News Release

Cisco Promotes Green Innovation Through Collaboration WIth X PRIZE Foundation

Joint Effort will Catalyze New Era of Clean, Renewable, Cost-Effective Energy

Learn about Cisco and X PRIZE's Collaboration in Webinar, April 20 at 2 p.m. PT, 5 p.m. ET
Apr 20, 2010

PLAYA VISTA, CA - April 20, 2010 - Cisco has been named the exclusive presenting sponsor of the X PRIZE Foundation's (XPF) Energy & Environment Prize Group, which aims to incentivise a new era of clean, renewable and cost-effective energy. The goal of the collaboration is to generate breakthroughs in climate change, water resource management, energy distribution and storage, clean energy, and energy efficiency/use.

Hear directly from X PRIZE Foundation president Robert K. Weiss about this innovative collaboration during a Webinar today (April 20) at 2 p.m. PT, 5 p.m. ET.

"Cisco strives to help people work, live, play and learn in a more environmentally sustainable way," stated Robert K. Weiss, President & Vice Chair, X PRIZE Foundation. "Together, we'll drive innovation through the design and execution of large-scale competitions to address environmental and energy challenges. By tapping into the 'human network,' this partnership will be a force for positive change across the globe."

X PRIZE is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs, inspiring the formation of new industries, jobs and the revitalization of markets that are currently stalled. Through strategic design of ground-breaking prizes with significant, multi-million-dollar purses, X PRIZE spurs collaboration among the world's most brilliant minds to address the issues. Today, it is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. The Foundation was named 2007 "Policy Leader of the Year" by Scientific American and recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative.

As part of the engagement, the X PRIZE Foundation will work with Cisco to identify areas for development and launch of future X PRIZES with environmental or energy-saving goals in mind. In addition, three Cisco executives will participate on the Energy & Environment advisory board to help direct the future of the Prize Group.

"Cisco's vision is for information technology to transform how the world manages its energy and environmental challenges. This type of competition complements Cisco's history of promoting innovation with internal development as well as key acquisitions and partnerships. Through collaboration with dedicated organizations such as the X PRIZE Foundation, we can break down existing barriers and foster unparalleled innovation while making real progress on climate change and energy," said Guido Jouret, vice president and chief technology officer, Cisco Emerging Technology Group.

As a global company, Cisco has taken a leadership role by reducing its environmental footprint every day, both as a major employer and through its employees' individual actions. As an innovator, Cisco is developing technologies that are designed to help mitigate and manage the current climate trend. As a partner with the X PRIZE Foundation, Cisco will inspire others to collaborate around ground-breaking solutions to the world's most pressing energy and environmental challenges.

Areas of Interest for the Energy & Environment Prize Group:

  • Climate Change: CO2 utilization/sequestration, ocean acidification, forest conservation, forest carbon measurement, emissions, climate modeling
  • Water Resource Management: watershed, sewage, conservation, desalination
  • Energy Distribution & Storage: transmission and distribution (e.g. smart grid), storage (grid level, end user, community), monitoring and measurement
  • Clean Energy: solar/PV, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, biofuels
  • Energy Efficiency/Use: smart buildings, transportation, command

Current Prize – Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE:

  • The goal of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, safe, affordable and super fuel-efficient vehicles that people want to buy.
  • Working with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE will award $10 million in September 2010 to the teams that wins a rigorous stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe).
  • Approximately 68 percent of vehicles in the competition are electric-based (BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle; PIEV – Plug In Electric Vehicle; and HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle).  Thus, many of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE'S cars fit nicely into Cisco's goals for the Smart Grid.

Prizes Under Consideration – Clean Fuels:

  • X PRIZE received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a prize resulting in the widespread adoption of clean aviation fuel.
  • The Foundation also is developing a partnership for second-generation small-scale distributed biofuel production technologies.


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 world headlines when Burt Rutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. 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 is creating and conducting competitions in four prize groups: Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education & Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit