Do you have the X-Factor in you?

Women’s Safety XPRIZE

Anu & Naveen Jain’s XPRIZE is now in India:

Doesn’t it feel good to have someone or some exciting reason to push us to test our limits? I bet it does. Most people have it in them to do wonders, they just lack the proper encouragement and provocation to act for it. But worry not for there is  XPRIZE to provide the right amount of impetus for those creative minds willing to reach for the stars. XPRIZE is a non- profit organization that is dedicated to finding solutions to the problems that trouble mankind. “XPRIZE is an innovation engine. A facilitator of exponential change. A catalyst for the benefit of humanity”. The founders of this organization have strong faith in the power of competition. They believe that the spirit of competition with proper incentives can push individuals to put their abilities to test, to bring about radical breakthroughs that will help millions around the globe. XPRIZE is the global leader in solving the world’s greatest challenges by pioneering and managing large-scale incentivized prize competitions aimed to create impact in five areas- Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences – by exploiting the smart blend of the concept of incentive prize, crowdsourcing, and exponential technologies.

XPRIZE programs not only in USA:

On 2016, XPRIZE expanded its horizons by announcing the first ever program outside of the USA by joining hands with the United Nations. This year on 24th October which is designated as the United Nations day,  Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE, and Zenia Tata, executive director of Global Expansion at XPRIZE, heralded the launch of two new challenges at New Delhi – the Water Abundance XPRIZE and the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. Zenia Tata stated with high hopes that “The launch of these two new XPRIZE programs in India puts us on an unstoppable path for grand impact. India is becoming a leading global innovation hub and that itself speaks volumes of the caliber of innovators and entrepreneurs this country hosts. We want to cultivate this spirit and encourage exponential breakthroughs that will positively transform the lives of a billion people.”

The Water Abundance XPRIZE has been framed with the aim of combating the problem of water crisis. It is sponsored by the Tata Group and the Australian Aid agency. Despite the fact that almost 71% of our planet is covered by water, it is increasingly becoming a scarce resource. Studies suggest that over 780 million people in 43 countries are facing water scarcity due to lack of availability, uneven distribution, and falling prey to water-borne diseases due to its contamination. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will be living in areas with absolute water scarcity, with 2/3 of the global population living under water stressed conditions. With no significant progress having been made so far in this direction, the  Water Abundance XPRIZE challenge is just the kind of push that the creative young minds need. The challenge requires competitors to develop such a technology as can create “ water from thin air”. The challenge holds a  $1.75 million reward for the team that’ll be able to design a device that will be able to efficiently harness at least 2,000 liters of water a day from the atmosphere, using  entirely renewable energy, at the cost of not more than 2 cents a liter. Chris Elstoft, the present Deputy Head of Mission in New Delhi, co-sponsor of the Water Abundance XPRIZE, opines that “The Water Abundance XPRIZE will leverage both technology and crowd-sourcing to drive global impact.”

Journey to Women’s Safety XPRIZE:

The United Nations maintains that in according to a study conducted in 2012 in New Delhi, “92% of women experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces in their lifetime”.  The Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE has been thus announced to incite the creation of such a technology that will help women feel safe anywhere. This is a $1 million challenge that requires the development of an emergency alert system that will:

  • trigger location-accurate alerts even in low-connectivity scenarios
  • transmit autonomous and inconspicuous alerts to a network of community responders and rapidly provide a response to the user within 90 seconds assuring that help is on its way
  • exhibit a novel approach under $40 per year that builds or combines existing and/or emerging technologies to better connect users and responders

This competition aims to create safe and responsible societies for women everywhere, thereby also creating a safe space for the vulnerable population- children and the elderly. The Sponsor of the Women’s Safety XPRIZE, Anu Jain states  ” When governments fail to keep their people safe, community members and entrepreneurs share a collective responsibility to rapidly respond to those threats. With the power of technology, the Women’s Safety XPRIZE will help arm communities in an unprecedented way.”

The Water Abundance XPRIZE is open for registration and the deadline for registration is until March 31, 2017. Selected teams will have until July 30, 2018, for submitting their business plans and the Grand Prize winner will be announced in August 2018. The Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE is open for registration until February 28, 2017. The Grand Prize winner for this competition will be announced on June 1, 2018.