Vote for desalination in the £10 million Longitude Prize!

Desalination has been chosen as the challenge in the Water section of the newly revived Longitude Prize with a prize of £10 million for whoever can create a cheap, environmentally sustainable desalination technology.

The catch is that Water is one of six categories that are to be voted on by the public up to 25 June 2014. The others are: Flight, Food, Paralysis, Dementia and Antibiotics. Only the winner will be picked as the prize topic.

Three hundred years ago, the Longitude Act of 1714 offered a prize of £20,000 to anyone who could devise a method to determine accurately a ship’s position at sea. Among those on the committee who judged the merit of entries was the then serving astronomer royal.

The current astronomer royal, Lord Martin Rees, emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, chairs the new committee. The prize is being run and developed by UK innovation charity Nesta, with the Technology Strategy Board as launch funding partner.

The prize is being featured on the BBC tv program Horizon, which this week featured Water. The program and other information on the prize can be found on the prize website.