The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers will launch a company and move toward commercialization in under a year.
As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Perovskite Startup Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, the Network is primed to assist entrepreneurs in bringing perovskite-focused concepts to market.
The Perovskite Startup Prize consists of two consecutive contests that accelerate efforts to develop new, innovative perovskite solar companies with the potential to manufacture commercially viable products in the United States. The best-performing competitors in the Countdown Contest are awarded with cash prizes and are eligible to compete in the Lift-off Contest. This cycle of contests repeats until 2-3 final winners are selected for successfully completing the challenge.
Please review the official rules for the complete submission process and instructions for participating.
The Perovskite Startup Prize is composed of two contests: Countdown and Liftoff. Each contest has a set amount of funding allocated for winning submissions. Finalists and winners will be chosen upon merit, and contests will be open on a quarterly basis until all prize money has been won. DOE expects to select approximately six to nine companies that will receive $200,000 in cash and become eligible to compete in the Liftoff Contest. It is not expected that all winners will be selected in the first open-application period. However, the Countdown Contest will close once these awards are made, which may be before the final dates indicated on the table above. The Liftoff Contest will end when the prize pool is exhausted, regardless of whether all Countdown winners have applied to enter the Liftoff Contest.
Currently, 0 Countdown and 0 Liftoff awards have been made.
Below is a table with tentative submission deadlines each quarter*:
Open for Countdown submissions
June 30, 2021
5:00 PM ET
Countdown Submission Deadline #1
Sept. 30, 2021
5:00 PM ET
Countdown Submission Deadline #2
Liftoff Submission Deadline #1
Liftoff– Must have won Countdown #1
Jan. 4, 2022
5:00 PM ET
Countdown Submission Deadline #3
Liftoff Submission Deadline #2
Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1 or #2
March 31, 2022
5:00 PM ET
Countdown Submission Deadline #4
Liftoff Submission Deadline #3
Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1, #2, or #3
June 30, 2022
5:00 PM ET
Liftoff Submission Deadline #4
Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1, #2, #3, or #4
*All dates subject to change.
If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by clicking the “follow” button at the top of this page. You can pose questions in the “Forum” tab or reach out to prize administrators by emailing .
The Perovskite Startup Prize is hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday, April 13, at 1 p.m. ET. Tune in to learn more about the prize structure, participation requirements, and what you need to accomplish throughout the competition.
The newly launched Perovskite Startup Prize aims to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers compete for $3 million in prizes while they launch a company and move toward commercialization.
Want to learn more about the Perovskite Startup Prize and how you can compete? Join the informational webinar on Tuesday, April 13, at 1 p.m. ET. Register here for the webinar.
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.
Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain solar 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 competitors.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the Prize Administrator for the American-Made Challenges. In this capacity NREL works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to administer the challenges, maintain the website platform, assist in building the network, and pay prize money to the winning teams.
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.
Competitors may submit a maximum of two (2) submissions per quarterly application period for Countdown Contest. If more than two submissions are received from a single competitor or team for a quarterly application period, only the two most recent submissions will be considered.
If a competitor completes a submission package to the Liftoff Contest and is not selected, they are eligible to submit one more time to a future Liftoff round with that same submission package. Competitors who are not selected two times are no longer eligible to compete to win the Liftoff Contest.
Competitors must be a for-profit business entity, such as a corporation or other organization that is formed in and maintains a primary place of business in the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. Only for-profit companies incorporated within six (6) months prior to the announcement of this competition or any time after the announcement of the competition are eligible to compete.
Individuals or groups of individuals are not eligible to compete. A for-profit business entity is eligible to compete only if the registered competitor is an employee or owner of that business.
If a competitor completes a submission package to the Liftoff Contest and is not selected, they are eligible to submit one more time to a future Liftoff round. Competitors who are not selected two times are no longer eligible to compete to win the Liftoff Contest. Please the official rules for more details.