Singapore to host semi-finals of international XPRIZE Rainforest competition in 2023
The grand prize of the competition is S$13.9 million.
Singapore has been chosen to host the semi-finals of the international XPRIZE Rainforest competition in 2023.
With the prize money of around US$10 million (S$13.9 million), the five-year global competition aims to develop new technology to monitor and collect data in order to learn and understand our rainforests better in real time.
According to the website, the competition is “a call-to-action to help save rainforests through the development and implementation of transformative, scalable, and affordable technology”.
Singapore will host the testing of the semi-final teams’ technologies that were submitted and approved earlier this year. It was chosen based on the city’s conservation efforts as well as its active support to implement technology to preserve its green and blue landscapes.
On top of that, Singapore’s close proximity between its rainforests and the resources in the city is crucial and useful for the teams during the early stage of testing.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said: “We aspire to be a City in Nature, by weaving nature more intensively into our urban fabric, so that the city and nature can thrive side-by-side.
“The autonomous technologies that the XPRIZE teams are developing for rapid biodiversity assessments can help to enhance our collective understanding of rainforest ecosystems, both in Singapore and around the world.”
A total of 15 teams from various countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Belgium were accepted to participate in the semi-final testing in Singapore. They were awarded a total of US$250,000 (S$347,700) to be shared among all the teams as a milestone prize.
In the final round that will take place in 2024, the teams that have managed to succeed will have to test their technology developments in a remote location with no access to resources.
The teams will be required to survey the most biodiversity within 100 hectares of tropical rainforests in 24 hours and present impactful insights within 48 hours in order to win the grand prize.