Conductive materials are fundamental to nearly all energy use applications. Developing manufacturing processes for conductivity-enhanced materials in motors, generators, and renewable power technologies could lower costs and climate impacts while improving performance.
The competition aims to unite a diverse collection of researchers and inventors to develop transformative, cost-effective approaches and technologies to accelerate American entrepreneurship and pinpoint pathways for further research and development funding and technology transition efforts.
The Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize aims to help supercharge our U.S. energy and manufacturing industries. Competitors must demonstrate significant enhancements in conductivity and design affordable conductors that enable U.S. manufacturers to leapfrog to next-generation materials.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) is launching the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize to encourage such breakthrough conductivity-enhanced materials. Up to 4 Grand Prize winners will be selected in this three-stage, three-year contest.
Competitors will submit their breakthrough concepts to develop and manufacture a new, affordable, conductivity-enhanced material useable for electrical or thermal applications. This stage of the prize will inform DOE about the minimum-conductivity enhancement and other property standards, as well as the types of support that competitors will likely need from DOE national laboratories or other American-Made Challenges Network providers in the next two stages of the prize. Up to 10 winners each will receive $25,000 in cash awards and a stipend for third-party testing of their material in Stage 2 of the prize. DOE invites all registered prize competitors to the upcoming CABLE Big Idea workshop during Stage 1. Prize competitors are encouraged to connect with the rest of the CABLE Big Idea innovation ecosystem.
Competitors will provide a sample of their material for electrical conductivity testing according to prize requirements. Competitors will also provide preliminary plans to scale-up and manufacture the material. Up to 6 competitors each will win $200,000 in cash awards and $100,000 in noncash voucher support to work with a DOE national laboratory or other American-Made Challenges Network provider in Stage 3.
Competitors successful in Stage 2 will develop a larger sample of their conductivity-enhanced material. Competitors also must provide substantial background information on how the sample was made and plans to commercialize the material. At least two testing organizations will evaluate each material sample for conductivity and other characteristics. Scores will be based, in part, on the conductivity enhancement (size and extent of breakthrough), other important material characteristics, and leapfrog manufacturability and affordability. Up to 4 competitors will split a total prize pool of at least $2,000,000.
Congratulations to DexMat, TS Conductor, and the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as Ames National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory! All six just earned awardsthrough the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Technology Office’s Multi-Topic funding opportunity announcement.
The program chose the six teams affiliated with the Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) Conductor Manufacturing Prize, plus an additional 16 projects, for their potential to help combat the climate crisis, secure U.S. domestic supply chains, and position the country as a leader in the global clean energy economy. The CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize teams will pursue projectsunder Topic 1, Next Generation Materials and Manufacturing. This work is critical to rapidly deploy more advanced conductors, which are needed to meet the country’s goal to build a net-zero-carbon power system by 2035.
Although DexMat won Stage 1 but not Stage 2 of the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize (TS Conductor and the University of Colorado Boulder were recent Stage 2 winners), the company also recently won a Voucher Service Provider award. The award enables the team to partner with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory so they can continue to tackle pressing materials and manufacturing challenges and help move the nation toward a clean energy future.
– The CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Administration Team
The seven teams moving on to Stage 3 of the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize were announced today during the American-Made Earth Day Event! The teams were each awarded $200,000 in cash and $100,000 in technical assistance vouchers after successful testing of their conductivity-enhanced materials.
In Stage 2, competitors were required to submit a lab-scale sample of their material for electrical conductivity testing, along with preliminary plans to scale up and manufacture the material. The winning teams successfully demonstrated an improvement in conductivity above each contest baseline and exhibited the affordability, manufacturability, and commercialization potential of their materials.
These winning competitors will now move on to Stage 3—tentatively planned to later in 2023—during which they will manufacture a larger sample of their conductivity-enhanced materials and develop plans to commercialize their designs.
At the conclusion of the final stage, planned for spring 2024, up to four winning teams will split a total prize pool of at least $2 million.
Congratulations to our Stage 2 winners and good luck in the next stage!
– The CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Administration Team
Have you registered yet for the American-Made Earth Day Event? During this live hybrid event, leadership from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) will announce Stage 2 winners of the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize. We’ll also be joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power Alejandro Moreno and NREL Laboratory Director Martin Keller for exciting program updates. You won’t want to miss it!
Join us on Tuesday, April 25, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET as we make this exciting announcement and honor the people and prizes supercharging the clean energy revolution.
As an attendee, you will hear from key energy industry players and get exciting first-hand updates from American-Made prize teams, including:
Prize winner announcements
Recaps of recent milestones and past winner success stories
On October 14, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will drive innovation leading to economy-wide decarbonization, increased sustainability, and economic competitiveness. CABLE competitors should specifically take note of the topic called, “Next Generation Materials and Manufacturing.” This topic will focus on research, development, and deployment of novel materials with improved properties such as high pressure, high-temperature performance, and/or enhanced conductivity. Specific areas of interest include increased conductivity materials, harsh environment materials, and AI/machine learning for aerostructures. For more information about the notice of intent, visit DOE’s webpage on the topic.
This is a friendly reminder that you have until Oct. 17 to submit your conductivity-enhanced materials for testing at the approved laboratories. Each competitor must mail in three material samples that meet the requirements laid out in the prize rules. Samples must be postmarked by Oct. 17, but prize administrators strongly recommend submitting samples as early as possible. All registered competitors have been sent specific shipping information via email. If you did not submit your registration or have registered but not received your shipping information, please email as soon as possible for next steps.
For more information about submission requirements, where to ship your sample materials or late testing registration visit the CABLE HeroX page or send your questions by email.