New X Prizes

The Next X Prizes: DNA, Nanotech, Autos and Education

Along with X Prize purses for space and genomics, Diamandis said Friday that the Foundation is working on prizes in the automotive arena, nanotechnology and education.

For the automotive prize, the focus is on breakthroughs in areas like miles per gallon and manufacturing.

"Why do we still drive cars that use an internal combustion engine and only get 30 miles per gallon? I think that we'll see some amazing achievements in this area," Diamandis predicted. Further details on this automotive prize are forthcoming, he added, when the prize is fully formulated.

I love the way the X Prize bring innovation outside of the usual industry red tape. So, suppose this brings about a fuel cell car that drives like a Porsche... will we ever see it on the streets? Or will The Man conspire with Detroit and Japan to keep it under wraps in spite of the public knowledge that come swith winning an X Prize?