The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship are all important drivers of scientific and technological development. The DOE supports entrepreneurs, from college students to early career and seasoned professionals to established companies, by offering funding for research, innovation and technology transfer, technical support, prize competitions, and training opportunities at a National Laboratories and User Facilities.
Open Entrepreneurship Challenges
Through these prize challenges, innovators have the chance to win cash prizes and vouchers for ideas that advance U.S. leadership in the energy technology innovation. Find more entrepreneur programs on the Search DOE STEM Opportunities page.
The Re-X Before Recycling Prize will award up to $5.6 million in federal funding and technical assistance from DOE national laboratories. The prize, led by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), is designed to stimulate innovation and private investment in circular economy approaches that can transform waste streams into diverse, integrated circular supply networks and contribute to a robust, environmentally sustainable economy.
Eligibility: Individuals, Teams of Individuals, Private Entities, Non-federal Government Entities
Informational Webinars: December 14, 2023 & January 17, 2024
Submission Deadline: March 12, 2024
The Office of Technology Transitions (OTT)'s EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) Faculty Track is designed to support collegiate faculty members in their efforts to expand educational activities around energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship at their institution. This new track aims to incentivize faculty directly, offering access to mentorship, resources, and $100,000 in cash prizes.
Ten faculty teams from the Explore Phase have been selected as Faculty Explorers. However, all faculty who submitted an entry to the Explore Phase are welcome to continue developing their idea and compete for the eight cash prizes available in the final Implement Phase.
Eligibility: Faculty and/or teams of faculty employed by an accredited college institution
Faculty Track Implementation Plan Submission Deadline: April 5, 2024
The Solutions for Lasting, Viable Energy Infrastructure Technologies (SOLVE IT) Prize, the result of a collaboration between DOE's Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), aims to empower communities to identify and implement innovative clean energy solutions in a way that works for their unique needs and challenges. Competitors will work collaboratively with stakeholders interested in community-scale (neighborhood-, town-, or city-scale) planning around clean energy to engage their communities, build a network of support for clean energy or decarbonization projects, and develop plans for carrying out these projects.
Eligibility: Individuals, Private Entities, Consortia, Academic Institutions, Labor Unions, Nongovernmental organizations, Non-federal Government Entities
Submission Deadline: April 12, 2024
The American-Made Power at Sea Prize, established by the DOE Water Power Technologies Office, seeks new, innovative, and feasible marine energy concepts that can fulfill Powering the Blue Economy initiatives—including supporting offshore industries, science, and security activities, and meeting the energy and water needs of coastal and rural island communities. The two-phase, $1.7 million prize is open to new and existing participants in marine energy.
Eligibility: Individuals, Private Entities, Non-federal Government Entities
Overview Webinar: November 29, 2023
Submission Deadline: July 26, 2024
See upcoming submission and registration deadlines for entrepreneurship competitions.
Resources for Entrepreneurs