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Innovative Businessmen Join X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:54 am
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ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 29, 2005–The X PRIZE Foundation today announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees: J Craig Venter, Founder and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute and the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation; Eric Anderson, President and CEO of Space Adventures, Ltd; and Takafumi Horie, CEO and President of livedoor, Co., Ltd.

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational 501(c)3 that uses competitions to create breakthroughs in space and related technologies for the benefit of humanity. On October 4th, 2004, the X PRIZE captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen built and flew the world’s first private spacecraft to the edge of space to win the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE. Because of the dramatic nature of the achievement, the X PRIZE Foundation is now widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through the use of competitions.

“The X PRIZE Board of Trustees is comprised of visionaries whose mission is to benefit mankind by fostering breakthroughs in technology,” said Dr. Peter H Diamandis, Chairman and Founder of the X PRIZE Foundation. “Each of our new Trustees has a distinguished record of achievement and their support and contributions will be instrumental to our Foundation achieving its goals.”

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is one of leading scientists of the 21st century for his visionary contributions in genomic research. While on faculty at the National Institutes of Health, Venter developed expressed sequence tags or EST’s, a revolutionary new strategy for discovering genes. In 1992, he founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). There, he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, pioneering the new whole genome shotgun technique. In 1998, Venter became the first president of Celera Genomics where he sequenced the human genome using the whole genome shotgun technique, new mathematical algorithms, and new automated DNA sequencing machines. The completed sequence of the human genome was published in February 2001 in the journal, Science. In addition to the human genome, Venter and his team at Celera sequenced the fruit fly, mouse, and rat genomes. “Competition drives results and with the incentive of large prizes The X Prize Foundation will help move the development of new technology forward to better science,” explains Venter.

As the president and CEO of Space Adventures, Ltd., Mr. Anderson has led the world’s premier space tourism company to several years of profitable success and has sold more than $100M in commercial space flights; including the first and only two tourists to fly to the International Space Station; Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth. Mr. Anderson co-founded Space Adventures in 1998 with several former astronauts and leading visionaries from the aerospace, adventure travel, and entertainment industries. He has been and remains an outspoken advocate of commercial space transportation, private space exploration, and space tourism. “My vision is to open the space frontier to private citizens, and to develop and utilize space resources for the benefit of people on Earth,” explains Anderson.

Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Takafumi Horie is a leading Japanese entrepreneur. He is the founder and Chairnman of Livedoor Co, the fastest-growing Internet portal in Japan today. He previously was a web designer and writer for AppleLink. His company, Livin’ on the Edge, went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board, expanding Mr. Horie’s business into the world of E-commerce, finance, and data center businesses. Mr. Horie has also written several bestsellers including ‘How to Become a Billionaire,’ ‘How to Make a Profitable Company,’ and ‘Money to Win.’

The three newly-elected Trustees join existing members of the X PRIZE Board: Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman; Anousheh Ansari, Amir Ansari, Jack Bader, Richard Garriott, Ron Henges, William Holekamp, Kevin Kalkhoven, Byron Lichtenberg, Erik Lindbergh, Gregg Maryniak, Diane Murphy, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Adeo Ressi, Richard Sugden, Barry Thompson, Dennis Tito, and Robert Weiss.

The X PRIZE Cup: On April 13, 2005 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson declared October 4 – 9, 2005 as X PRIZE Cup Week in New Mexico. The X PRIZE Foundation is designing and will manage a week-long series of space-related events, including several educational activities, launch demonstrations, and aircraft fly-ins throughout southern New Mexico.

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