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USGS researcher judges final round of Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition in Kalamata, Greece

The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a $7 million global competition being held in Kalamata, Greece, is challenging teams to push the boundaries of ocean technologies by creating solutions that advance the autonomy, scale, speed, depths, and resolution of ocean exploration. Dr. Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist, SPCMSC) will be the on-site judge during the week of November 19–24,

In this final field-testing round for the Grand Prize of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition, which starts in November and runs through December, the teams have up to 24 hours to map at least 250 km2 of the ocean seafloor (an area that is nearly three times the area of Paris) to depths down to 4,000 meters—a cold, dark, and high-pressure environment that is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. In order to have a judge on site for the duration of the final trials, held in Kalamata, Greece, the 7-member international judging panel will take turns, each covering a week to ten-day period. The success of this prize will allow us to fully explore and map the ocean floor, and uncover our planet’s greatest wonders and resources for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowdsourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world.

To watch a video describing the competition, visit


Read what else is new at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center.