WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Advanced Cybersecurity Technology (ACT) 1 Prize Competition. The ACT 1 Prize is part of the Rural and Municipal Utility Cybersecurity (RMUC) Program and supports President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to strengthen the country’s national and economic security with next-generation technologies. Established by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the RMUC program will provide $250 million over a five-year period to enhance the cybersecurity posture of cooperative, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities. The $8.96 million ACT 1 Prize is the first in a series of prizes from the RMUC Program. 

“Rural electric cooperative, municipal, and small investor-owned utilities carry out a critical economic and national security role in the United States - often with limited resources,” said Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane. “As the Biden-Harris Administration seeks to create a more secure and reliable energy grid and strengthen the economies and quality of life in rural communities across America, it is imperative that the Department of Energy assists our rural utility partners with cybersecurity issues.”   

Nearly one in six Americans live in a remote or rural community. Utilities in these communities often cite difficulty recruiting top cybersecurity talent, inadequate infrastructure to support new technologies, and a lack of the financial resources needed to modernize and secure their systems.  

Managed by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, the RMUC Program will provide critical investments to strengthen utility systems, deliver crucial technical assistance, and provide cybersecurity training to the utility workforce. These new investments—made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—will result in a more secure and resilient energy grid that is better prepared to meet the cybersecurity threats facing electric utilities. 

The RMUC Program’s ACT 1 Prize is an American-Made Challenges competition administered by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. ACT 1 Prize applications are due by 5:00 PM (ET) on November 29, 2023.  

To access the ACT 1 Prize application materials, visit the American-Made Challenges website. For more information about the RMUC Program, visit the RMUC Program web pageACT 1 Prize web page, and the press release.