American-Made Challenges

Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

Catalyze geothermal manufacturing innovation by harnessing the rapid advances in additive manufacturing.
$4,650,000 in total prizes

Challenge Overview

The American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize (Geothermal Prize) is designed to spur innovation and address manufacturing challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. This prize further supports the ability of the geothermal industry to reach the target of 60 GWe of geothermal capacity by 2050  as outlined in the recently released GeoVision study

As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Geothermal Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 DOE National Laboratories, the Network is primed to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations to demonstrate the promise of additive manufacturing. 

Prize Stages

Competitors in the Ready!, Set!, Make!, and Geo! Contests participate in four escalating challenges. The contests provide a total of $4.65 million in incentives—$3.25 million in cash prizes, $1 million in vouchers, and $400,000 in field testing costs—to incentivize driving additively manufactured geothermal innovations from concept to prototype testing in two years through an accelerated schedule.


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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Accept Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.

A prize is one mechanism the Department of Energy uses to award funding. If you win any phase of the competition, you receive prize funding for the work you completed. Unlike a grant, the prize is a straight cash award to your organization. No follow up metrics or budget reporting is needed.

As described in the rules (page 30), materials submitted to DOE become DOE records subject to FOIA, but may be marked as confidential as authorized under the rules.  Although the rules provide for a Government license to the submission materials (sec. IV.5., page 28), the rules clarify that submission portions properly marked would have limited disclosure and would not be made public according to section VI.11 (page 30) to the extent permitted by law including FOIA.   

As described in the prize competition rules (page 4), this prize competition is being administered under the authority of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (15 USC 3719).  The Act requires participant written consent for the Government to obtain an interest in a prize participant’s intellectual property developed in the competition.  

By making a submission to the prize competition, as described in section VI.5 (pages 28-29) of the prize competition rules, a prize participant provides DOE and prize administrators with certain rights to use the prize submission, such as the right to use and publicly display the submission for government purposes, including for screening and evaluation purposes.  The technical narrative, letters of support, and parts of the submission properly marked as confidential, however, will not be made public as described in section VI.11 (pages 30-31).  In addition, submission videos must be released to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).   

Prize participants would retain title to their intellectual property developed in the competition.   


Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a process that facilitates the creation of physical, three-dimensional objects directly from a computer design file. Materials used for AM can include polymer composites, metals, ceramics, as well as other exotic materials. Of particular interest for this competition will be AM tools, components, and equipment designed for operation in the high-temperature subsurface geothermal environment.

In general, the prize is open to U.S. individuals and entities. Individuals can compete alone or as a group. We advise all participants to review section 7 of the official rules for full eligibility requirements.  

Although there is no restriction on how much a project can already be started before the Ready! submission deadline, competitors are encouraged to review Section 8/Pg. 21 “Program Goal Requirements” and  14/Pg.31 “Program Policy Factors” to ensure that their idea is a good fit for the competition.  

Submissions should be non-duplicative of work that has been previously funded by DOE or another government agency.  See Section 8  “Program Policy Factors” for more details. 

Additive manufacturing applications sought in this competition will help advance tools, components, and equipment designed to drill, interrogate, monitor, and function in harsh subsurface (e.g., 200°C+) environments during geothermal power generation operations.