A $7 million global competition challenging teams to push the boundaries of ocean technologies by creating solutions that advance the autonomy, scale, speed, depths and resolution of ocean exploration.

The success of this prize will allow us to fully explore and map the ocean floor, and uncover our planets greatest wonder and resource for the benefit of humanity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s $1 million bonus prize will incentivize teams to develop technologies to detect the source of chemical and biological signals underwater.

Teams will compete in two rounds of testing that:

Must launch from shore or air and, with restricted human intervention, their entries will have limited number of hours to explore the competition area (at depths of 2000 and 4000 meters) to produce:

1. a high resolution bathymetric map
2. images of a specified object
3. identify archaeological, biological or geological features

Read about the competition

Help us discover the world beneath the sea

Get involved. Follow the competition.


  • Only 5% of the ocean has been explored yet it feeds over 2 billion & provides more than 50% of our oxygen
  • 3 million shipwrecks are lying on the seafloor
  • We know more about the surface of Mars than we know about our ocean floor

Prize Progress

Prize Progress

Media Mentions

December 6, 2016
We have a lot of data about the ocean, but much of it is in obscure databases – unintegrated, unanalyzed, and largely inaccessible for the public.
November 21, 2016
The XPRIZE Foundation is sponsoring HeroX's $100,000 contest to build mobile apps from the deep pool of data already available on the world's oceans.
November 11, 2016

Archaeologists have found more than 40 vessels in the Black Sea, some more than a millennium old, shedding light on early empires and trade routes.

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