American-Made Challenges


CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize

Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric applications (CABLE) Prize for materials inventors
CABLE Big Idea Workshop

Challenge Overview

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.

CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Stage Overview


Stage 1:

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.


Stage 2:

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.


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.


You can review the official rules here


Updates 3

Challenge Updates

Reminder: The CABLE Big Idea Workshop Starts Today!

April 7, 2021, 5:48 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hello CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Community, 

Can you believe that the virtual CABLE Big Idea Workshop starts today?  Don’t forget to register for this free, three-day event hosted by Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office, which is featuring in-depth discussion on DOE’s Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough, Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) Initiative. This is a fantastic opportunity for material scientists, application developers, manufacturers, and other interested stakeholders to start building a research ecosystem around conductivity-enhanced materials.

See the full workshop agenda and register to attend April 7-9 by visiting the CABLE initiative website:

We look forward to seeing you there!

- The CABLE Prize Administrative Team


Sign-Up Today for the CABLE Big Idea Workshop (April 7-9)

March 31, 2021, 11:40 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Dear CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Community, 

Did you know that the virtual CABLE Big Idea Workshop is only one week away? Join the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Manufacturing Office on April 7-9 for a free three-day event that will feature in-depth discussion of DOE’s CABLE initiative―Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough, Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) materials and applications. The workshop will bring together material scientists, application developers, manufacturers, and other interested stakeholders to start building a research ecosystem around conductivity-enhanced materials. 

To see the full workshop agenda and register to attend, visit the CABLE initiative website at

We look forward to seeing you next week!

You’re Invited! Join the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Kick-off Webinar and Learn How to Compete

March 26, 2021, 12:40 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Have you considered competing in the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize? Do you have questions about what technologies can be submitted? Are you curious if you qualify to compete?

All these questions and more will be answered next week on March 30, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET during the CABLE Prize Informational Webinar. 

If you have an idea to develop and manufacture breakthrough conductivity-enhanced materials, join us on the webinar and learn how you can compete to win part of the $4.5 million prize pool. The CABLE Prize administration team will give insight into the application process, answer questions about the prize, and share how participating can catapult your innovation.

Interested in competing? Register now for the CABLE Prize Informational Webinar and tune in on March 30!

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