American-Made Challenges



Designed to stimulate innovative approaches that reduce the costs and environmental impact of critical material recovery from e-scrap.
Informational Webinar

Prize Overview

The Electronics Scrap Recycling Advancement Prize (E-SCRAP) is a $3.95M challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO). The prize aims to stimulate innovative approaches that reduce the costs and environmental impact of critical material recovery from electronic scrap (e-scrap).

E-scrap—which includes mobile phones, home appliances, medical or office equipment, and anything else powered by electricity—represents the fastest growing waste stream globally, with e-scrap generation expected to double between 2014 and 2030. Only 17.4% of e-scrap was collected and recycled globally in 2019, discarding 83% of e-waste and $57B in raw material value. However, e-scrap recovery faces numerous roadblocks, including a fragmented recycling value chain, a complex and dynamic feedstock, and a rapidly evolving end-use market. In response, E-SCRAP is challenging American entrepreneurs to revolutionize critical material recovery and reshape the future of sustainable manufacturing.

E-SCRAP is not just a competition; it’s a catalyst for change. By addressing challenges in the e-scrap recycling value chain, competitor teams can each win up to $800,000 in cash prizes and $150,000 in national laboratory analysis support over the course of the three-phase competition.

The prize is open to competitors looking to:

  • Build partnerships across the recycling value chain to optimize and integrate critical material separation and recovery technologies.
  • Develop and demonstrate innovations along the recycling value chain to enhance the recovery of critical materials from e-scrap.
  • Select at least one challenge (technical, supply chain, or related logistics hurdle) that needs further development and establish high impact opportunities (co-recovery, feedstock flexibility, information share, material benchmarking…) that will increase the domestic supply of critical materials from e-scrap.
  • Create or enhance supply chains to increase material circularity (e.g., accelerating connectivity between collection, sorting, pre-treatment, processing, refining, validation, and material qualification)


Prize Structure

The three phases of E-SCRAP prioritize the circularity of materials and reduction of e-scrap, identifying solutions that expand beyond a single-use life for electronics and encouraging reuse of product materials. The cash prizes and assistance awarded in Phases 1 and 2 are intended to support teams as they advance in the competition.

Phase 1 – Incubate

Competitors will propose solutions that substantially increase the amount of recovered critical materials from e-scrap used in U.S. manufacturing. Up to 10 winners will receive $50,000 in cash and $30,000 in national laboratory analysis support.

  • Submissions Open: March 6, 2024
  • Informational Webinar: March 27, 2024 2 p.m. ET (Register Here) and June 18, 2024 12 p.m. ET (Register Here)
  • Submissions Close: Sept. 4, 2024, 5 p.m. ET
  • Winner Announcement: December 2024*

Phase 2 – Prototype

Competitors will prototype their innovation and begin collecting and/or generating data that can be used to optimize technoeconomic strategy and life cycle impacts between partners along the recycling value chain. Winners will receive $150,000 in cash and $120,000 in national laboratory analysis support.

Phase 3 – Demonstrate

Competitors will begin implementing their innovations and propose their plans to scale their solution. Phase 3 winners will receive $600,000 in cash.


Please review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the follow feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at .


Challenge Updates

Application Support Through Power Connectors

May 29, 2024, 8:34 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Moderator

Have you started your E-SCRAP application yet? Competitors have access to application support from our prize partners, ADL Ventures and yet2. 

ADL is an innovation consulting & business development firm that focuses on projects aimed at the decarbonization of three key industries: construction, transportation, and energy.

yet2 operates at the hub of global technology innovation and have leveraged their global network of affiliates, online technology marketplace, a proprietary database of several million promising startups and solution providers, to scout cutting-edge companies and technology beyond the reach of most clients. 

Interested applicants can contact ADL Ventures or yet2 directly to:  

  • Gain relevant, up-to-date insight   
  • Receive direct, one-on-one advisory support and submission feedback from a team of experts. 

If you anticipate needing or wanting support, we highly suggest reaching out to schedule a meeting with our Power Connectors as soon as possible. 

Join the Teaming Platform 

Applicants interested in teaming up with another company along the value chain are encouraged to participate in teaming. PRO TIP: Collaborating with another competitor who aligns with your innovation and fills in a gap you may be missing is a great way to make your application stronger and more competitive. Fill out this form to get started. 

Additional Resources 

  • Watch the Informational Webinar and view the slides to get an overview of the Electronics Scrap Recycling Advancement Prize. Questions asked from the webinars are available to view on the HeroX Forum.
  • Read the Official Rules to find more details about the prize.   
  • Follow the prize on HeroX to receive important updates and deadline reminders.    

Don’t forget: E-SCRAP submissions are due by Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. ET

First Informational Webinar Recording Available

April 9, 2024, 10:41 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Moderator

In case you missed the first E-SCRAP Informational Webinar, you can view the recording and slides at any time. 

During the webinar, prize administrators gave an overview of the prize, including:   

  • Key milestones  
  • Prize eligibility 
  • Submission requirements 
  • How to navigate HeroX. 

This information, and more, can be found in the Official Rules document. We highly recommend reading the rules in their entirety before uploading a submission.  

Second Informational Webinar 

Interested applicants are invited to join the second Informational Webinar for this prize on June 18 at 12 p.m. ET to learn more about the submission requirements and ask questions during the live Q&A. The information presented during the second webinar will mirror the first webinar, up until the Q&A portion.  

Register to join today! 


Any unanswered questions asked during the live Q&A portion of the webinar will be posted with answers in the Forum tab soon.   

Questions regarding team eligibility, submission materials, or any other topic not covered in the rules can be posted in the Forum, where a prize administrator can publicly respond. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.   

Don’t forget: E-SCRAP submissions are due by September 4 at 5 p.m. ET.