X Prize Foundation Launches Healthcare Competition

The X Prize Foundation, the Santa Monica nonprofit focused on encouraging innovation through prize-based competitions, has signed on a sponsor for a new prize focused on improving the nation's health care system. The group--which was behind the Ansari X Prize, which resulted in the first commercial space launch vehicle--said that it is in a collaboration with Wellpoint, Inc., and the WellPoint Foundation to develop a $10M or more competition to to generate new ways to address the nation's serious health care system challenges. The as-of-yet named competition will look towards health care providers, consumers, government partners and others to develop "achievable" health care system changes. No parameters behind the competition have yet been announced; the foundation said it expects rules and guidelines to be finalized in early 2009. The new prize will be in addition to current competitions the X Prize Foundation is managing, in addition to the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.