Elon Musk

Billionaire tech entrepreneur and Tesla co-founder, Elon Musk, is pledging $100 million (€83 million) to a four-year contest he is funding for scientists to develop technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the world’s atmosphere and oceans.

The contestants will have to build working prototypes that effectively remove carbon, as well as prove that they can be scaled cost-effectively to levels never seen before.

“This is not a theoretical competition; we want teams that will build real systems that can make a measurable impact and scale to a gigaton level,” he said when announcing the competition. “Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence.”

The contest is being launched through X Prize Foundation, a non-profit organisation that holds competitions for the development of new tech that will benefit the earth and mankind.

The Foundation said, to win, teams must create “a solution that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way”.

Musk, whose net worth is estimated to be $203 billion, said he wants scientists to make a “truly meaningful impact” and achieve “carbon negativity, not neutrality”.

The contest will kick off on Earth Day, 22 April, and run for four years. After 18 months, the top 15 teams will be selected and awarded $1 million to fund their operations.

By the end of the four years, a prize of $50 million will be awarded to the first-place team, with second place taking $20 million and the third-best team receiving $10 million. Also, 25 scholarships worth $200,000 will be awarded to competing teams.

Featured Image:

Elonrmuskk via Instagram

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