15 teams are advancing as finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) AlgaePrize 2023–2025 competition.
Finalist teams were selected by a panel of judges who reviewed and scored the required 10-page research synopsis that described each team’s research plan for their proposed project within the AlgaePrize’s areas of interest. Each team’s research synopsis:
- Described how the team’s proposed research compares to and will advance the current state of technology
- Displayed a sound understanding of algae systems whether in production; downstream processing; or new product, analytical tool or ecosystem services development, and the impact of their research
- Included how diversity, equity, and inclusion will be included and addressed within their proposed effort.
These finalist teams will receive $10,000 in funding to support their research projects. Over the next few months, teams will conduct their proposed research and will provide research updates at regular intervals, including presenting their research synopsis to AlgaePrize organizers and completing an Introduction to Algae Massive Open Online Course. Teams will then present their projects to a panel of judges during the AlgaePrize Competition Weekend, April 11–13, 2025, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. The judges will select five teams as the AlgaePrize winners, and each winning team will receive a $10,000 prize. From those five, one Grand Champion will be selected who will receive an additional $15,000 prize.
Congratulations to the 15 finalist teams advancing in the competition from the following educational institutions:
|University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
|San Juan, PR
|Southern Illinois University Carbondale
|Livingston High School
|University of Hawaii at Hilo
|Solano Community College
|Clean Green Feed
|University of Connecticut
|The Blake School
|Colorado School of Mines
|JCCC Chlorella Cavaliers
|Johnson County Community College
|Overland Park, KS
|Just AD Algae
|Santa Fe Community College
|Santa Fe, NM
|University of Connecticut
|Parachlorella Plastic Pals
|University of California, San Diego
|La Jolla, CA
Camas High School
Belmont High School
Irvine High School
Los Angeles, CA
|The Algenius Thinkers
|University of Texas at Austin
About the AlgaePrize
Initially launched in January 2022, the AlgaePrize is a DOE BETO national competition, in partnership with the Algae Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which encourages students to pursue innovative ideas for the development, design, and invention of technologies within the commercial algae value chain. This year’s competition, AlgaePrize 2023–2025, is part of DOE’s American-Made Challenges, which represents a series of unique prize competitions designed to incentivize and reenergize American innovation in the energy marketplace. Products made from algae are a natural solution to the energy, food, economic, and climate challenges facing our world today. Algae have the power to put fuels in our vehicles, recycle carbon dioxide, provide nutritious food, and create jobs.
In addition to researching and developing new ideas and technologies within the commercial algae value chain, the AlgaePrize will foster workforce development and training, promote job creation in rural and urban areas, support diversity and inclusion throughout the student and judging teams, and showcase the resource potential of algal biomass in the United States to be capable of producing billions of gallons per year of economical, renewable diesel and jet fuels.
BETO supports research and development to lower the costs of producing algal biofuels—such as sustainable aviation fuels—and bioproducts. BETO is working to build the algae bioeconomy of the future, where fossil fuels could be replaced with an abundant, renewable, and flexible source of energy.