Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Broadens Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, Launches Two New Prizes

December 4, 2018

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced two new prizes as part of its Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, an effort to crowdsource solutions for next generation manufacturing to increase energy productivity and strengthen America's industrial base.

In partnership with the crowdsourcing platform Freelancer.com, this challenge offers applicants an opportunity to submit innovative design concepts for additive manufacturing (3D printing) and other topics within several technology areas, including bioenergy, buildings, and vehicle technologies. Individual prizes will be awarded to innovators with the best solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. Prizes now open for ideas include:  

Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM) – $9,600 total prize purse (3 winners of $3,200 each)

DOE is seeking new concepts in biobased materials for additive manufacturing. Large-scale additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping of complex structures. Biobased printing materials are critical for making 3D printed structures renewable and potentially biodegradable; however, they are currently plagued with problems of material strength and printability. The BAM Prize is looking to identify new materials that are made from at least 90% plant matter or algae and can meet or exceed the performance of current commercial 3D printing materials. This opportunity ends on January 10, 2019. Learn more.

Novel Concepts for Large-Scale 3D Printing – $7,500 total prize purse (3 winners of $2,500 each)

DOE is seeking new and exciting concepts for the use of large-scale 3D printing. The ability to manufacture large-scale objects using 3D printing has opened a range of new technical possibilities. DOE is hoping to bring attention to these possibilities, while harnessing the creative power of the crowd to identify spaces where 3D printing can play a role in breakthrough technologies. This opportunity ends on February 1, 2019. Learn more.

DOE and Freelancer.com launched two prizes in October, and have extended the application deadlines to December 17, 2018. These prizes include:

Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response – $7,500 total prize purse (3 winners of $2,500 each)

DOE is seeking design concepts that explore new applications for large-scale additive manufacturing for disaster response. Natural disasters can rapidly destroy critical large- and small-scale infrastructure, such as power lines and communications towers, and delay aid and relief efforts. By producing critical infrastructure components on-site, rather than shipping them from afar, additive manufacturing has the potential to accelerate disaster recovery times. Learn more.

Solid State Lighting Manufacturing – $9,000 total prize purse (3 winners of $3,000 each)

DOE is seeking applicants for a Solid State Lighting (SSL) manufacturing design concept that advances novel 3D printing for use in luminaire applications, specifically 3D printing concepts of optical materials for SSL. Learn more.

Learn more about the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge and how to submit your ideas on the contest’s home page.