Nairobi, Oct 14 – The Duke of Cambridge has launched a Nobel-style environmental competition – with a £50 million ($65m) prize fund – to recognise ideas and technologies that can safeguard the planet.

The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next 10 years.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which united millions of people around an organising goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s, the Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for humanity for generations to come.

Prince William said “urgency with optimism really creates action” and his landmark prize was about “harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems.”

Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners in five categories will each receive £1 million after being picked by a judging panel of William and leading figures from the worlds of sport, the environment, entertainment, business and philanthropy.

The prize will be awarded by Prince William and The Earthshot Prize Council, and a panel of experts will support the judging process. The council was picked to be as diverse and global as possible. Its members include Sir David Attenborough, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, actress Cate Blanchett, former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, footballer Dani Alves, and economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Nominations will open on 1 November and the prize is open to anyone – individuals or teams – which could comprise engineers, activists, schools, economists, governments, banks, businesses, and regions.  The prize money will be used to support the projects to help scale the work.

The £50 million prize fund will be provided by the project’s global alliance founding partners – a group which includes the philanthropic bodies of billionaires.