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Solar solutions can compete for $3 M in solar prize contest

June 21, 2018

American Made Solar Challenge is seeking teams of creative individuals and entrepreneurs to compete for prize money and strategic support in accelerating ideas and solutions. In a three-part series of contests, $3 million will be awarded in cash prizes and up to $525,000 in vouchers, which can be used at national laboratories and other voucher facilities to develop, test and validate ideas in the energy marketplace.

The challenge is intended to accelerate the cycle of innovation from years to weeks, while creating partnerships connecting entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national labs. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the prize administrator of the challenges and is working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the contests. Another 16 national laboratories will be serving as technical partners, along with other fabrication and manufacturing facilities. The DOE can leverage last year’s Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT) to enable flexible financial arrangements between industry and national labs.

The first challenge of the Ready! Set! Go! contests involves submitting an idea from the ideation platform or one that is unique to addressing a critical need in the solar industry. The ideation period is open until Oct. 2.


For those who are interested in submitting ideas on federal technology transfer authorities and processes, the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) is seeking comments via a Request for Information (RFI). The intent of comments collected under this RFI will inform NIST’s evaluation of federal technology transfer practices, policies, regulations, and/or laws that promote the transfer of federal technologies and the practical application of those technologies, including through commercialization by the private sector. No monetary awards will be made under this announcement. Comments are due July 30. More information is available here.

dept of energy, innovation