Business Wire

In Celebration of World Rainforest Day, 33 Qualified Teams and 9 Judges Announced in $10M XPRIZE Competition to Improve Understandings and Preservation of the Planet’s Rainforests


XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, officially announced today the teams moving forward in the $10M XPRIZE Rainforest aimed at improving our understanding of the rainforest ecosystem.

Sponsored by Alana Foundation, the five-year XPRIZE Rainforest is a call-to-action to help save rainforests through the development of transformative, scalable, and affordable technology to autonomously survey and monitor biodiversity in real-time, leading to insights that communicate the health, well-being, and value of standing tropical rainforests. XPRIZE Rainforest is co-developing an inclusive framework throughout all stages of the competition that ensures competing teams co-design and co-create solutions with Indigenous Peoples and local communities as key stakeholders and not just beneficiaries.

These 33 teams will now leverage existing and emerging technologies, such as robotics, remote sensing, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to develop new rainforest biodiversity survey tools that deliver information more quickly and affordably, and in unprecedented detail.

“There has never been a more urgent time for our planet,” Peter Houlihan, Vice President of Biodiversity & Conservation at XPRIZE said. “These teams show great promise for developing exciting new approaches to enhance shared understandings of the planet’s most complex and biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems.”

All registered teams submitted a qualifying submission detailing their approach and proposed technologies. The judging panel selected 33 teams, which hail from more than 16 countries and bring a collection of diverse backgrounds and industry experience.

The XPRIZE Rainforest qualified teams are:

  • ACT NOW - Amazonas Action Alliance, Ecuador
  • AirWrx, Canada
  • Alouatta, Mexico
  • AraceEye, Canada
  • BiodivExplorer, Switzerland
  • BioSTREAM, United Kingdom
  • Bioverse, Brazil
  • Blue Devil Rainforest Divers, United States
  • Brazilian Team, Brazil
  • Dinizia Excelsa, Brazil
  • GainForest, Switzerland
  • Inspire Robotics, United States
  • KAA Initiative, Brazil
  • Kreativno pero, Serbia
  • Lorax, United States
  • Map of Life, United States
  • Mimicry Maniacs, United States
  • Mowgli, India
  • Nga Kaitiaki o te Ngaherehere, New Zealand
  • Rainforest Quest, United States
  • Reforester, Netherlands
  • Selvascope, Netherlands
  • Short-Eared Dogs, United States
  • Team Morpho, United States
  • Team Robotics, Japan
  • Team Waponi!, United States
  • Tengo Research Foundation, Panama
  • Treeswift (Trefos Inc), United States
  • Welcome to the Jungle, United States
  • XiniX AI, Belgium
  • Zissou, Brazil

Additional details about all competing teams can be found here. Additionally, watch Peter Houlihan speak about XPRIZE Rainforest, performanced-based design and goal setting for impact on a World Rainforest Day event as part of the Rainforest Ambitions series. Register here.

In order to win the competition, the winning team will survey the most biodiversity contained in 100 hectares of tropical rainforest in 24 hours and produce the most impactful real time insights within 48 hours.

“Nature Based Solutions are key to confronting the climate crises. We are celebrating teams from the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Asia all united on the same goal: protecting our standing forests that provide water, biodiversity, livelihood, and our prosperity with an inclusive bioeconomy. The joining of these teams shows the urgency we have to change the scenario we are living. The world needs intelligent, possible, powerful solutions, but above all, made by people in communion. We hope that Alana Rainforest XPRIZE will inspire activism, science, and innovation for the benefit of the environment and people all over the world,” said Ana Lúcia Villela, president of Alana Foundation.

Successful technologies developed in the competition will demonstrate scalable and affordable capabilities that measurably improve biodiversity monitoring, including through better autonomous operations, innovative detection methodologies, and rapid data integration to provide new Insights in real time and at unprecedented levels of detail.

The XPRIZE Rainforest Judging Panel consists of an experienced and talented group of experts working at the highest levels of academia, leading conservation organizations, prestigious research institutions and grantmaking organizations. The 9 judges include:

  • Dr. Jorge Ahumada –– Senior Wildlife Conservation Scientist, Conservation International
  • Dr. Luisa Arnedo –– Primatologist, Conservationist, and Senior Program Officer, National Geographic Society
  • Dr. Stuart Davies –– ​​​Director, Center for Tropical Forest Science-Forest Global Earth Observatory at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Dr. Lian Pin Koh –– Professor of Conservation, Science, Technology & Policy, Founder, Conservation Drones
  • Dr. Lucia Lohmann –– Executive Director, Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
  • Dr. Kevin Njabo –– Associate Director & Africa Director, UCLA Center for Tropical Research and the Congo Basin Institute
  • Dr. Vojtech Novotny –– Head, Dep. of Ecology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences Director, New Guinea Binatang Research Center, Professor of Ecology, Zoology Dep., University of South Bohemia
  • Atossa Soltani –– Founder & President of the Board, Amazon Watch; Director of Global Strategy for Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative
  • Dr. Dave Thau –– Lead Scientist, World Wildlife Fund Global Data and Tech

The next step for the competition is the semifinal round and then a final round of testing before the grand prize decision in 2024. A total prize purse of $10 Million US dollars (USD) will be awarded throughout the lifespan of the prize, including a $250,0000 Bonus Prize that may be awarded at the Judging Panel’s discretion to one or more Finalist Teams whose Solutions demonstrate groundbreaking achievements. Milestone prizes will also be awarded equally for up to 25 teams that advance to Semifinals and up to 10 teams that advance to finals testing.


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal, $15M XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE and $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. For more information, visit


Alana Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation founded in 2012 in the United States. The Foundation supports initiatives in the areas of environment, inclusive education and health science research through grants and co-funding partnerships. It also engages with networks and global movements in those areas.

To view this piece of content from, please give your consent at the top of this page.

Contact information

Caden Kinard, XPRIZE

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire
24 Martin Lane
EC4R 0DR London

+44 20 7626 1982

(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

Kyowa Kirin Provides Update on Application for Marketing Authorisation of Istradefylline in Europe for the Treatment of ‘OFF’ Episodes in People Living with Parkinson’s23.7.2021 16:05:00 CEST | Press release

Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. (TSE:4151, President and CEO: Masashi Miyamoto, “Kyowa Kirin”) today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued a negative opinion for istradefylline as an add-on treatment to levodopa (L-Dopa) based regimens in adults living with Parkinson’s, experiencing end-of-dose motor fluctuations. Kyowa Kirin International remain committed to istradefylline and people living with Parkinson’s and are currently reviewing the options available, which may include re-examination. “We are disappointed by the CHMP opinion. However, we remain confident in the benefit-risk profile of istradefylline and are committed to making a difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s, an area which has had few innovative therapies for decades,” said Abdul Mullick, President of Kyowa Kirin International. “There are currently few new treatment options available to manage end-of-dose motor fluctuations in Parkinson

ForumPay Teams Up with Bambora to Conquer the Crypto-to-Fiat Payments Market23.7.2021 15:16:00 CEST | Press release

ForumPay, an international cryptocurrency-to-fiat payment service provider, has established a partnership with the global payments provider Bambora, a Worldline brand, to bring seamless crypto payment solutions to merchants and online shoppers. The partnership will cater to a large global audience and offer expanded payment options for both shoppers and merchants. ForumPay continues its march to dominate the growing crypto payments ecosystem for merchants around the world. “ForumPay provides merchants with a seamless, secure and instant processing solution to accept payments from the more than 54 million active crypto wallet users around the world. By providing a payments service for processing crypto into fiat that functions as naturally as card payments, ForumPay enables merchants with a familiar feeling payments alternative that also gives them a competitive advantage by tapping into the fastest growing consumer base on the planet.” says Joshua Tate, CEO of ForumPay. “We are very ex

Wipro Recognized as 2021 Microsoft Modernizing Applications Partner of the Year23.7.2021 14:54:00 CEST | Press release

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, today announced that it has won the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the Modernizing Applications category. In addition, Wipro was also named as a category finalist in the 2021 AI Partner of the Year category, solidifying its reputation as an innovator in multiple sectors. This recognition highlights Wipro’s deep expertise and ability to go above and beyond for its customers, powered by an established partnership with Microsoft. Even when working with complex customer environments, spanning across hundreds of servers with different applications of different versions, Wipro was able to help customers meet their business needs and leverage the power of public cloud in an efficient way. “Global enterprises have embraced modernization at an unprecedented scale and pace, and the demands of the past year show no sign of easing. We are honor

Merck Announces Appointment of Head of China & International for Healthcare23.7.2021 13:45:00 CEST | Press release

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that Hong Chow will join its Healthcare business sector as Head of China & International on October 1. In this role at Merck, Chow will lead China, Japan as well the regions Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Middle East, Africa and Russia, the franchise of Cardiovascular Metabolism & Endocrinology (CM&E), and the Global Business Innovation team. Chow will report to Peter Guenter, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare. She will serve as a member of the Healthcare Executive Committee, and be based in Shanghai, China. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: Merck Announces Appointment of Head of China & International for Healthcare (Photo: Business Wire) “Hong’s international experience and strong track record of bringing innovative medicines to patients in need across both developed and emerging markets, most nota

H.I.G. WhiteHorse Refinances Grupo Recoletas23.7.2021 13:03:00 CEST | Press release

H.I.G. WhiteHorse, a credit affiliate of global investment firm H.I.G. Capital ("H.I.G.") is pleased to announce that it has arranged a refinancing package for Grupo Hospitalario Recoletas (“Recoletas”), which includes a significant growth capital component. Recoletas is a family-owned Spanish private hospital operator headquartered in Valladolid, Spain, with a leading position in the Castilla y Leon Spanish inland region. It operates 8 hospitals with c. 540 beds and 13 medical centres across 7 regions. H.I.G. WhiteHorse has committed €110 million in unitranche loans to refinance the borrower's existing indebtedness and provide additional capital to finance growth, supporting the Company’s expansion. Recoletas is currently developing ambitious projects to expand its healthcare services provided through hospitals and medical centers, as well as diagnostic imaging centers and radiotherapy units. Amando J. Rodríguez, President and CEO of Grupo Hospitalario Recoletas, said: “We are very ha

Schlumberger Announces Second-Quarter 2021 Results23.7.2021 12:50:00 CEST | Press release

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) today reported results for the second-quarter 2021. Second-Quarter Results(Stated in millions, except per share amounts)Three Months EndedChangeJun. 30, 2021Mar. 31, 2021Jun. 30, 2020SequentialYear-on-yearRevenue* $5,634 $5,223 $5,356 8% 5% Income (loss) before taxes - GAAP basis $542 $386 $(3,627) 40% n/m Net income (loss) - GAAP basis $431 $299 $(3,434) 44% n/m Diluted EPS (loss per share) - GAAP basis $0.30 $0.21 $(2.47) 43% n/m Adjusted EBITDA** $1,198 $1,049 $838 14% 43% Adjusted EBITDA margin** 21.3% 20.1% 15.6% 118 bps 561 bps Pretax segment operating income** $807 $664 $396 22% 104% Pretax segment operating margin** 14.3% 12.7% 7.4% 162 bps 694 bps Net income, excluding charges & credits** $431 $299 $69 44% 525% Diluted EPS, excluding charges & credits** $0.30 $0.21 $0.05 43% 500% Revenue by Geography International $4,511 $4,211 $4,224 7% 7% North America* 1,083 972 1,097 11% -1% Other 40 40 35 n/m n/m $5,634 $5,223 $5,356 8% 5% *Schlumberger di

Wyss Center Partners With Artiria Medical to Accelerate a Novel Therapy for Cerebral Vasospasm23.7.2021 11:59:00 CEST | Press release

The Wyss Center and Artiria Medical today announced a new partnership to accelerate the translation of a novel technology that has the potential to reduce deaths and improve quality of life for stroke patients. Artiria Medical, an early-stage medical device company focused on disruptive neurovascular products, has been developing the technology and is now joining forces with the Wyss Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing state-of-the-art therapies to the patient. The team has received support from the Swiss Innovation Agency, Innosuisse, to test and validate the efficacy of the therapy preclinically, in preparation for human clinical studies. Stroke is the third leading cause of disability worldwide with more than 80 million people living with long-term impairments as a result. Some strokes result in bleeding in the brain. Such hemorrhagic strokes can lead to severe cerebral vasospasm - an uncontrolled contraction of brain arteries - in the days that follow, depriving