X Prize Innovation Partnership Program gets official, lets companies bankroll breakthroughs

X Prize is known for doling out big bucks for tech leaps like Spaceship One and now the foundation is teaming with Singularity University and Deloitte Consulting to try to bring more cash-bearing companies on board. To that end, they created the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP) to get industry together with inventors, scientists and other developers twice a year with the goal of funding new competitions. The first meeting took place last week and included heavyweights like Google, Sprint Nextel and Qualcomm, who tossed around ideas like crowdsourcing, sensor tech and 3D printing. In exchange for their largess — a seat at the table starts at $250,000 — businesses get in on the ground floor to breakthrough tech and the fortunes it can bring. IPP cautioned that the four day event “is not a volleyball picnic or a plush retreat,” so if you had visions of shirtless CEOs, Top Gun-style, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

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