The EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), has named 23 total teams as winners in the Explore Phase. 

Just a month ago, OTT announced 184 student teams representing 124 schools competing in EnergyTech UP 2023. The teams—made up of multidisciplinary groups of post-secondary students—were tasked with identifying a DOE National Laboratory-developed or other high-potential energy technology, assessing its market potential, and pitching their strategy for commercialization to a panel of industry judges at a regional Explore Event. 

One Regional Winner and several Bonus Prize Finalists were chosen in each of the 15 regions by a panel of industry judges. The final winners of the Bonus Prizes were then selected by the bonus prize’s corresponding DOE technology office.

Bonus Prize Winners

The following were each awarded $25,000: 

  • Geothermal: Team Visionergy, University of Maryland, “Cow Cooling Before Climate Catastrophe”
  • Electricity / Grid Enhancing Technologies: Team RLGrid, Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “RLGrid: AI-Driven Grid Management and Expansion”
  • Electricity / Large Power Transformers: The University of Texas at Austin, “Solid-State Transformer for the New Electric Grid”
  • Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: Team Biocharm, Appalachian State University, “Biocharm - the Pursuit of Carbon Negative Concrete”
  • National Lab Technology IP Licensing: Prairie View A&M University and the University of Houston, “Revolutionizing Hydrogen with Ceramic Membranes”
  • Nuclear Energy: Boise State University, “Additively Manufactured Sensors for Nuclear Energy”
  • Solar Energy: Team UW Madison Helios, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Low-Cost Heliostat for CSP and PV”
  • Water Power: Team Magnetic Gears for Wave Energy, Texas A&M University, “Magnetic Gears to Unlock Wave Energy”

The winner of the OTT-sponsored National Lab Technology IP Licensing Bonus Prize will join the Regional Winners at the National Pitch Event to compete for first, second, or third place. All other Technology Bonus Prize Winners are invited to attend Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, this April to optionally present their business plans at a lunchtime plenary session and network with industry attendees but will not be competing in the National Pitch Event. 

Regional Winners

The following were each awarded $3,000:

  • Battery Doctor, The University of Alabama
  • Bio-Based Terrazzo, University of Louisville
  • Carbon to Stone, Cornell University
  • Carbonbusters, Purdue University
  • Direct Recycling of Battery Manufacturing Waste, The Ohio State University and The University of Akron
  • Electromaim, The George Washington University
  • Flux XII, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Heliotrope, New York University
  • LiQuidium, University of Houston 
  • Low Temperature Hydrothermal Synthesis, University of California, San Diego
  • Pike Robotics, The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston 
  • Refrigerant Recycling with Membrane Technology, The University of Kansas
  • ReLi, The University of Virginia
  • Rockfix, Stanford University and Harvard University
  • Wildflower Project, Oregon Institute of Technology

These teams and the National Lab Technology IP Licensing Bonus Prize Winner will now move onto the Refine Phase to further hone their business plans in advance of the EnergyTech UP National Pitch Event at Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, this April. After the pitches conclude, judges will select a first-place National Winner to be awarded $50,000; a second-place National Winner to be awarded $30,000; and a third-place National Winner to be awarded $20,000.  

The event is open to anyone who is interested in hearing students’ innovative technology concepts; register here to attend the event and see competitors’ pitches firsthand

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