Friday, September 10, 2010

X PRIZE for efficient cookstoves??

Inefficient cookstoves are a major problem for the poor in the developing world. The soot has serious implications on health and poverty; and population growth, and rising energy costs leave the poor with no choice but to forage for their fuel resulting in environmental degradation, . (Picture source:

One of the organizations I consulted for a couple of years ago, called the X PRIZE Foundation, where I helped develop the Global Development vertical has moved forward with a partnership with IIT Delhi and the Government of India to develop and launch a prize for developing efficient cookstoves.

Approximately 70% of Indian households -- more than 160 million households, comprising about 770 million people – are estimated to depend on simple but polluting cookstoves that burn solid fuel, mainly wood or coal. It also is estimated that approximately 400,000 to 550,000 people – primarily women and children – die of the resulting indoor air pollution each year in the country. This makes the cookstoves problem in India and the potential market for cleaner cookstoves amongst the largest in the world.

The cookstoves competition falls under the X PRIZE Foundation’s Education & Global Development prize group, which tackles major challenges in areas such as learning, hunger, health and water. Addressing the grand challenges of our time, the X PRIZE Foundation generates innovation through incentivized competition. Through the strategic design of ground-breaking competitions with significant, multi-million dollar prize purses, X PRIZE spurs collaboration among the world’s most brilliant minds to tackle the most pressing issues and create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.
More here.

Looks pretty interesting and exciting. Definitely a worthy issue. More about the cookstove problem is here and here.

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