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September 7th, 2014
18 Teams Vie for $2 Million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

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XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today announced the18 teams moving forward in the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a global competition to create pH sensor technology that will affordably and accurately measure ocean acidification. Next week, each team will submit their sensor for a rigorous three-month test in controlled laboratory conditions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute focused on accuracy, precision and stability. The top submissions will move on to testing in a coastal environment in February 2015, followed by deep-sea testing in May 2015, with the winners announced shortly thereafter.

Teams participating in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE may compete for two available prize purses: the $1M accuracy purse, based on performance, and the $1M affordability purse based on cost and usability.

“It is wonderful to see such a wide range of technologies submitted for the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE,” said Paul Bunje, senior director of oceans at XPRIZE. “What is especially exciting are the non-traditional approaches. Many teams are using new methods and materials, such as nanotechnology, to accomplish their goal, while others are adapting techniques commonly used in other industries. It will certainly make for a heated race towards the finish line.”

The 18 teams moving forward in the competition are: 

  • ANB Sensors (Cambridge, England), a team of scientists and researchers from the Schlumberger Gould Research Center with expertise in lasers, chemistry, fluid mechanics and geophysics.
  • Angel Sharks (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), a team of students, educators and entrepreneurs with expertise in artificial intelligence research and development.
  • Blue Devil Ocean Engineering (Beaufort, N.C.), a team of Duke University faculty and students from the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment.
  • Blue Praxis (Denver, Colo.), a multi-disciplinary team from Metropolitan State University that includes a software engineer and a biology student.
  • Boardformula (San Diego, Calif.), a team from an engineering consultancy for research and development in the surf industry.
  • Cross Strait Team (Hangzhou, China), a team of chemists, oceanographers and engineers from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou Dianzi University and National Sun Yat-sen University.
  • HpHS (Yokosuka, Japan), a team of research scientists and engineers from the Kimoto Electric Co., Ltd. and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
  • NanoInnovations (Sugar Land, Texas), a team from a company with expertise in the development of sensors for ocean exploration.
  • National Oceanography Center UK (Southampton, England), a team of scientists and engineers from the National Oceanography Centre, a leading marine science research and technology institution.
  • Optode Team Austria (Graz, Austria), a team comprised of students and scientists from the Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Food Chemistry at the Graz University of Technology.
  • OSU FABE Sastry lab (Columbus, Ohio), a team of scientists and engineers from Ohio State University’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
  • pHFine Scale (Seaside, Calif.), a team of teenagers and young adults with expertise in designing and manufacturing pH instruments used off the coast of Australia at the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Sunburst Sensors (Missoula, Mont.), a team from a company focused on the development of chemical sensors for marine and freshwater applications.
  • Team Durafet (Plymouth, Minn.), a team comprised of representatives from Sea-Bird Scientific, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and Honeywell Aerospace’s Advanced Technology group.
  • Team Fluidion (Paris, France), a team from a technology start-up with expertise in micro and nanotechnologies, deep-water operations and engineering of sensors for extreme environments.
  • TEAM SEAS (St. Petersburg, Fla.), a team of scientists and engineers from SRI International, the University of South Florida and the Battelle Memorial Institute.
  • Team SINDEN (Fukuoka, Japan), a team of faculty, scientists and engineers from Kyushu University’s International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, the Kyushu Institute of Technology, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
  • Team XYLEM (Beverly, Mass.), a team representing two Xylem companies, Aanderaa Data Instruments in Norway and YSI out of Ohio, with extensive work in commercializing high performance and reliable optical chemical sensors used in oceanography.

For more information about each team, visit

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, go to

About Wendy Schmidt
Wendy Schmidt is President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, which strives to advance the development of clean energy and support the wiser use of natural resources. She also is founder of the foundation’s grant-making arm, The 11th Hour Project, and Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the American public. With her husband, Eric Schmidt, Wendy created the Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2009, which provides opportunities for urgent ocean studies aboard the RV Falkor oceanographic research vessel. Her work at non-profit ReMain Nantucket focuses on generating a model for smart community downtown development on the island, where her family spends summers. Wendy earned an M.A. in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College. She serves on the boards of The Natural Resources Defense Council, Climate Central, The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, The Trust for Governors Island, XPRIZE Foundation, Grist and MAIYET.

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