Finalist Teams Selected in Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

It's anchors aweigh for the finalist teams in the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, the global competition to develop pH sensor technology that will accurately measure ocean acidification. Based on the results from the first phases of the competition, our judges have selected five of the remaining 14 teams to advance and have their sensors tested at depth in the open ocean off Hawaii.

The finalist teams are global in scope, coming from four different countries (Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States). Up to two members from each team will join our validation experts and XPRIZE staff aboard the R/V Kilo Moana on May 14, 2015 and set off for a week-long trial approximately 100 miles off the shores of Oahu. The sensors will be lowered in a series of casts down to 3,000 meters, and will be tested for stability and precision while overcoming the challenges of cold and immense pressure that can crush man-made objects like soda cans.

The five finalist teams are:

  • ANB Sensors (Cambridge, England), a team of scientists and researchers from the Schlumberger Gould Research Center with expertise in lasers, chemistry, fluid mechanics and geophysics.
  • HpHS (Yokosuka, Japan), a team of research scientists and engineers from the Kimoto Electric Co., Ltd. and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
  • Sunburst Sensors (Missoula, Mont., U.S.), a team of mechanical engineers from Sunburst Sensors, LLC, a company focused on the development of chemical sensors for marine and freshwater applications.
  • Team Durafet (Plymouth, Minn., U.S.), a team comprised of representatives from Sea-Bird Scientific, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology group.
  • Team XYLEM (Bergen, Norway/Beverly, Mass., U.S.), a team representing two Xylem companies, Aanderaa Data Instruments in Norway and YSI in the U.S., with extensive work in commercializing high performance and reliable optical chemical sensors used in oceanography.

To make it to this final stage of the competition, the teams' sensors had to complete a three-month test in controlled laboratory conditions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute last fall, followed by a month-long performance test in a coastal environment at the Seattle Aquarium in February. The winners of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE will be announced in July. Best of luck to all our finalist teams! Your efforts will help us to better understand and protect our ocean.

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