American-Made Challenges

 30,591

Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize

Enabling a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy

This challenge is closed

stage:
Judging Closed
prize:
up to $2.5 million in total prizes

This challenge is closed

Overview

Challenge Overview

Advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunities is a responsibility of the entire U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize fits into President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which promises to deliver 40% of climate investment benefits to disadvantaged communities and, at the same time, inform equitable research, development, and deployment within DOE.

Part of the American-Made Challenges series and sponsored by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, this prize aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.

 

 

 

 

Up to $2.5 million in cash prizes!

The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize will award prizes of $200,000 to up to 10 organizations for a total prize pool of up to $2.5 million.

It is expected that Phase One funds will enable the winning organizations to fund proposed programs for approximately one full-time-equivalent person and carry out related activities that may include actively engaging with disadvantaged communities in their regions, building relationships through workshops and other events, providing technical support, and facilitating connections with technical expertise and academic institutions. These are examples of potential activities, and organizations are encouraged to think creatively about specific activities that play to their strengths and serve their communities.

 

 

Prize Goals

The goals of the prize are to:

  1. Enable clean energy and climate innovation, and entrepreneurship programming and capabilities at colleges and universities that serve large populations of students underrepresented in STEM, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), community colleges, and undergraduate institutions.
  2. Create or increase participation in clean energy and climate-smart job training and job placement/hiring, including programs that target participation from disadvantaged communities, including formerly incarcerated individuals and youth transitioning out of foster care.  Workforce training could cover identifying energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas inventories, renewable energy manufacturing, and deployment.
  3. Foster grassroots innovation related to just and equitable clean energy deployment through activities focusing on community-centric networks and bottom-up solutions for sustainable development, based on the needs of the communities involved.
  4. Identify and fund activities that will help disadvantaged communities become aware of, apply into or otherwise secure DOE funding or other federal, state, local government or private (for-profit or nonprofit) funding, in support of the government’s Justice40 goals.
  5. Enable the development of replicable clean energy transitions that deliver just and equitable benefits to disadvantaged communities in support of the government’s Justice40 goals.

The winners of Phase One of the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize will receive cash awards of $200,000 each. Phase One winners will be eligible to participate in a Phase Two of the prize, anticipated to take place 12 months following Phase One awards, during which time it is anticipated that a total of $500,000 will be awarded to up to three teams. 

For more information on the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize, please review the official rules document.

 

 

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Who can participate?

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

If you want to subscribe to updates on the prize or have any questions, you may use the contact feature on the HeroX platform, or message us directly.

We are also looking for ideas on how to best structure this contest to attract ground-breaking solutions that will support the marine energy and desalination industries. If you are not interested in competing but want to help develop and judge the prize, contact us.

Timeline
Updates17

Challenge Updates

More Resources For Technical Assistance and Funding

March 29, 2022, 2:42 p.m. PDT by Amanda Morton

Hello Innovators,

We're still anticipating announcing prize winners at the end of April. In the meantime we would like to make our competitors aware of a few opportunities:

 

The Department of Energy's Reducing Barriers: Workforce Technical Assistance Workshops

These trainings are offered virtually at no cost to participants. Attendance of all workshops is not required but registration is required.

Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project

Deadline 4/15. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partners with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to help remote, island, and islanded communities transform their energy systems and increase energy resilience. The ETIPP partner network connects selected communities with regional nonprofit or academic organizations ("regional partners"), energy experts at DOE research institutions (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NREL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories), and DOE offices to navigate options for addressing local clean energy and energy resilience challenges. Please be aware that ETIPP is not a grant program and does not provide direct funding to selected communities. The purchase and deployment of energy infrastructure is also not available through ETIPP.

SBIR/STTR Grants

The Department of Energy does not have any open SBIR/STTR grants at the moment, but our peers at the National Science Foundation have a few that could be relevant for some of our teams. More details can be found here.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Clean School Bus Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Clean School Bus Program prioritizes support for schools serving low-income and historically marginalized communities, and in alignment with the administration’s Justice40 Initiative. That funding opportunity opens in April 2022

 

Keep innovating,

The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Administration Team


Resources While You Wait

March 7, 2022, 12:18 p.m. PST by Amanda Morton

Hello Innovators,

It's been a week since the submission window closed, and we know you're all anxiously awaiting results. We have received over 200 submissions and are making the reviewer assignments now to our expert reviewers. 

While we wait for the reviewers to score your submissions, we wanted to point you to some resources that the Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) has pulled together to support JEDI in clean energy:

  • Sign-up for a 1:1 meeting here.
  • Visit the Cleantech Funding Database for the most up-to-date list of funding opportunities. You can filter funding type to "Community Focused" and/or "Diversity/Inclusion" to find more JEDI-focused opportunities.
  • Fill out this teaming form  for organizations, businesses, and educational institutions interested in connecting to one another and working on JEDI initiatives in clean energy.
  • Follow CEBN's blog series on the different programs that DOE and other federal agencies have for cleantech innovators: Insight into Federal Cleantech Programs.
  • Attend one of the Powering Forward webinars topics in the clean energy ecosystem. Past topics include: building a diverse clean energy ecosystem, environmental justice, and current political event impacts on clean energy.

We hope these resources are helpful to you and look forward to engaging with you in the future!

Please contact Allie Judge at ajudge@cebn.org if you have any questions about CEBN and it's resources available to you.

 

Thank you for your interest in Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion funding and development opportunities in clean energy.

 

The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Administration Team


Updated FAQ

Feb. 22, 2022, 11:36 a.m. PST by Amanda Morton

Hello Innovators,

 

We know y'all have lots of questions as we enter crunch time for submitting applications. Be sure to check out the FAQ - which is being regularly updated with questions as they come in.

 

Thanks,

The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Administration Team


Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize: One Week Left

Feb. 18, 2022, 8 a.m. PST by Amanda Morton

One week left to get your submission in for the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. 

Submissions must be submitted by: February 25, 2022 at 3 p.m. MST

Don't wait, we want to hear your idea!

 

Need last minute help? The Power Connectors are here to help. Register for a support webinar or office hours:

 

  • Friday, February 18, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Monday, February 21, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 12:00-1:00pm PT / 1:00-2:00pm MT / 2:00-3:00pm CT / 3:00-4:00pm ET: 
    Entrepreneur Futures Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 9:00-10:00am PT / 10:00-11:00am MT / 11:00-12:00pm CT / 12:00-1:00pm ET: 
    Clean Energy Business Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Wednesday, February 23, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE. **just added

 

Have questions? Post them on the forum (but please note the forum is only monitored Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm MT).


Don't forget to submit your application!

Feb. 7, 2022, noon PST by Amanda Morton

The deadline for the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize is fast approaching. 

To have your innovative idea considered your submission must be submitted by: February 25, 2022 at 3 p.m. MST

Don't wait, we want to hear your idea!

 

Need help? The Power Connectors are here to help. Register for a support webinar or office hours:

 

  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022: 12:00-1:00pm PT / 1:00-2:00pm MT / 2:00-3:00pm CT / 3:00-4:00pm ET: 
    Entrepreneur Futures Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Thursday, February 10, 2022: 8:00-9:00am PT / 9:00-10:00am MT / 10:00-11:00am CT / 11:00-12:00pm ET: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Commercialization Workshop Series: Intellectual Property Strategies. Register HERE.
  • Thursday, February 11, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022: 12:00-1:00pm PT / 1:00-2:00pm MT / 2:00-3:00pm CT / 3:00-4:00pm ET: 
    Entrepreneur Futures Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Thursday, February 17, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Friday, February 18, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Monday, February 21, 2022: Times Vary: 
    University of Arizona Center for Innovation: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 12:00-1:00pm PT / 1:00-2:00pm MT / 2:00-3:00pm CT / 3:00-4:00pm ET: 
    Entrepreneur Futures Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 9:00-10:00am PT / 10:00-11:00am MT / 11:00-12:00pm CT / 12:00-1:00pm ET: 
    Clean Energy Business Network: Office Hours. Sign-up HERE.

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