S&T and FEMA to partner on challenge aimed at protecting people from heat-related illnesses and deaths
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new series of prize competitions focused on strengthening nationwide resilience to climate change. Through these competitions, American innovators are encouraged to develop groundbreaking solutions for climate change-related hazards facing communities across our country. Winners will receive cash prizes from a total pool of $195,000 for their innovative solutions.
“I am proud to announce the first-ever DHS prize competition series focused on combatting the climate crisis,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Through this competition, DHS will increase access to tools that help communities increase their resilience and address the existential threat of climate change.”
The first series of competitions will be led by DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will focus on the “Cooling Solutions Challenge,” which incentivizes American innovators to find new ways to better protect people at risk of heat-related illness or death during extreme heat events or in connection with other disasters. Extreme heat is the Nation’s leading cause of weather-related deaths. Through this challenge, DHS will work to further increase equity in its disaster preparedness and response efforts as underserved communities are disproportionately impacted by extreme heat.
DHS administers prize competitions using authority provided under the America COMPETES Act. Challenges are open to individuals who are over the age of 18 and are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents at the time of submission, as well as to U.S. entities that are incorporated in and whose primary place of business is in the United States. Federal entities or federal employees acting within the scope of their federal employment are not eligible to participate. Eligibility is subject to verification by DHS. This verification occurs before cash prizes are awarded.
The deadline to apply for the Cooling Challenge is December 7, 2021. Visit Challenge.gov for information about how to apply and to learn more.