Today, XPRIZE is thrilled to announce the 23 student-led teams that shared the $5M Student Awards purse in XPRIZE Carbon Removal. 18 of teams will receive $250,000 to jump-start carbon removal projects that can also compete in the main competition, while 5 teams will receive $100,000 to develop technologies that will support the Measurement, Reporting or Verification (MRV) of Carbon Removal solutions more broadly.
On the submission deadline in early October, we received 195 complete submissions from 44 countries. Each student team was required to submit a detailed proposal outlining the project they intend to execute. Beyond the project details, teams needed to convince XPRIZE’s independent panel of judges that their project was scientifically viable, that their project at scale can have a meaningful positive impact on climate change, and that the team (who were required to be majority students and led by students) had the skills required to pull it all off.
The teams who were successful in this round were able to articulate the most clear and detailed plans for sustainable, carbon negative projects that will result in durable CO2 sequestration (or, in the case of the MRV teams, best support carbon removal). We look forward to watching these teams compete in the upcoming rounds of the competition.
Why focus on the next generation of climate innovators? Each year that emissions continue to rise, climate science tells us that carbon removal is a growing necessity. If humanity has a hope of deploying the resources needed to draw down 10GT/year of CO2 by 2050 we need to jumpstart a whole new Carbon Dioxide Reduction industry. We launched the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal on Earth Day 2021 to do just that. These awards support and showcase the cutting-edge work being done by young people in the fight against climate change, and also infuse capital into the space early in the process.
We were thrilled to see submissions from so many different young people, from students as young as 11 years old, and from every field of expertise you can imagine. Thanks to all the teams who took the time to submit an application - It was clear that each of these teams invested a great deal of time and effort into their submissions, and the theme that united each and every contributing team member was an obvious passion for finding solutions to climate change.
If you’re working on a carbon removal solution or just learning about the competition now, there is still $95M up for grabs! The registration deadline for the next round of funding is December 1, 2021 and a detailed submission will be due on February 1, 2022 for the $15M in Milestone Awards. This round of awards will be open to all, not just students, and teams must demonstrate CO2 negative technologies by the time of the submission to be eligible for the milestone awards.