Great ideas and potential solutions are everywhere. Anyone can participate in the Solar Prize through ideation. This is a collaborative space where challenges, knowledge, and ideas will be shared, discussed, and rated to become potentially transformational solutions.
Innovation is often the result of a different perspective on a tough problem. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh eye, another angle, or asking an old question in a new way. Whether you’re a solar expert or a problem solver in a different field, the Solar Prize will expand the pipeline of talent driving solar energy innovation by opening it up to people with diverse experiences, skills, and perspectives.
The Solar Prize leverages the ideation process by using crowdsourcing to generate and aggregate pressing solar technology challenges. Through this easily-accessed, publicly-available platform, anyone can submit consumer and industry-relevant problem and/or opportunity statements. The community can share feedback by commenting on postings. Whether you’re a seasoned industry veteran or new to the solar scene, ideation helps bring new ideas to light.
Competitors are encouraged to track posted problems and devise solutions in preparation for the Ready! Contest in the American-Made Solar Prize Challenge. Potential competitors can use this platform to explore and refine existing ideas, share and/or compete with their own solutions.
Ideation inspiration in partnership with national labs
Potential competitors can also use HeroX to explore and refine existing ideas, research, patents, and intellectual properties available in the U.S. and at national labs.
NREL will seed representative technology solutions from SETO-funded projects to the ideation platform including: CSP, grid integration, PV reliability, and PV-specific technologies in perovskite, silicon and III-V materials, as well as hardware and software technologies.
Another complementary online tool, the Laboratory Partnering Service, is an application enabling access to leading energy experts within DOE and across the national laboratories. It delivers a host of information and access to the DOE portfolio of investable energy opportunities. This service makes it easy to identify resources and expertise and will serve as a conduit between Solar Prize investors and innovators.
The Laboratory Partnering Service also provides access to the Visual Patent Search application. This tool provides a facilitated search of more than 22,000 DOE patents. Prize competitors can search this database for opportunities to draw inspiration from, improve upon, or completely rethink solar energy innovation.
Be part of the Ideation community
Join the Ideation community by submitting problem statements online, voting on existing problem statements or by submitting solution ideas. Each problem submission requires a written headline and a description of a concise problem statement related to solar energy. Each submission may include links to relevant existing research work, patents, or other supporting content and keyword tags.
The prize administrator will review submissions for compliance with the goals of the competition. A submission that is not responsive to the goals of the competition may be removed. The prize administrator will exercise full discretion in this matter and decisions are final. Submissions that pass the initial compliance screening will be published on the Ideation platform and will be open for public voting.
Once the prize administrator approves submissions for public view, they will be available for community members to comment, tag, or vote. The prize administrator may tag a submission to indicate programmatic interest. The Ideation community may vote to indicate their interests and preferences based on submission quality. A participant who submitted a problem statement that is adopted by a team that goes on to win the Go! Contest may receive a $1,000 prize.
Anyone can join the Ideation community by submitting problem statements online, voting on existing problem statements. Each problem statement submission requires a headline and a description of a concise problem statement related to solar energy. Each submission may include links to relevant existing research work, patents, or other supporting content and keyword tags.
Submissions will be available for community members to comment, tag, or vote. The Prize Administrator may tag a submission to indicate programmatic interest. A participant who submitted a problem statement that one of the two winning teams in the Go! Contest adopts as the foundation for their innovation will receive $1,000. The winner in the Go! Contest may or may not be the Ideation problem statement submitter.
The Prize Administrator reserve the right to delete redundant problem statements or when possible, combine similar problem statements into a single problem statement based on the earlier timestamp. When the Prize Administrator combines or edits a problem statement, only the first submitting participant will be eligible to receive a $1,000. A submission that is not responsive to the goals of the program may be removed. The Prize Administrator will exercise full discretion in this matter and decisions are final.
Submissions from NREL and DOE domain names on this platform are submission from individuals working at the DOE or NREL. These submissions represent the views and opinions of the individual submitters and do not necessarily state or reflect the official views of DOE or NREL.
Please visit https://americanmadechallenges.org/rules to view the full rules for American-Made Challenges Ideation and the American-Made Challenges Solar Prize.