The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions’ (OTT) American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is adding a new Faculty Track to allow collegiate faculty members to compete! If you are a faculty member at a U.S. collegiate institution – and you have a brilliant idea to improve energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship education – you are invited to compete in EnergyTech UP 2024 for part of a $100,000 prize pool.
EnergyTech UP, now in its third year, is a collegiate competition challenging student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages National Laboratory-developed or other emerging energy technologies developed by students, faculty, or industry. Students compete for more than $400,000 in prizes through regional and national pitch events.
New in 2024 is a “faculty” track aimed at supporting collegiate educators interested in incorporating or expanding energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship topics into their institution’s educational activities.
“Our nation’s educators plant the seeds of inspiration, and the Office of Technology Transitions sees an opportunity to empower these educators with the resources they need to enable the next generation of energy innovators,” said DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of OTT Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan.
By participating in EnergyTech UP’s faculty track, educators will benefit from networking and insights from the DOE and National Laboratories, while elevating the visibility of their ideas on a national scale. The materials and content provided by faculty through their submissions are expected to inform a toolkit to be published by DOE OTT following the conclusion of this competition.
Faculty Track Goals and Structure
The EnergyTech UP faculty track is designed for educators who can benefit from mentorship and resources to create an implementation plan for their blossoming ideas for integrating or expanding energy technology commercialization or entrepreneurship activities at their home institution. These ideas could include:
- Integration of new key educational modules into an existing course(s)/program
- Development of a new course(s)/program
- Creation of an accelerator or incubator program
- Creative co-teaching situations involving faculty from different disciplines
- Creative distance learning modules/course(s)
- Creation of new student-centered materials that actively engage learners in the classroom
- Development of new content presentation materials (for in-person or online learning)
- Any other approach determined to be impactful by the faculty and supported by their department/administration.
As part of EnergyTech UP, faculty (or faculty teams) will develop a proposal throughout three phases of competition—the Explore Phase, the Develop Phase, and the Implementation Phase.
Faculty who submit an entry to the Explore phase by January 5, 2024, will be eligible for one of ten $4,000 Faculty Explorer awards.
Across the Explore and Develop phases, all faculty will be provided with exclusive access to a DOE mentor and DOE resources such as the Adoption Readiness Level (ARL) framework. These mentors will give competitors insights and feedback on their proposals in preparation for their Implementation submission.
By the time faculty reach the Implementation phase, their proposals will reflect how their idea could be integrated into student activities, including an implementation timeline.
Faculty who submit an entry to the Implementation phase by April 5, 2024, will be eligible to be one of eight winners. The first-place winner will be awarded $25,000, the second-place winner will be awarded $15,000, and the third-place winner will be awarded $10,000. Five additional entries will be awarded $2,000 each and identified as runner-up winners.
Winners of the national cash prize pool will be determined based on the thoroughness of the proposed educational activities, the likelihood of their implementation, and their ability to expand energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship education across a diverse student population.
Get Started Now
For more information on the faculty track and how you can get involved, take the following next steps:
- Follow the EnergyTech UP competition platform on HeroX for competition updates
- Read the official prize rules
- Join the informational webinar on Oct. 19
- Indicate your interest in competing by filling out this interest form
- Reach out to OTT.EnergyTechUP@nrel.gov with questions about EnergyTech UP or the faculty track.