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CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize

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

This challenge is closed

stage:
Submission Deadline
prize:
$4,500,000

This challenge is closed

Overview

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 energy efficiency and other 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 affordability that enable U.S. manufacturers to leapfrog to next-generation materials.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO)launched 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 (CLOSED):

Competitors submitted their breakthrough concepts to develop and manufacture a new, affordable, conductivity-enhanced material useable for electrical or thermal applications. Ten winners each received $25,000 in cash awards and a stipend for third-party testing of their material in Stage 2 of the prize. Stage 1 of the prize helped 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. 

 

Stage 2 (Open NOW):

Competitors will provide a sample of their material for electrical conductivity testing and preliminary plans to scale-up and manufacture the material according to prize requirements. 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 (including user facilities) or other American-Made Challenges Network provider in Stage 3. Any eligible entity can compete in Stage 2 regardless of whether they were a competitor in Stage 1. 

 

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 three 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 Stage 1 official rules or the Stage 2 rules when they are ready here

 

FOLLOW CHALLENGE

View legal agreement

 

Timeline
Updates30

Challenge Updates

Registration Deadline Today for Free Conductivity Testing!

Aug. 25, 2022, 6 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Dear Stage 2 Competitors,

Don’t forget to submit a registration form for free testing of your conductive material by 5 P.M. ET Today (August 25). The registration form can be found on the CABLE Prize HeroX homepage by clicking on “Solve this Challenge” and then “Begin Entry”.

The registration form is easy and should only take a few minutes to complete. You can find a visual help guide posted to the HeroX Resources page with screenshots of the registration process. 

Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Thank you,

The CABLE Prize Administration Team


Last Chance to Register for Free Conductivity Testing

Aug. 23, 2022, 4:02 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hi CABLE Prize Competitors,

The registration deadline for free sample testing is this week! Stage 2 competitors should submit a registration form for free testing of their conductive material on or before Thursday, August 25 5 PM ET. The registration form can be found on the CABLE Prize HeroX homepage by clicking on “Solve this Challenge” and then “Begin Entry”. 

The registration form is easy and should only take a few minutes to complete. You can find a visual help guide posted to the HeroX Resources page with screenshots of the registration process. 

Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Thank you,

The CABLE Prize Administration Team


Happening Today: CABLE Voucher Networking Event

Aug. 18, 2022, 6 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Dear Stage 2 CABLE Prize Competitors, 

We are looking forward to seeing you all at today’s CABLE Voucher Service Provider Networking Event, which is happening on Zoom from 12:30 – 2:00 P.M. ET.

To help you prepare for the event, we strongly encourage you to review the VSP Capabilities Menu of Services, and the Lab capabilities presentations from the 2022 CABLE Workshop to get an overview of the various lab capabilities ahead of the event.  The focus of today’s session is to provide competitors with an opportunity to meet with prospective voucher service providers to find the best fit for your enhanced conductivity materials. Below is the agenda for the event: 

 

Time (ET)Description
12:30–12:35  Welcome
12:35–12:40CABLE Prize Workshop and CABLE Innovation Ecosystem Overview
12:40–12:50Voucher Process Overview, CABLE Prize Updates and Upcoming Deadlines
12:50 – 1:05Round Robin National Lab Introductions 
1:05Breakout Rooms Open
1:05–1:55Breakout Room: Prysmian Group
Breakout Room: Sandia National Laboratories
Breakout Room: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 
Breakout Room: National Energy Technology Laboratory 
Breakout Room: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
Breakout Room: Argonne National Laboratory
Breakout Room: Ames National Laboratory 
Main Room: CABLE Prize Administration 
2:00Event Close

 

As a reminder, you are required to submit a Voucher Summary Slide as part of your Stage 2 submission, which is due (along with the rest of your Stage 2 Submission) on December 8, 2022 at 5 P.M. ET. 

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out. 

 

Thank you, 

CABLE Prize Administration Team


Join Us This Week for the Stage 2 Voucher Networking Event!

Aug. 15, 2022, 8 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hi CABLE Prize Innovators,

Please join us for the Stage 2 Voucher Networking Event, scheduled for August 18 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET. Stage 2 competitors are encouraged to attend and meet with both national lab researchers and American-Made Network Voucher Service Providers to scope potential use of their $100K noncash voucher (which will be used in Stage 3 to support to work with a DOE national laboratory or other American-Made Challenges Network provider). 

We’d also like to remind you that the registration deadline for free sample testing is quickly approaching! Stage 2 competitors should submit a registration form for free testing of their conductive material on or before August 25. The registration form can be found on the CABLE Prize HeroX homepage by clicking on “Solve this Challenge” and then “Begin Entry”.

We look forward to seeing you at the networking event!

- The CABLE Prize Administration Team

 


Important! CABLE Prize Stage 2 Rules Modification Posted

Aug. 5, 2022, 9:58 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hi Innovators! 

We've uploaded a modified version of the CABLE Prize Stage 2 rules (see the resources tab or access them here), which includes these important revisions:

  • Updated testing sample size requirements for non-superconductors to be thinner and longer to conform to industry practice
    • Please note: that if you have already made your sample to the previous testing specifications and are unable to make a new sample, please email us at cableprize@nrel.gov and we will work with you
  • Corrected the score card testing data temperature requirement for superconductors’ critical current measurement to be either at 77K or at 4K depending on the superconductors’ critical temperature 
  • Added minimum threshold for critical current density Jc of 1 Mega Amp per centimeter squared (1 MA/cm2) for superconductors to enter CABLE prize contest
  • Moved Stage 2 final submission deadline from December 1 to December 8, 2022
  • Updated terms and conditions

Please take a moment to review these important updates to the rules at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at cableprize@nrel.gov .

Also, a quick reminder that Stage 2 competitors should submit a registration form on HeroX for free testing of their conductive material on or before August 25. The registration form can be found on the CABLE Prize HeroX homepage by clicking on “Solve this Challenge” and then “Begin Entry”.


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