Does your idea or innovation have the potential to be in the solar marketplace within 3 to 5 years? The ability to commercialize your program or product is a key piece of the Solar Prize Round 7, but what exactly does that mean? 

Commercialization is the process of taking a research-based idea and turning it into a business-based solution ready for widespread adoption by customers. Participation in the Solar Prize enables you to advance your impactful solar technology idea through the proof-of-concept and prototype phases of the commercialization process. 

For the purposes of the Solar Prize, you should demonstrate that your idea can complete the commercialization process in 3 to 5 years. The complete commercialization process can include steps related to:

  1. Research and development – If you’ve completed this phase, you are prepared to enter the Ready! Contest. Winners have an impactful idea or solution for a solar technology that could be commercialized in 3 to 5 years, addressing a critical need in the solar industry.
  2. Proof of concept - The Set! Contest is your opportunity to substantially advance your technology or solution toward a viable and promising proof of concept.
  3. Prototype - The Go! Contest helps you substantially advance your technology or solution from proof of concept to a refined prototype and find a partner to perform a pilot test of the prototype.

After completing these early phases of the commercialization process, you’ll be prepared to advance to the remaining phases after the competition concludes:

4. Testing and optimization

5. Mass production scale-up and manufacturing

6. Regulatory approvals

7. Market analysis and strategy

8. Launch and distribution

Remember, your Solar Prize entry must be capable of completing this commercialization process (phases 1 to 8) within 3 to 5 years. If you aren’t quite sure how to plan for commercialization, reach out to a Power Connector for support on developing your plan. 

We look forward to reviewing your Round 7 Ready! Contest applications, due by Sept. 27!