Elon Musk puts up $100 million for global carbon reduction competition

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FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk attends a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc boss and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is offering a $100 million prize in a four-year global competition to find a way of reducing carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere.

Musk, who also heads rocket company SpaceX, had first tweeted about the prize in January and had said he would disclose details of the competition at a later date.

“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,” Musk said in a statement on Monday.

Full guidelines will be announced on April 22 and the competition will last for four years through Earth Day, 2025, XPrize, which organized the competition, said on Monday.

Eighteen months into the competition, the top 15 teams will receive $1 million while twenty-five $200,000 student scholarships will also be distributed to the competing student teams.

Following that, the grand prize winner will get $50 million, while the second place holder will get $20 million and $10 million will go to the third place holder, the California-based non-profit organization said.

To win the competition, the teams would have “to create and demonstrate a solution that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way,” XPrize added.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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