For more information and resources to help promote the AlgaePrize, download the following tools and templates, and find contact information.

About the AlgaePrize

AlgaePrize logo

The AlgaePrize, is a U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) national competition, in partnership with the Algae Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. AlgaePrize 2023–2025, part of DOE’s American-Made Challenges, spans two academic years and challenges students to develop novel solutions to algae production, processing, and new product development, which will help lower the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts.

Student teams will compete for a total of $215,000 in prize awards and national recognition, while shaping the global future of converting algae to biofuels (e.g., sustainable marine and aviation fuels), vitamin- and protein-rich foods and feeds, ecological services, and industrial compounds (e.g., biopolymers).

The competition provides the opportunity for students to engage and network with industry professionals, DOE national lab researchers, and academics to forge relationships and connections that aid students’ transitions to algal-based bioeconomy employment or entrepreneurial endeavors upon graduation.

Media Contacts

Media inquiries should be sent to Questions about the AlgaePrize, should be sent to

Online Resources

You can find resources and information related to the AlgaePrize on DOE's AlgaePrize and HeroX websites.

  • DOE's AlgaePrize competition page is the primary source of AlgaePrize information for inter- and intra-governmental agencies, laboratories, partners, and the public. It highlights the overarching competition goals and strategy behind the program, including the competition news release announcement.
  • HeroX is the dedicated AlgaePrize student resource site through which teams can register for the competition. The site also hosts specifics about the competition rules, timeline, and details.

Multimedia Resources

There are resources about algae and bioenergy on BETO's website:

General Bioenergy Resources

Algae-Specific Resources

Social Media Resources

Follow along with the AlgaePrize conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn using the hashtag #AlgaePrize. BETO, in partnership with the Algae Foundation, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will post updates, information, and algae resources on social media throughout the competition.

Bioenergy Technologies Office (Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework)
Facebook, Twitter

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn

Algae Technology Educational Consortium
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram

Algae Foundation
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

American-Made Program

Frequently Asked Questions

A full list of the rules and requirements for the AlgaePrize can be found in the AlgaePrize rules document. We’ve also highlighted a few frequently asked questions below:

Q. What is the AlgaePrize?
A. An academic competition from the DOE, funded by BETO, that encourages students to pursue innovative ideas for the development, design, and invention of technologies within the commercial algae value chain. 

Q. What are the Prizes for the AlgaePrize Competition?
A. The first stage of judging will result in up to 15 student teams being selected as AlgaePrize Finalists. Each finalist team will be awarded $10,000.

Finalist teams will present their research at the AlgaePrize Competition Event. The five top student teams will be selected as AlgaePrize Champions. Each champion team will be awarded a $10,000 prize and a trophy. The five champion teams will then present their research to a final panel of judges. These judges will select a single Grand Champion and award the Grand Champion an additional $15,000 grand prize. The five champion teams will be invited to participate in a national algal-based conference or symposium, such as the Algae Biomass Summit in the fall of 2025 to present their research and network with conference participants from the national and international algae community.

Q. How many teams can compete in the AlgaePrize competition?
A. There is no limit to the number of teams that can compete in the AlgaePrize; however, teams must consist of at least two student members enrolled in a U.S.-based educational institution (high school, accredited community college, college, university and/or graduate school). Teams with students from multiple educational institutions are allowed, and multiple teams from the same educational institution are allowed.

Q. Why is algae important to DOE?
A. The genetic diversity of algae means there are an incredible number of unique properties that can be harnessed to develop promising bioenergy, like algal biofuels, in addition to bioproducts. 

Some of algae’s unique properties include:

  • High potential yield per acre
  • Ability to grow on land not suited for agriculture
  • Ability to grow in saline, brackish, or wastewater
  • Potential for recycling of water and nutrients during production
  • Relative ease of conversion into fuels and products that are fully compatible with today’s vehicles, jets, and delivery systems. 

Leadership Biographies

These biographies of DOE and AlgaePrize leadership are provided for members of the media reporting on the AlgaePrize.

Valerie Reed Headshop photo

Valerie Sarisky-Reed
Director for the Bioenergy Technologies Office

Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed is the director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In this role, she manages efforts to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate market entry of bioenergy technologies. She assists in overseeing strategic planning to meet aggressive goals covered by the BETO research and development budget of approximately $250 million annually, working with the DOE's national laboratories, academia, and industry.

See her full biography on

Ira levine headshot

Ira (Ike) Levine
CEO, Algae Foundation

Ike is a tenured professor of Natural and Applied Science at the University of Southern Maine and the CEO of Algal Aquaculture Professionals, LLC. Dr. Levine combines over 25 years of applied algal farming, cultivar enhancement and new product development with more than 15 years of academic appointments including; Chemistry Department, University of Hawaii; Biology Department, Duke University; and Biology Department, Chaminade University.

See his full biography on

christy sterner headshot

Christy Sterner
Technology Manager, Advanced Algal Systems

Christy Sterner is a BETO Technology Manager for the Advanced Algal Systems Program. While she has served in many different capacities and programs within BETO over the years, Christy has been with the Advanced Algal Systems Program since 2009.

See her full biography on

AlgaePrize Sponsors and Supporters

The AlgaePrize competition is sponsored by:

Energy efficiency and renewable energy - bioenergy technologies office

With support from:

AlgaePrize  AF NREL AM logos