Team Ghana advances to $7m Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE semifinals

OD-Africa, a team from Ghana led by Mark Amo-Boateng have progressed to the semifinals of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE.

XPRIZE, a global leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve challenges facing humanity announced on Thursday, February 16, 2017 that 21 teams have progressed to the semi-final of the $7m Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE.

The teams were ARGGONAUTS from Germany, BangaloreRobotics from India, Blue Devil Ocean Engineering from the United States of America, CFIS from Switzerland, Eauligo from France, Envirodrone from Canada, Exocetus from the United States of America, GEBCO-NF from New Zealand, PISCES of Portugal, KUROSHIO of Japan, Lehigh Tide from the United States, Ocean Quest from the United States, Oceanzus from the United States, Orca Robotics from the United States, SubUAS from the United States, Tampa Deep-Sea X-plorers from the United States, Team Tao from the United Kingdom, Texas A&M University Ocean Engineering from the United States, Virginia DEEP-X from the United States, X994 from the United States and OD-Africa from Ghana.

The 21 teams who made it to the semi-finals were selected by a panel of independent expert judges. Ghana’s OD-Africa alongside the other 20 teams have progressed into the first round of testing.

The teams will deploy their entries to operate at the depth of 2, 000 meters, aiming to map at least 20 percent of the 500kmcompetition area at five meters resolution. The teams are also expected to identify and take shots of at least five geographical, archeological or biological features at any depth. All these activities must take place within a 16-hour time periods, the maximum time all the teams who progressed to the semi-final have.

Teams who will progress from Round 1 will have to share $1m prize money for their feat in the competition.

In Round 2 where up to 10 teams will have to progress from Round 1, the depth of operation will increase from 2000 meters to 4000 meters. The teams will have to map at least 50 percent of the 500kmas compared to Round 1’s 20 percent. Teams are also expected to identify at least ten archeological, geological or biological features at any depth within their specified 24 hours.

The team with the most score points will win a grand prize money of $4 million with the second placed team taking home $1 million.

12 teams will also be competing for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) $1 million bonus prize. Teams will be expected to demonstrate that their technology can ‘sniff out’ a specified object in the ocean by tracing based on biological and chemical signals.

Lead and senior director with XPRIZE’s Energy and Environmental Group, Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., who announced the semifinalists said:

"These semifinalist teams are on the cutting-edge, pushing the boundaries in developing deep-sea underwater technologies that will work in the lightless, cold depths to fully map one of our world’s final frontiers like never before.

“Through the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, we have an unprecedented opportunity to create next generation tools, technologies and techniques that will illuminate deep-sea wonders and unlock a new era of ocean exploration. We look forward to seeing the teams’ innovative approaches come to life over the next 10 months.”

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: