The rules of the competition are designed to maximize the number of technologies pursued, the usefulness of these technologies in understanding ocean acidification, and the ability to deploy affordable, stable, and durable pH sensors at scale.

Competition information will be available in the following documents:

  1. Competition Summary (PDF)  – Informational document that provides a high-level description of the prize competition.
  2. Competition Guidelines (PDF)  – Detailed document that describes the general requirements and parameters of the competition and is binding on teams as part of the Competitor Agreement.
  3. Competitor Agreement – Legally binding contract that contains the requirements of the competition. All teams must sign this in order to compete for the Prize.
  4. Rules and Regulations – Document detailing the testing protocols, specific rules, dates/times, and other details that will govern the competition. This will be available shortly.

Teams will compete in a multi-stage competition that test for specific criteria under varying conditions: laboratory-based tests of criteria, highly variable coastal waters, deep, and cold waters.

The competition is open to contestants globally. Each team wishing to enter must fill out a registration package and submit a registration fee. Only teams that are successful in advancing past each phase will be invited to participate in Phases III – IV.

A registration fee will only be required from those individuals or groups wishing to create a formal team that will compete. Team participants, vendors, and other interested parties may pre-register free as part of our team ecosystem. All pre-registered teams parties will receive key updates from XPRIZE regarding the competition and may become resources or partners of teams or the competition.

Operating Costs

Teams will be responsible for funding their own development costs as well as the provisioning of sensor units for testing. Costs for facilities for each test stage of the competition are included as part of the competition and covered by XPRIZE. Teams are responsible for the maintenance and disposal of the sensors during and upon completion of the competition.

Testing Locations

The following testing locations are expected to be utilized:

  • Phase I: Oceanology International, London
  • Phase II: Laboratory Facility TBD
  • Phase III: Seattle, Puget Sound
  • Phase IV: Aboard a research vessel in mid-Pacific

Teams must adhere to all rules and regulations of the test facilities.

Winning Criteria

The winners of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE will be the teams that produce the most accurate and affordable pH sensors in a variety of trials that test the fluctuating conditions of diverse ocean environments.

Two purses will be awarded that have slightly different criteria:

Accuracy Purse Criteria: Focus on Performance

  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Stability
  • Ease of use
  • Affordability

Affordability Purse Criteria: Focus on Cost and Usability

  • Affordability
  • Ease of use
  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Stability

Scientific Advisory Board

A Scientific Advisory Board will be formed to assist with the formulation of the technical aspects of the competition. The Scientific Advisory Board will be independent of XPRIZE, the Title Sponsor, and all teams and team members

Judging Panel

The Judging Panel will be responsible for evaluating compliance with prize guidelines and rules. It will have the sole and absolute discretion in selecting the prize recipients. Judging Panel decisions are final, binding, and are not subject to challenge.

XPRIZE shall select five to seven highly qualified, independent, and impartial individuals as judges and submit them to the competition’s Scientific Advisory Board for review and approval.

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