The Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial Technology Prize awards up to $3.2 million in cash prizes and $800,000 in technical assistance vouchers to teams that identify a critical need in the DAC industry, develop a solution to address this gap, and test the idea to a degree of scale. It focuses on the steps of ideation and entrepreneurship needed to prepare technologies and businesses for commercialization.
Accelerating Just and Sustainable Carbon Management Solutions
The DAC Pre-Commercial Technology Prize (DAC Technology Prize) is part of a suite of interconnected competitions in the American-Made DAC Prize program. Understanding that there are several steps to move from an idea to a marketable product, the DAC Prizes are a suite of prizes that work together to advance carbon dioxide removal technologies and the incubators that make this process possible.
Direct air capture is technically challenging compared to other carbon capture systems, which prevent the release of additional emissions. However, it is an increasingly important tool in counterbalancing hard-to-decarbonize sectors. Because of this, the DAC Technology Prize focuses on developing DAC technology innovations, such as novel materials or systems integration, that will accelerate opportunities and successes in the industry.
Who Can Compete?
Competitors or teams who meet eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply to the initial phase of the prize (see the official rules for eligibility criteria). Diverse, multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged; competitors interested in collaborating can connect on HeroX on the “Teams” page.
Teams win increasingly larger prizes as they successfully meet technology milestones over the course of the three phases: Develop, Design, and Deploy. Each phase requires compounding progress of DAC technology development.
Design Phase requirements:
Identify a breakthrough solution to a critical need in the direct air capture industry
Develop a conceptual design for a bench-scale proof of concept system
Craft a validation plan for the technology, and more.
Only winners of the Design Phase are eligible to compete in the Develop Phase.
Develop Phase requirements:
Finalize the design and cost of solution
Conduct preliminary analyses and risk assessments
Develop a preliminary community benefits plan and monitoring, reporting, and verification plan
Develop engineering, procurement, construction, and testing plans
Schedule to validate the DAC technology.
Only winners of the Develop Phase are eligible to compete in the Deliver Phase.
Deploy Phase requirements:
Construct and test solutions
Develop a plan and design for the next scale of integrated system testing
Submit a long-term plan for the ongoing success of the technology
Identify partners and incorporate feedback to advance the solution from bench- to pilot-scale.
Please review the official rulesfor the complete application process and instructions for competing.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, the DAC Prizes suite is supported by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Learn more about the DAC Prizes.
The Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial Technology Prize is officially open! This prize, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, is now accepting submissions for innovative hard technology DAC solutions.
To compete for up to $3.2 million in cash prizes and $800,000 in technical assistance vouchers, innovator and entrepreneur teams must identify a critical need in the DAC industry, mature a breakthrough solution to address this gap, and test the idea to a specified degree of scale.
Teams will win increasingly larger prizes as they successfully meet technology milestones over the course of three phases: Develop, Design, and Deliver.
The deadline to apply for the first phase of the DAC Pre-Commercial Technology Prize is Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. EDT.Learn more about specific eligibility and submission requirements by reading the official DAC Pre-Commercial Technology Prize rules and following this HeroX channel for updates on the competition.
Interested participants can join prize administrators for an informational webinar on May 16 at 3 p.m. ET for information about competition rules, eligibility, and more, as well as a live Q&A session. Register here.