The competition is open only to: (a) citizens or permanent residents of the United States; and (b) private or non-federal government entities, corporations, or other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. Individuals can compete alone or as a member of a group. A representative of a private entity can register the entity to compete, so long as an entity is legally formed under the laws of a state or the laws of the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. See Appendix A for more information on the eligibility requirements.
A waiver may be granted. See next question for details.
DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations, members of their immediate families (i.e., spouses, children, siblings, or parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Prize. Federal entities and federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, are also not eligible to participate in any portion of the Prize. DOE national laboratory employees cannot compete in any stage of the Prize.
In keeping with the goal of growing a community of innovators, competitors are encouraged to form diverse, multidisciplinary teams while developing their submission. The HeroX platform provides a space where parties interested in collaboration can post information about themselves and learn about others who are also interested in competing in this contest.
Full details can be found in the Official Prize Rules: Appendix A for Eligibility and Appendix B for the waiver process.
These restrictions only apply to the authorized account holder, who would receive the prize funds, or the entity receiving the prize funds. The authorized account holder needs to match the primary applicant on the application. It is beyond the scope of DOE's concern whether eligible participants consult with other parties on this challenge or other matters. Any individual or organization that seeks to communicate with other parties interested in this prize is welcome to do so on the community page.
Reach out to us directly at with any questions on the waiver process or eligibility requirements.