Let’s lobby the X PRIZE folk to get a Fusion X PRIZE. We’ve started with a few phone calls a few months ago, but clearly, much more could be done on this front. A Fusion X-Prize would be great not just for Focus Fusion, but for all the other alternative groups out there who want to raise their profile and attract funding. Nothing like leveraging prizes and competition and prestige to get things moving.
Here’s an article on our site about the X PRIZE.
I suggest we start an online petition. We could collect a few thousand signatures and with any luck they would create the Fusion X-prize. Ofcourse its only a suggestion.
As you know, I had left several messages with the X PRIZE Foundation to see where they stood on a Fusion Prize. Their response is copied below. As you can see, they “take measured steps in approaching such an important and volatile subject as this” such that fusion alternatives are not a priority for them – yet.
The good news is that they are aware of us and appreciate the work we do to promote alternative solutions.
I think the best strategy here is to simply lobby in several other directions (State of California, Al Gore, Branson/Virgin, etc.) and check back again from time to time to see how or if the X PRIZE priorities are changing. Eventually, we’ll hit the tipping point.
Also, as you can see they are concerned with correct trademark usage. Thus, rather than talking about the X PRIZE it will be better to speak in general terms about technology prizes hereinafter, with a link to the X PRIZE article as an example of the effectiveness of such prizes with other technologies. There are many other organizations that can provide technology prizes. This is not the exclusive domain of one foundation. (This means I have to also revise my e-mail posting pitch, which keeps referring to the X PRIZE.) No shortcuts.
Here’s the text of the email, received 9/24/06:
It has come to our attention that mention of the “X” PRIZE Foundation figures prominently on the homepage of the Focus Fusion Society website and links to an article suggesting that there be an X PRIZE award for fusion.
The “X” PRIZE Foundation appreciates the work you do to promote alternative solutions to the energy situation that presently confronts us all.
As you will appreciate, we are engaged in our own process for evaluating potential X PRIZE awards in the vast area of emerging energy technologies. We take measured steps in approaching such an important and volatile subject as this and rely on the work and input of many expert individuals in many disciplines. Therefore, please do not be offended if our process dictates that our next priorities are in fields other than fusion.
However, we would like to take this opportunity to express some concerns we have about the use of our trademark. Our trademark is “X PRIZE,” which is always used as two words, in all capital letters, with no hyphen. Also, our trademark is federally registered and should be used with an “R” in a circle, at least once prominently, in the format “X PRIZE(R) award.” In addition, the following statement should appear somewhere in your article or in a footnote: “‘X PRIZE’ is a trademark of the “X” PRIZE Foundation, Inc.”
Finally, we are concerned that your use of our trademark and material appearing on our website not go beyond the limits of fair use that generally apply to journalism and commentary. We note that this article was posted on August 4, 2006, and therefore expect that it will be replaced soon (we would anticipate by October 4, 2006) with new material. Otherwise, we are concerned that the length of time you have exhibited our trademark and posted material from our website may constitute an effort to trade on the goodwill of our Foundation for your organization’s benefit. Please inform us in writing as to when you will be archiving this article and removing the reference to X PRIZE from your homepage.
Good luck with your exploration in this area. We appreciate your prompt attention to these requests.
Vice President of Operations
X PRIZE Foundation
Note that I have updated the article in question with the correct trademark language and also it has been bumped from the home page (A matter of simply writing a new article – the homepage displays the last 3 articles written in each category).
And so the quest for fusion continues with measured steps….
Wow… sounds like the are more concerned with trademarks then with prizes. I just lost a lot of respect for their organization. It would probably be in our best interest to go with an independent prize similar to the MPrize where donations determine the amount that is available to the winners. Only problem with this setup is that how do you go about creating an “F-Prize” without being biased towards Focus Fusion?