Friday, June 27, 2008
...the foundation's three-year, $7 million philanthropic deal with Britain's BT telecommunications giant may not rank as high. But the way X Prize founder Peter Diamandis sees it, this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
"The X Prize is going global," Diamandis, the foundation's chairman, told me today.
He explained that until now, the California-based foundation's activities have been mostly U.S.-centric. "We have partnered with BT to take the X Prize to Europe and Asia, and South America, and we have an incredible partnership," he said.
Over the next three years, BT (a.k.a. British Telecom) will be providing $7 million in operating funds to the foundation, and also sharing its scientific and technological expertise as new X Prizes are rolled out.
Diamandis has said that the foundation wants to create two or three new prizes each year, focusing on five areas: exploration, life sciences, energy and the environment, education and global development. Today, Diamandis told me one or two prizes are in the works for unveiling by the end of the year.
The likeliest next X Prize will have to do with cancer research. Diamandis acknowledged that such a prize "is on the horizon," but didn't provide specifics.
It appears BT is putting up money purely to publicise it internationally which seems a good idea - such prizes are to the benefit of the whole world & the more people who here about them, either as possible contestants or donors, the better. Sounds like a very good investment for BT in terms of global prestige & advertising to. I guess the Foundation have, or are on the cusp of having, a bunch of rich donors to put up the £300 million.
If only another British political leader, as well as Alex Salmond, would have the gumption to get their party to stand for funding a British X-Prize Foundation as I have previously suggested.
We have had X-Prizes coming from several different sources now, not all under that name & it really feels like acceptance of the idea is building to a critical mass. Not like it used to be.