X-Prize Foundation

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zbarlici
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X-Prize Foundation

Post by zbarlici »

I truly believe that ground-breaking innovations will ONLY happen as a result of competitions such as ones organized by the X-prize foundation...


As an example loot at the Automotive X-prize... the teams must design vehicles capable of travelling 100 miles pre gallon, while maintaining comfort and safety levels comparable to today`s new manufactured vehicles, and not ony that but the competitors have to make a viable business plan so they can eventuall mass-produce their design. AWESOME... where else in the freaking auto industry do you see eforts such as this... NOWHERE cuz why get to the end product when you can make billions in sales getting there! Patheteic.

The same with all other industries...


any thoughts?

drmike
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Post by drmike »

The idea behind the X prize is to push technology that already exists further.
Fusion technology doesn't really exist yet, so I'm not sure it is ready for X prize level.

But if I can build a fusion rocket engine, I bet Virgin will know how to run with it.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

I truly believe that ground-breaking innovations will ONLY happen as a result of competitions such as ones organized by the X-prize foundation...
Which explains Tesla's invention of the AC motor.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

zbarlici
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Post by zbarlici »

:) drmike, i wasnt necesarrily referring to the fusion project at hand, but like u say in the future who knows...

I don`t know the story with Tesla and the AC motor, how did its invention come by...? Was there a competition of some sort at the time?

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

zbarlici wrote::) drmike, i wasnt necesarrily referring to the fusion project at hand, but like u say in the future who knows...

I don`t know the story with Tesla and the AC motor, how did its invention come by...? Was there a competition of some sort at the time?
Not exactly. Tesla conceived the AC induction motor and the AC power transmission system on his own. Then he sold it to Westinghouse.

So I was pulling your leg.

Prizes can draw attention to something which hasn't gotten much attention. As a motivating factor I don't think it counts for much. Except for the publicity value for the winner.

Us Bussard Reactor folks have done a pretty good job getting info out and interest up.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

As a motivating factor I don't think it counts for much.
It depends. It can make a big deal in terms of funding.

Let's say a $1B X Prize is announced for the first fusion reactor to reach Q=2 (twice as much energy out as in).

Now let's say you're a VC guy, and as a savvy tech investor you know very well that putting your $100M into fusion tech probably isn't going to earn you $1B in profit in any reasonable amount of time. But if there's a $1B prize waiting at the Q=2 milestone, and you find a tech that has a decent shot at making it, maybe you consider it.

And, perhaps just as importantly, there are efficiencies to a prize. You might get 5 or 10 teams competing to do it, whereas if you just hand that $1B to somebody to build your Q=2 reactor there's no guarantee that team will succeed. With the prize, you don't pay unless somebody succeeds. Win/win.
Last edited by TallDave on Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The question is always - is the prize sufficient to attract the funding?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

scareduck
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Post by scareduck »

Bill Gates' philanthropic fund is primarily about medical research from what I can tell. He made the wrong choice.

PolyGirl
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Post by PolyGirl »

How about Google's philanthropic capability (have they made the wrong choice)?
http://www.informationweek.com/research ... =205900528
This has been mentioned in various discussions on this board. The question is, what philanthropic organization (person) will donate funds to do further research into the IEC fusion area and hence the Polywell method.

Regards
Polygirl
The more I know, the less I know.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Probably the U.S. government, from what we've been hearing.

Helius
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X Prize!!!

Post by Helius »

drmike wrote:The idea behind the X prize is to push technology that already exists further.
Fusion technology doesn't really exist yet, so I'm not sure it is ready for X prize level.....
Ahh, but Fusion does exist, as we know, where Q<0.0001 for IEC devices. I really think it would snap the attention of physics/engineering schools and students if an X prize could be offered at some minimal Q value, such as $2M for Q> 2%, or some other minimal unachieved Q value threshold even if it is still orders of magnitude below breakeven. Imagine! Everybody's jaw would drop. It seems so....*easy*!

The hard part would be to define the criteria of how energy output would be measured definitively, and to restrict the methods to eliminate those that diverge too far from the Fusor/IEC methods.

Anybody got an extra $2,000,000 they weren't going to spend?

TallDave
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Re: X Prize!!!

Post by TallDave »

Various X prizes. Interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_prize

Looks like billionaires typically foot these. Anyone here a close personal friend of Richard Branson or go to high school with Warren Buffett?

Also, NASA has prize competitions for space elevator tech:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

In order to speed development of space elevators proponents are planning several competitions, similar to the Ansari X Prize, for relevant technologies.[15][16] Among them are Elevator:2010 which will organize annual competitions for climbers, ribbons and power-beaming systems, the Robolympics Space Elevator Ribbon Climbing competition[17], as well as NASA's Centennial Challenges program which, in March 2005, announced a partnership with the Spaceward Foundation (the operator of Elevator:2010), raising the total value of prizes to US$400,000.[18][19]

If NASA can do it, why not DOE?

Roger
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Post by Roger »

zbarlici wrote:
I don`t know the story with Tesla and the AC motor,
Tesla might have been a truly batshit crazy MoFo but he did come up with some real good stuff. On the other hand he put a ray gun on a pick up truck and drove thru the desert shooting flying saucers that were invisible.

Nevertheless, read up on Tesla it'll be worthwhile.
MSimon wrote:
Which explains Tesla's invention of the AC motor.
I understand Teslas Niagra Falls power station is still there, I was watching a PBS special on that.
PolyGirl wrote: what philanthropic organization (person) will donate funds to do further research into the IEC fusion area and hence the Polywell method.
I did get DJ White of Earth Trust

http://www.earthtrust.org/

Interested enough to talk to DR Bussard, though they never got to a meeting of the minds. Then the Navy came back with funding, so it kind of worked out anyway.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

Zixinus
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Post by Zixinus »

I truly believe that ground-breaking innovations will ONLY happen as a result of competitions such as ones organized by the X-prize foundation...
Don't forget a more powerful force: necessity and curiosity. Heavier-then-air flying was a long time a fancy dream that many hobbyist savoured.
And, perhaps just as importantly, there are efficiencies to a prize. You might get 5 or 10 teams competing to do it, whereas if you just hand that $1B to somebody to build your Q=2 reactor there's no guarantee that team will succeed. With the prize, you don't pay unless somebody succeeds. Win/win.
The problem is that fusion involves science as much as engineering. You can put engineering to a prize and competition, but not science. Science needs time and little pressure. While motivated researchers are obviously more capable then unmotivated ones, you can't ask someone to, say, develop room-temperature superconductors under a week. Developing the most effective method to produce room-temperature superconductors on the other hand is acceptable engineering challenge.
Bill Gates' philanthropic fund is primarily about medical research from what I can tell. He made the wrong choice.
I have to agree, medical research that saves peoples lives are far less important then funding fringe sciences.

[/sarcasm]
Last edited by Zixinus on Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Bill Gates' philanthropic fund is primarily about medical research from what I can tell. He made the wrong choice.
Fortunately the US Navy made the right choice.

It all works out in the end.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

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