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A Family of Grant Programs With One Purpose

Grand Challenges in Global Health is a family of grants programs focused on one unifying purpose: To overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world.

The Grand Challenges program was launched in 2003 and two years later, 43 grants totaling $436 million were awarded for research projects involving scientists in 33 countries. These projects are currently underway, managed by teams working in partnership across disciplines, sectors and countries. Many feature work from leaders in fields such as chemistry, engineering, statistics, and business, who have never before focused on global health.

Recognizing that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, in 2008 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million program to encourage even bolder and less conventional solutions.

Explorations is an agile, accelerated grant initiative with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Anyone with a bold idea that shows great promise can apply. Applications are submitted online, and winning grants are chosen approximately 4 months from the submission deadline. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of $1 million or more, and could eventually evolve into Grand Challenges project.

Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded for innovative, early-stage projects to more than 180 researchers from 29 countries.

http://www.grandchallenges.org/about/Pages/Overview.aspx

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Press Release
May 4, 2009
Contact:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: 206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

Gates Foundation Invests in 81 Unconventional Global Health Research Projects

$100,000 grants will explore how unique approaches, including the use of tomatoes, cows and magnets, can be used to prevent infectious disease

SEATTLE – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced 81 grants of US$100,000 each to explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The grants were awarded to researchers in 17 countries through the foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, which aims to develop a pipeline of creative ideas that could change the face of global heath.

The projects focus on novel approaches to prevent and treat infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and diarrheal diseases. The first round of 104 Grand Challenges Explorations grants was announced in October 2008.

“Investments in global health research are already paying big dividends. An incredible number of new vaccines, drugs, and other tools are becoming available to improve health in developing countries,” said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program. “Grand Challenges Explorations is our way to help inspire the bold ideas that could one day help transform global health.”

The 81 funded researchers will explore a wide range of new ideas, including giving mosquitoes a “head cold” to prevent them from detecting and biting humans; developing a tomato to deliver antiviral drugs; and using a laser to enhance the effect of vaccines.

One of the new grants was awarded to Dr. Bikul Das of Stanford University Medical School, who has studied cancer stem cell biology for the last decade but maintains an interest in infectious diseases due to clinical training in India and Bhutan. The new grant will enable him to explore the potential role of stem cells in latent TB infection.

“I am so excited to have this opportunity to join the war against infectious diseases,” said Dr. Das, who read about Grand Challenges Explorations on a plane after speaking at a cancer stem cell conference. “I hope my expertise on cancer and stem cell biology can help enhance the field and relieve suffering.”

Examples of other funded projects include:

* New tools to diagnose and treat diseases:

– Luke Savage and Dave Newman of the University of Exeter in the U.K. will attempt to build an inexpensive, battery-powered instrument to diagnose malaria by using magnets to detect the waste products of the malaria parasite in human blood samples.

– Boitumelo Semete at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa will attempt to develop “sticky nanoparticles” that attach to tuberculosis-infected cells and slowly release anti-TB drugs. The new therapy could shorten treatment time and reduce side effects, using existing medications.

– Eric Lam at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in the U.S. will work to develop a tomato that delivers antiviral drugs when eaten.

– Erich Cerny of Wissenschaftlicher Fonds Onkologie in Switzerland, along with his brother Thomas, will test whether inducing antibodies against anti-malarial drugs can significantly prolong the half-life of those drugs in the body, extending their effects.

* Creative ways to prevent mosquitoes from infecting humans:

– Fredros Okumu of Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania will attempt to design a network of outdoor mosquito traps to help reduce malaria transmission in rural areas.

– Thomas Baker at Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. will examine the potential to infect malaria-carrying mosquitoes with a fungus that – like a head cold – suppresses their sense of smell and their ability to find human hosts.

– Jefferson Vaughan at the University of North Dakota in the U.S. seeks to immunize cattle against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite an immunized cow might then die or have reduced ability to reproduce.

* More efficient and effective vaccines:

– Lucia Lopalco of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Italy will seek ways to generate “self-targeting antibodies” that attack a receptor protein on human immune cells – potentially blocking the HIV virus from entering cells and preventing HIV infection.

– Fasséli Coulibaly at Monash University in Australia will test whether protein crystals produced by insect viruses can be used as a new way to deliver vaccines. These “MicroCube” protein particles are stable, could be used against multiple diseases, and may not require refrigeration.

– Mei Wu at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the U.S. will explore whether illuminating skin with a targeted laser before administering a vaccine can enhance immune response.

Applicants were selected from more than 3,000 proposals in the second round. All levels of scientists are represented – from veteran researchers to young post-graduate investigators – as are a range of disciplines, such as neurobiology, immunology, and polymer science. The grantees are based at universities, research institutes, nonprofit organizations, and private companies in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Learn more about the complete list of Grand Challenges Explorations funded projects.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year $100 million initiative to promote innovation in global health. It is part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, which is supported by the Gates Foundation to achieve major breakthroughs in global health.

Applications for the next round of Grand Challenges Explorations are being accepted through May 28, 2009. Grant application instructions, including the list of topic areas in which proposals are currently being accepted, are available at the Grand Challenges Explorations website.

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Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at www.gatesfoundation.org.

For high-resolution still photography and information about the foundation’s work, please visit: www.gatesfoundation.org/press-room/Pages/news-market.aspx

http://www.grandchallenges.org/about/Newsroom/Pages/GCERound2Grants.aspx

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Topics Overview

Each round of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative awards grants against a set of specific topics.

In general, topics are chosen according to three major criteria:

  • The topic fits within the goals and disease priorities of the Grand Challenges in Global Health;
  • The topic contains a roadblock where radical, new thinking is needed for the discovery of an effective health solution;
  • Potential projects within the topic are likely to be well suited for the phased structure of the initiative.

In addition, we consider whether a topic will engage the participation from scientists outside traditional global health disciplines, as well as researchers working in the developing world.

Topics for Round 3 are:

Following are some tips for grant seekers wishing to submit proposals:

  • Proposals must represent an innovative approach responsive to the topic. There are other avenues of funding for the equally important research that is within currently accepted paradigms. Such work will not be funded under Grand Challenges Explorations.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a panel with broad expertise and a track record in identifying innovations – these reviewers may not be deep domain experts in your field. Ideas should be described in clear language without the use of jargon unique to a particular field.
  • Proof-of-concept for ideas need not be completed in Phase I. However, credible evidence supporting the validity of an idea, sufficient proof to warrant expanded support, and next steps for the project should be provided.
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81 unusual projects get $100K in Gates grants
By DONNA BLANKINSHIP, AP

SEATTLE — Can tomatoes be taught to make antiviral drugs for people who eat them? Would zapping your skin with a laser make your vaccination work better? Could malaria-carrying mosquitoes be given a teensy head cold that would prevent them from sniffing out a human snack bar? These are among 81 projects awarded $100,000 grants Monday by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a bid to support innovative, unconventional global health research.

The five-year health research grants are designed to encourage scientists to pursue bold ideas that could lead to breakthroughs, focusing on ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.

[etc.]

The agriculture grants include $40 million over five years to develop drought-tolerant corn, $13 million over four for more efficient irrigation, and $10 million over four years to help women develop education and training programs related to agriculture.

[ . . . ]

The largest philanthropic foundation in the world, the Gates Foundation gave out $2.8 billion last year. It has said payouts this year would grow by about 10 percent, less than previously planned, because of the troubled economy.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20090504/US.Gates.Foundation.Challenge.Grants/

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http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Grand Challenges in Global Health

One bold idea. That’s all it takes.

Unorthodox thinking is essential to overcoming the most persistent challenges in global health. Vaccines were first developed over 200 years ago because revolutionary thinkers took an entirely new approach to preventing disease.

Grand Challenges Explorations fosters innovation in global health research. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million to encourage scientists worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas to fight our greatest health challenges.

Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to more than 180 researchers from 29 countries.

Open to All Disciplines: Anyone Can Apply

The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization – colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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About Challenge X

The freedom that personal mobility provides is a building block of America’s culture and strength. Over the last decade, the American automotive customer market has tended toward larger family-sized vehicles because of the utility they provide over passenger cars that get better fuel economy. At the same time, there has been a greater demand to reduce energy consumption and vehicle emissions. As a result, the auto industry, the U.S. government, and the academic community have been working together, through a series of competitive programs, to develop and explore advanced vehicle technologies that address important energy and environmental issues.

Since 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has sponsored more than two dozen competitions challenging thousands of engineering students to achieve better fuel economy and lower emissions while maintaining the safety, performance, utility, and consumer appeal of a variety of vehicles.

Now, General Motors Corporation (GM), DOE, and other government and industry leaders have developed a new competition called Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility. This ground-breaking, three-year competition will give engineering schools an opportunity to participate in hands-on research and development with leading-edge automotive propulsion, fuels, materials, and emissions-control technologies.

http://www.challengex.org/

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SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize on October 4, 2004, completing the required second suborbital flight within two weeks carrying the weight equivalent of three human adults to outer space.

The privately built craft had flown to space just five days earlier on September 29, 2004.

http://www.spacetoday.org/Rockets/X_Prize.html

(lots of really pretty pictures and great info about the entries)

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Green X Prize Challenge to Focus on Advanced Energy Storage

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — A winner has been chosen from the 133 entries in the X Prize Foundation’s “What’s Your Crazy Green Idea?” competition to determine the focus of an X Prize energy and environment challenge.

UC Irvine students Kyle Good and Bryan Le won $25,000 for their entry, The Capacitor Challenge, which asks entrants to develop an advanced ultracapacitor, an energy storage device more powerful, more affordable and more environmentally-friendly than current battery technology. Capacitors can recharge quickly numerous times, but are expensive.

The proposed competition would seek real, working energy storage devices that exceed the energy density of an average lead acid battery, recharge in less than a minute, recharge up to 500,000 cycles, are recyclable, contain only non-toxic materials and cost less than two times the price of an average lead acid battery.

The device would also have to be able to power an electric vehicle for 100 miles, recharge and drive it back the same distance.

The YouTube-based “What’s Your Crazy Green Idea?” competition, sponsored by Prize Capital, accepted two-minute video submissions describing possible X Prize contests focused on energy and the environment. Out of 133 entries, three finalists were selected and voted on, garnering more than 4,200 votes altogether.

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2009/02/06/green-x-prize-energy-storage

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GreenBuildingsNY – The event for efficient buyers – June 16-17, 2009 – New York City – www.GreenBuildingsNY.com/GWM

GreenBuildingsNY is the place to source green solutions and materials for the design, construction, restoration, renovation and historical preservation of existing commercial, residential and industrial buildings. See how eco-friendly can be economy friendly. Discover how a smart investment on environmental and sustainability improvements can deliver up to 20–40% risk free return on investment. NY Metro focused, convenient, and ever evolving, GreenBuildingsNY provides easy access to more of the green sustainable products and services that building professionals need:

* Restoration products
* Water conservation
* Low-impact building materials
* Recycling products and services
* Green design and construction services
* Energy conservation
* And MORE

View Mayor Bloomber’s Going Green Commercial

View Mayor Bloomber’s Going Green Commercial
Green taught here: GreenBuildingsNY Education

http://www.greenbuildingsny.com/app/homepage.cfm?moduleid=4550&appname=100573&campaignid=61471941&iusercampaignid=51121141

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http://www.greenbuildingsny.com/app/homepage.cfm?appname=100573&moduleID=4551&LinkID=32018&submenuheader=0&campaignid=61471941&iUserCampaignID=51121141

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http://www.greenbiz.com/resources/resource/2009-eei-report

2009 Energy Efficiency Indicator: Report
Johnson Controls Inc., IFMA
Published: May 6, 2009

Johnson Controls Inc. and the International Facility Management Association have released results of their third annual survey of how business leaders view energy efficiency in their buildings — what’s been done to improve it and whether they plan to do more in the coming months.

Despite that trend, JCI and IFMA pointed to successful largescale efficiency projects at New York’s historic Empire State Building, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Manpower Inc. headquarters.

The research sponsors as well as representatives for the Oak Ridge lab and the Empire State Building also expressed optimism that both action and investments in energy efficiency initiatives will rebound in the next 18 months.

[etc.]

Highlights of the three efficiency projects were included in the presentation made today that summarized the research findings. The slideshow of the presentation is available as a PDF that can be downloaded by clicking here.

A PDF of the executive summary and other resources based on the 2009 survey can also be found on the Johnson Controls website by clicking here or going to http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/publish/us/en/news.html.

The material includes the full 2008 Energy Efficiency Indicator Report for comparison.

Web Site:http://www.johnsoncontrols.com

http://www.greenbiz.com/resources/resource/2009-eei-report

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  • Image by LeoSynapse. http://www.sxc.hu/photo/271902

    WASHINGTON, D.C., & HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — In collaboration with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched a web portal for retailers that offers information and resources about environmental compliance, pollution prevention and other green issues specific to the industry.

[from:]
the Retail Industry Web Portal at www.epa.gov/retailindustry includes resources that address compliance and sustainability issues in several categories:
• New Buildings and Infrastructure
• Facilities Management
• Transportation Logistics and Supply Chain
• Merchandising: Products and Packaging
• Customer Programs and Services
• Reporting
also a pricey little handy guide is mentioned –

The Association for Retail Environments also announced that it has a new tool available.

The 100-page guide called “Sustainable Retail Environments: Product Guidelines and Operational Best Practices” includes information about product design, manufacturing, logistics, strategies for integrating sustainability into business operations, understanding eco-labels and LEED standards for retail.

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2009/05/08/epa-web-portal-for-retail

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ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, with the support of its partner BT Global Services, is creating prizes in Space and Ocean Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit www.xprize.org.

http://www.xprize.org/

Google Lunar X PRIZE

Progressive Automotive X PRIZE

Archon X PRIZE for Genomics

Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Future Prizes

**

Propose an X PRIZE

The X PRIZE Foundation is exploring a wide variety of prize categories to
target the grand challenges of our time. The creation of a successful X PRIZE is challenging, and we appreciate creative ideas.

We would like to hear from you to see what problems are of interest to you
and what ideas you might have for a prize to address that problem. As we have our own prioritized pipeline of prizes and have investigated a plethora of problem areas and prize constructs, we are not offering to take action on any of the submitted ideas, but we are willing to review and consider your input. Further we are interested in learning what areas matters to you.

http://www.xprize.org/x-prizes/propose-an-x-prize

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Video available on the xprize page –

Part of the X PRIZE Thinkers segment in the INNOVATION in ACTION podcast series, Dean Kamen, Founder and President of DEKA Research & Development Corp. (www.dekaresearch.com) talks to Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO of X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org) about why innovators need to know when and how to take risks to enable breakthroughs to happen.

http://www.xprize.org/

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X PRIZE Foundation, WellPoint Inc. Unveil Initial Design for Revolutionary $10+ Million Healthcare X PRIZE

Initial Prize Design Released for Public Comment at World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (April 14, 2009) — The X PRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that drives innovation through large incentive competitions, in collaboration with the WellPoint Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private foundations, and WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), the nation’s largest health benefits company in terms of medical membership, announced today the initial competition design for a $10M+ Healthcare X PRIZE.

The Grand Challenge for this Healthcare X PRIZE will be to create an optimal health paradigm that empowers and engages individuals and communities in a way that dramatically improves health value. Following today’s announcement, the public is invited to comment on the approach and provide feedback to ensure that the competition results in affordable, high-quality health care for all communities. An overview of the initial prize design and guidelines are available for public comment at www.xprize.org/wellpoint.

[ . . . ]

The X PRIZE Foundation’s health care prize development team and WellPoint collaborated with prominent health care providers, thought-leaders, academic and political advisors from across the nation to identify key components for a health care focused incentivized competition. Key advisors include: Dr. Glenn Steele, CEO, Geisinger Health System; Dr. Jim Weinstein, director, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Dr. Carol Diamond, managing director, Markle Foundation; Mark Litow, principal and consulting actuary, Milliman; Dr. Dean Ornish, president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute; Michael E. Porter, professor, Harvard Business School; Hon. Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator; and Hon. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and Founder, Center for Health Transformation.

The proposed $10M+ Healthcare X PRIZE is designed to improve health value by more than 50 percent in a community during a three year trial. A competition around value measures and compares health outcomes against the total cost of care for a community. Health outcomes would be measured by a “community health index,” which combines functional health (e.g., reduced sick days, improved ability to climb stairs) and clinical events (e.g., visit to ER, rehospitalization). Total cost would include direct costs incurred across health benefits, payroll (sick and disability pay), coupled with out-of-pocket health care.

“We have a challenge of how we pay for things. In many ways, we over pay for acute care and we underpay for preventative care and wellness,” said Speaker Gingrich. “This approach allows for significant improvements that would lead to better health outcomes, which would lead to longer, more active lives and do so at lower costs.”

Under the proposed competition framework, teams would have 18 months to conceive, model, and submit plans to create a new paradigm that can impact the health status of individual participants as well as the overall health status of communities. A later pilot phase will be used to demonstrate that the models can successfully be applied on a small scale. To select finalists, the competitive field will be narrowed to approximately the top five performers as judged by an objective process currently under development. During the competition stage, the five finalists will be matched to a test community of 10,000 individuals and compared against a control group during a three year real-world trial. WellPoint, together with its affiliated health plans, has committed to collect appropriate data and collaborate with employers and providers to set up the test communities, subject to validation by an independent third party. The competing team’s ability to change incentives is expected to drive improved behaviors across consumers and providers.

http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/x-prize-foundation-wellpoint-inc-unveil-initial-design-for-revolutionary-

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111 Teams Get Green Light to Advance in Multimillion Dollar Competition

PLAYA VISTA, Calif., (April 7, 2009) –The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles, today announced its official list of 111 Registered Teams.

VIEW B-ROLL FOOTAGE HERE

Having passed this first wave of judging, these teams now move one step closer to competing for their share of a $10 million prize purse that will be awarded to teams that win a rigorous long distance stage competition and can exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy (MPGe).

The teams, which collectively represent 136 vehicle entries with 14 different fuel sources, include diverse groups from 25 U.S. states and 11 countries. Established automakers, emerging start-ups, universities and inventors are among those represented. Six of the Registered Teams remain confidential.

In the coming months, Registered Teams will undergo Design Judging based on a detailed Data Submission package, which will provide information on their vehicle’s features, production capability, safety and business plans. Those that pass Design Judging will move into the performance testing phase and partake in a series of competition events that will begin as early as May 2010. Winners will be announced in 2010.

The competition start date, the number of venues, and the geographic distribution of venues will be determined prior to July 2009.

“We are thrilled with the wide variety of teams and technologies from around the world that are joining us in this competition,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, The X PRIZE Foundation. Being accepted as a Registered Team is a major milestone. This is also an exciting step for the Foundation as we move closer to our goal of inspiring a new generation of real, clean, safe and super fuel-efficient vehicles.”

“The level of American innovation and entrepreneurship we’re seeing in the Automotive X PRIZE is encouraging,” said Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. “It’s also a positive response to many of the challenges confronting the U.S. auto industry. I applaud these teams for the important work they’re doing for our nation’s energy future.”

Winners will be selected from two classes in the Competition Division — Mainstream and Alternative. A complete list of Registered Teams, listed by the class in which they will compete and their proposed fuel type is available here [ PDF].

Earlier this year, the competition announced details of a Demonstration Division designed specifically for large, established automobile manufacturers to showcase their latest fuel efficient vehicles. Entrance into this Division will remain open until the summer.

About the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Competition
The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles to offer consumers more choices and make their lives better as a result. The competition will place a major focus on affordability, safety, and the environment. It is about developing real, production-capable cars that consumers want to buy, not science projects or concept cars. For more information about the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, please visit www.progressiveautoxprize.org or email progressiveautopress@xprize.org. For related educational resources, please visit www.FuelOurFutureNow.com.

[ . . . ]

http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/111-teams-get-green-light-to-advance-in-multimillion-dollar-competition

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(STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics?)

– sounds about right)

The U.S. Department of Energy, X PRIZE and Discovery Education Create Dynamic, Online Destination to Advance STEM Education

www.FuelOurFutureNow.com engages students in science and math education through the exciting Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE CompetitionSilver Spring, Md. (March 23, 2009) – Igniting imaginations and fueling student curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math topics, the United States Department of Energy, the X PRIZE Foundation and Discovery Education have created www.FuelOurFutureNow.com, a new dynamic, online knowledge center inspired by the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

Introduced to educators during an interactive workshop presented at the National Science Teachers Association’s National Conference in New Orleans, La., www.FuelOurFutureNow.com is an empowering resource that engages students in the science of alternative fuels and energy-efficient engineering. Featuring targeted curriculum and lesson plans for all grade levels, as well as high-quality video, dynamic interactives and additional resources from the United States Department of Energy, teachers can use the online knowledge center to achieve their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) goals.

The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. A ten million dollar prize purse will be split between teams that win a stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 Mile Per Gallon equivalent fuel economy (MPGe). www.FuelOurFutureNow.com serves as an interactive online portal offering stimulating STEM lessons and resources for students, teachers and families as the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition unfolds.

Together, parents and students can explore a variety of grade appropriate STEM topics through a number of exciting activities. K-2 students will be challenged to find out what makes cars go, while students in grades 3-5 will focus on building the skills needed to learn about force and motion and efficient energy transfer within a vehicle. Students in grades 6-8 will investigate fuel efficiency and develop a futuristic, energy efficient vehicle, and high school students will be tasked with analyzing patterns in mass transit issues.

According to Discovery Education Director of Curriculum William McDonald, each grade- specific curriculum is designed to advance the STEM achievement goals of educators. “The online knowledge center’s resources challenge students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math in a relevant and grade appropriate fashion,” said McDonald. “The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is a compelling tool with which to engage students in STEM education, and we’ve designed the accompanying curriculum modules to help teachers take full advantage of students’ interest in this exciting competition.”

“The Department’s collaboration with the Automotive X PRIZE and Discovery Education leverages private sector expertise to educate and engage the public about technologies to transform our transportation sector,” said David E. Rodgers, Director for Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Together, we can inspire all Americans – including teachers, students, vehicle designers, and drivers – to join us in designing and operating a new generation of vehicles that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Visit the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Online Knowledge Center at www.FuelOurFutureNow.com. For more information about Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com or call 800-323-9084.

About the U.S. Department of Energy
Working with a wide array of state, community, industry, and university partners, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in a diverse portfolio of energy technologies. Energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy will mean a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy independence for America.
For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy please contact the EERE Information Center at 1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463) or on the web at www.eere.energy.gov.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About the X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million dollar Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, with the support of its partner BT Global Services, is creating prizes in Space and Ocean Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy and Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as a leader in fostering innovation through competition.

http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/the-us-department-of-energy-x-prize-and-discovery-education-create-dynami

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INTEROP

May 17 – 21, 2009
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

Interop is the leading global technology event, with the most comprehensive IT Conference and Exhibition available. Business and technology leaders attend Interop to get the most up to date information available on key technologies, learn about the latest trends and meet with leading vendors.

http://www.interop.com/

TechWeb

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Department of Energy – US

http://www.energy.gov/

Secretary Chu: President’s Energy Budget Creates Jobs, Restores America’s Scientific Leadership and Puts Nation on the Path to Energy Independence
Washington D.C. — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu detailed President Barack Obama’s $26.4 billion Fiscal Year 2010 budget request for the Department of Energy, highlighting the Administration’s commitment to transformational discoveries, breakthrough science, and innovative technologies in the nation’s effort to secure reliable, clean, safe and secure energy, create new jobs and fight climate change.
more>
Secretary Chu’s presentation> (pdf)
Full Budget & Related Materials>
Secretary Chu Announces Nearly $800 Million from Recovery Act to Accelerate Biofuels Research and Commercialization
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the ongoing effort to increase the use of domestic renewable fuels, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced plans to provide $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects.
more>
Secretary Chu Announces Funding for 71 University-Led Nuclear Research and Development Projects
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the selection of 71 university research project awards as part of the Department of Energy’s investments in cutting-edge nuclear energy research and development (R&D).
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Energy.gov/Recovery
Recovery.gov emblem Learn more about what the Department of Energy is doing regarding the Recovery Act.
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