menu

American-Made Challenges

 17,648

MAKE IT Prize Strategies Track

Enabling vibrant clean energy technology manufacturing activity in communities.

This challenge is closed

stage:
Enter
prize:
$5,500,000

This challenge is closed

more
Summary
Timeline
Updates17
Forum9
Teams390
Resources
FAQ
Summary

Overview

The Manufacture of Advanced Key Energy Infrastructure Technologies (MAKE IT) Prize aims to catalyze domestic manufacturing of critical clean energy technology components, moving manufacturing facilities from planning to shovel-ready and enabling strategies for vibrant manufacturing activities in communities. This prize, developed by the Office of Technology Transitions in partnership with the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has a prize pool of approximately $30 million spread across two tracks: Facilities and Strategies. 

The Strategies Track aims to help build interest and engagement around manufacturing clean energy technologies and expand the potential for more clean energy jobs and economic opportunity. In this track, competitors will be asked to develop a roadmap to establishing clean energy manufacturing in their region and get a letter of commitment from an entity interested in establishing a facility in their region. 

This page outlines the eligibility and track structure for the Strategies Track. More information on the Strategies Track and instructions for competing can be found in the official rules document

For information on the Facilities Track, where competitors develop clean energy technology manufacturing facilities to the point of being shovel-ready, please visit the Facilities Track HeroX page.

 

Competitor Eligibility

The Strategies Track is open to teams working to promote manufacturing activity development in their regions. More information on eligibility can be found in the official rules document

 

Track Structure

The Strategies Track offers two opportunities to compete through two rounds. Each round includes three phases. 

  • Phase 1: Engage: Competitors submit a narrative describing their team, region, potential elements to include in their roadmap, and a community engagement plan. Approximately 30 winners will be awarded $50,000 each across two rounds of competition and will advance to Phase 2: Create.
  • Phase 2: Create: Competitors submit their concept roadmap, including the results of their community engagement, and a list of potential manufacturers for the region. Approximately 20 winners will be awarded $100,000 each across two rounds of competition and will advance to Phase 3: Activate.
  • Phase 3: Activate: Competitors submit their final roadmaps and demonstrate commitment from at least one entity interested in establishing a clean energy manufacturing facility in the region. Approximately eight winners will be awarded $250,000 each across two rounds of competition.

Timeline

Description automatically generated

More information can be found in the official rules document.

 

Upcoming Dates

Key Dates (estimated, subject to change)

 Round 1Round 2
Informational webinarAug 17, 2023TBD
Phase 1: Engage Submission DeadlineOct 18, 2023 Feb 15, 2024
Phase 2: Create Submission DeadlineMay 2024Nov 2024
Phase 3: Activate Submission DeadlineNov 2024May 2025

 

All Dates (estimated, subject to change)

  • Informational Webinar: August 17, 2023
  • Round 1 Phase 1: Engage Submission Deadline: October 18, 2023
  • Round 1 Phase 1:Engage Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline
  • Round 2 Phase 1: Engage Submission Deadline: February 15, 2024 
  • Round 2 Phase 1: Engage Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline
  • Round 1 Phase 2: Create Submission Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Round 1 Phase 2: Create Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline

 

  • Round 2 Phase 2: Create Submission Deadline: November 2024
  • Round 1 Phase 3: Activate Submission Deadline: November 2024
  • Round 2 Phase 2: Create Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline
  • Round 1 Phase 3: Activate Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline 
  • Round 2 Phase 3: Activate Submission Deadline: May 2025
  • Round 2 Phase 3: Activate Winner Announcement: approximately 60 days after deadline

 

Informational Webinar

The MAKE IT Prize Strategies Track informational webinar recording gives an overview of the Strategies Track and its phases, timelines, and submission requirements. Watch the webinar recording to learn more.

 

Challenge Guidelines

The official rules document contains the complete application process and instructions for competing.

 

Follow the challenge page to receive the latest updates. For any questions, please use the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at

 


Guidelines

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

Follow the challenge page to receive the latest updates. For any questions, please use the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at

Timeline
Updates17

Challenge Updates

Strategies Track Round 2 Phase 1 Winners Announced

April 11, 2024, 12:30 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

Congratulations to our new MAKE IT Prize winners! Twelve MAKE IT Prize Strategies Track winners each took home $50,000 from Round 2 Phase 1.     

Strategies Track Round 2 Phase 1 winners will now join the Round 1 teams already competing in Phase 2 of the track to create a roadmap for clean energy manufacturing in their region and demonstrate interest from manufacturers.

  

Congratulations to the winning teams!  

  • Building A Climate Resilient Future for All (Delaware) 
  • Clean Energy Manufacturing in Mendenhall, MS (Mississippi) 
  • Creating the Equitable Clean Energy Future (Georgia) 
  • Inland SoCal for Advanced Manufacturing (California) 
  • Innovate Jonesboro (Maine) 
  • Joliet Commercialization Coalition (JCC) (Montana) 
  • Make It Mohawk Valley (New York) 
  • MAKE IT on the Rosebud Reservation (South Dakota) 
  • Metal Fuels Alliance (Virginia) 
  • Project 81 (Oklahoma) 
  • Quincy’s Strategy to “Make It” Happen! (Florida) 
  • South Arkansas Green Energy Project (SAGEP) (Arkansas) 

Nine Facilities Track winners each received $500,000 from Phase 1 of the Primary Timeline. Read more on the Facilities Track HeroX page

 

Read the full announcement on energy.gov.


Join Us for the MAKE IT Winner Announcement Livestream

April 9, 2024, 10 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

You’re invited to join us for a livestream announcement of Phase 1 winners from Strategies Track Round 2 and Facilities Track Primary Timeline of the MAKE IT Prize!

 

What: Department of Energy MAKE IT Prize Live Announcement

When: Thursday, April 11, 2024 from 1:30 to 2:30pm CT

Agenda:

  • Opening Remarks
  • Winner Announcement
  • Panel Discussion: Growing the New Clean Energy Manufacturing Base in the Midwest

Watch Live: https://bit.ly/4cRUmJS


Upcoming Winner Announcement and Phase 2 Deadline

April 4, 2024, 1:10 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

The announcement of winners from Strategies Track Round 2 Phase 1: Engage will happen this coming Thursday, April 11 (anticipated). Winners will be notified individually and publicly posted on HeroX.  

Reminder: The submission deadline for teams competing in Round 1 Phase 2 is May 2. Remember to reference the Resources tab for a helpful narrative template and Official Prize Rules.  

Questions? Contact MAKEITPrize@nrel.gov. 


Strategies Track Round 2 Deadline in 2 Days

Feb. 13, 2024, 12:23 p.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

 Have you completed your application submission for Round 2 of the Strategies Track? If yes, great work! Please carry on with your day.  

 

If no, you have until 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 15, 2024—2 days from now. Review the Strategies Track official rules document and informational webinar to learn what to include and how to submit.  

 

Apply for Round 2 of the Strategies Track now


How the MAKE IT Prize Advances Justice40 Initiatives

Feb. 5, 2024, 8:38 a.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

Did you know you can strengthen your MAKE IT Prize submission by working with disadvantaged communities that could benefit from the clean energy manufacturing economy? 

The MAKE IT Prize will award approximately $30 million in prizes to catalyze the domestic manufacturing of critical clean energy technology components, moving manufacturing facilities from planning to shovel-ready and enabling strategies for vibrant manufacturing activity in communities. 

Guided by the Justice40 (J40) Initiative principles, one of the main objectives of this prize is to support the creation of economic and job opportunities related to clean energy for all Americans. The J40 Initiative directs that 40% of the benefits from certain federal investments—including those related to clean energy and energy efficiency—flow to disadvantaged communities (DACs). 

As part of its commitment to J40, the Department of Energy (DOE) is following these eight priorities as guiding principles for all programs covered under the initiative: 

  1. Decrease energy burden in disadvantaged communities (DACs).
  2. Decrease environmental exposure and burdens for DACs.
  3. Increase parity in clean energy technology access and adoption in DACs.
  4. Increase access to low-cost capital in DACs.
  5. Increase clean energy enterprise creation and contracting in DACs.
  6. Increase clean energy jobs, job pipeline, and job training for individuals from DACs.
  7. Increase energy resiliency in DACs.
  8. Increase energy democracy in DACs. 

Through the MAKE IT Prize, DOE aims to promote quality employment, equitable economic development, and other benefits of manufacturing within disadvantaged communities. 

How to Make J40 Principles Shine in Your Submission

Consideration for the J40 Initiatives is an important piece of the MAKE IT Prize Strategies track. A successful Phase 1: Engage submission should exhibit this consideration by:

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the region and its communities.
  • Highlighting potential impacts to disadvantaged communities.
  • Showcasing the potential to meaningfully address at least one of the eight priorities listed above. 

To better understand where disadvantaged communities are located and how they may be impacted, check out the White House Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and learn more about the Justice40 Initiative.

Want to help make sure the clean energy transition benefits those in your community? Submit your materials for Phase 1: Engage of the MAKE IT Strategies Track by Feb. 15! 


Forum9
Teams390
Resources
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Solve this Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.

The competition is open to entities that work to promote clean energy technology manufacturing, economic development, and growth in their region. This includes, but is not limited, to private entities (forprofits and nonprofits), consortia, academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and nonfederal government entities (such as tribes, states, counties, and municipalities) in the United States, subject to the following requirements:

  • Private entities must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. 
  • Academic institutions must be based in the United States.

Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain clean energy innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, facilities, and other valuable industry partners from across the U.S. who will engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of Community Clean Energy Coalition competitors.

See who is in the network.

Power Connector organizations are a core group of Connectors that will work alongside NREL to implement parts of the program and secure additional resources and partners.

Discover who they are and how they will help innovators succeed.

https://americanmadechallenges.org/power_connectors

If you encounter an issue when attempting to submit an entry to the challenge, you may need to contact HeroX or the Prize Administrator.

You may try to connect with HeroX using the online form which appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, it says Leave a Message.

You may also send a message to the Prize Administrator inbox at MAKEITPrize@nrel.gov.

Please allow at least 1 business day for a response.

All of your files are uploaded as part of the submission form, access this by clicking the Begin Entry button.  The submission form contains an upload option for each of the required file entries.  Only PDF files will be accepted for upload.

Q: Can we use the prize to help an existing local manufacturer expand into clean energy, or does it need to attract a business from outside the region?

A: Yes, you can use the prize to help an existing local manufacturer expand into clean energy. Note that the potential impact of the proposed facility or facilities (for example, quality jobs created, economic growth generated) will be considered in assessment. Please see the official rules document for full details of how the manufacturer commitment will be assessed.

 

Q: Can we submit sales contracts in lieu of the letters of support?

A: Competitors may submit any supporting documentation that would be helpful, as long as it complies with submission requirements outlined in the rules.

 

Q: Are there eligible clean energy technologies (like there are in the Facilities track)?

A: All clean energy technologies are eligible in this track.

 

Q: Can one submit an application to both tracks?

A: Provided that all other eligibility and submission requirements are met, competitors may submit applications to both tracks.

 

Q: Can you expand on the expectations for tribal engagement in Phase 1: Engage?

A: There is not an explicit requirement for tribal engagement, but the degree to which the submission partners with or will benefit tribes or tribal communities may be considered in assessment. This prize is guided by the Justice40 Initiative so there is a specific emphasis on disadvantaged, overburdened, or underserved communities.

 

Q: What are promising technologies? If a technology in DOE roadmaps is mentioned as an attractive option, would this be considered promising?

A: This prize is open to manufacturing for any clean energy technologies. Any technology mentioned as promising in one of the DOE roadmaps or strategi documents would be of interest. 

 

Q: Are facilities or strategies that involve HUB zones favored or given greater weight during judging?

A: This Track considers if your region is defined as a disadvantaged, overburdened, or underserved community that would benefit from new opportunities driven by clean energy manufacturing, which can include HUB zones. Please see the official rules for definitions. 

 

Q: If a plan potentially covers multiple regions, but would be initiated and tested in one region, should the proposal focus on the initial region?

A: Yes. Please focus on the region in which this project will work during the competition period. 

 

 

 

 

 

My team submitted to Round 1 and was declined an award.  I see that my region of focus is not part of the awardees from Round 1.  Should that encourage one to apply again to Round 2? 

Competitors who submit to but do not win Phase 1: Engage awards in Round 1 may submit to Round 2; however, DOE recommends that competitors prepare their second submission considering the feedback provided from their first submission. 

 

Can a private entity be an LLC? You said “must be incorporated” which could mean it needs to have a corporate designation. 

A private entity may be an LLC. Private entities must be incorporated in the United States but can be a variety of legal designations, so long as they are legally an entity within the U.S. and maintain their primary place of business in the United States.  

 

Can you provide some examples of a “Consortia”? 

A structured group of several businesses or organizations with the same mission or goals. 

 

Is there any email I can send particular questions? 

We cannot answer questions about specific submissions, please refer to our Power Connector, the Clean Energy Business Network, for further assistance.  

 

Is it important to include local organizations like a trade organization as a team member or can they be referenced as an entity that would be contacted as part of the roadmap? 

Competitors are encouraged to partner with local organizations and it is likely that the number of partners and/or size of the team will grow as competitors progress through the prize. At this phase, the narrative requests that competitors identify the staff and other resources required to complete the roadmap, planned engagement, and outreach; demonstrate access to or a plan to obtain the identified resources.  

 

Where can a letter of intent be submitted? 

Statements of Intent are required for the Facilities track and should be submitted at https://www.herox.com/make-it-facilities. The Strategies track requires a Phase 1: Engage submission via https://www.herox.com/make-it-strategies. Strategies track competitors are not required to submit a Statement of Intent.  

 

If you received no feedback from Round 1, how do you acquire it? 

All Team Captains from Round 1 should have received feedback on their submissions. If you do not have the feedback, please contact MAKEITprize@nrel.gov for further information.  

 

How is the prize money distributed? Is it taxed or are there other hold backs? 

Prize funds are dispersed to winning teams within 60 days of the award announcement. The funds are taxable, and we recommend working with a CPA or tax advisor.  

 

Do you have to list every person on the team in the submission and summary slide?  

The Key Members of the team should be listed on the cover page of the submission, with their experience and expertise included in the narrative document. Other partners should also be listed. Please see the Official Rules and Narrative Template for more information. Power Connectors can advise on the specific submissions and the level of detail to provide.   

 

What level of detail is needed for the team member’s experience? Is a full resume recommended for instance? 

The aggregate Narrative document should not exceed 2,000 words. There is a section in the submission form requesting key member names and links to bios and/or professional sites. Power Connectors can advise on specific submissions and whether the level of detail provided is sufficient.