And the Winners are . . .

The teams have tested.  The data has been collected.  The results are in and the winners of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE are . . .


First Place $1M Winner - Team Elastec / American Marine from Illinois

Elastec / American Marine - Elastec / American Marine, based out of Illinois, is a manufacturer of oil spill and environmental equipment with a reputation for innovation in machinery design.  A self-funded, privately held Midwest Corporation, Elastec / American Marine has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of oil spill equipment in North America.  Their company, which started over 20 years ago as just an idea, has grown into a 100+ employee operation that has a world-renowned reputation.  Using local talent for nearly all of their fabrication, Elastec / American Marine is proof that small town values transcend to a global market.


Second Place $300,000 Winner - Team NOFI from Norway




NOFI - A distant journey from their home town of Tromsø, Norway, team NOFI tested their single vessel unit called the Current Buster 6, which collects, separates and stores oil in an alleged current up to five knots. Their system, incorporating a flexible v-shaped surface boom towed between two vessels or alongside one (via an overhead arm), corrals oil down to the end of the V where a separator removes it from the water.



These teams, above all others who pre-registered, qualified and competed have met or exceeded the qualifications to be named winners of this Competition.

Over 350 teams pre-registered in January of 2011 following the X PRIZE Foundation announcement in July 2010 of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE.  In February of 2011, 37 teams officially registered to become part of the even smaller field of qualifying teams who sought after participation in the Competition.  As the field narrowed, the excitement grew and teams waited in anticipation for notification that they had become a Finalist.

At the International Oil Spill Conference in May 2011, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the Final 10 teams who would compete at Ohmsett in New Jersey.  Those Finalist teams were:

Out of these ten superior teams emerged two ultimate winners, Elastec / American Marine and NOFI.

The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE set audacious and achievable targets raising the bar of oil spill cleanup in order to inspire breakthrough innovation. In the case of this Competition, we asked our finalist teams to more than double the industry’s previous best oil recovery rate tested in controlled conditions by exceeding 2500 gallons per minute (with at least 70% efficiency of oil collected over water). For more information about the Competition, review the Competition’s official results and guidelines and testing procedures.

Let us not overlook the ultimate goal of this Competition – to inspire a new generation of innovative solutions that will speed the pace of cleaning up seawater surface oil.  These ten amazing teams with such dedication and heart proved that while not everyone came out of this Competition with a check or a trophy, they all came away with more information on their systems than they could have imagined.  Information they can use to further develop their technology and change the oil cleanup industry. 

We couldn’t be more proud of these teams than we are today.  They gave so much of their time and their energy to this Competition and in our eyes – they are all winners.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Elastec / American Marine and NOFI and to all our competing teams.  This is just the beginning and we are so honored to have played but a small part in your endeavors.

The journey is just beginning for you and we hope it will be memorable.