We reported last August about the Elevator 2010 competition, an effort to kick-start the design and construction of an Earth to orbit elevator by holding competitions for interim developments. While we focused on the climber competition, a reader noted that a tether strength competition was in the works, too. This week, NASA's Centennial Challenges program, intended to fund prizes for innovative ideas and competitions for solar system exploration, announced that it would be underwriting the Elevator 2010 competitions, including boosting the 2006 prize money. With the NASA support, the climber competition will include a 'beamed power' component, where the elevator's power is beamed to it from the ground rather than carried onboard.
This Elevator 2010 page includes some answers to common question, as well as a link to a video explaining the concept, complete with computer graphics and a cheesy corporate-video soundtrack.