial facilities into valuable products like building materials, alternative fuels and other items that we use every day.

“This competition is a way to attract more resources-intellectual and financial-to solve the greenhouse gas emissions problem,” says Chris Harrison, vice president, Regulatory & Sustainability, Shell Heavy Oil. Harrison says the competition gives COSIA members first-hand exposure to how open innovation can work to help tackle challenges in the energy sector.

COSIA’s sponsorship of the competition is through a joint industry project funded by eight of COSIA’s member companies, including Shell. Shell is a founding member of COSIA, a first-of-its- kind collaboration among oil sands producers that have agreed to share environmental technology in order to accelerate improvements in oil sands environmental performance.

“We are embarking on one urgent step in XPRIZE’s energy roadmap of incentivizing a clean and positive energy future that addresses a suite of grand challenges,” says XPRIZE Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis.

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