Prize competitions are a way to crowdsource and engage citizen inventors directly to find interesting ideas or solutions to some of the toughest homeland security challenges. In fact, the government has used prize competitions for hundreds of years. The White House and U.S. Capitol designs were results of prize competitions.
Announcing the Finalists in the Clean Power for Hours Challenge!
The Clean Power for Hours Challenge seeks innovative back-up power solutions that will help critical facilities continue to operate during electrical outages. Launched in celebration of Earth Day 2023, the prize competition is the second in a series on national climate resilience and is part of a DHS-wide effort to address the risks posed by climate change. View the press release.
A panel of judges selected nine finalists for their affordable, easy-to-use, and environmentally friendly solutions that can provide on-site power generation for critical facilities that provide essential services to communities across the United States. This challenge was designed to identify and catalyze existing, cutting-edge technologies with a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or higher that can be used to continue essential facility operations in an event of a power failure or disruption lasting more than 36 hours.
This is particularly important to National Critical Functions (NCFs) that support essential community lifeline services, such as emergency services, urgent healthcare, and food/water.
Meet the Finalists
The Clean Power for Hours Challenge finalists will each receive an award of $15,000 and advance to the next stage of judging, including a demonstration of their solution. They will compete for $700,000+ in additional prize winnings. The finalists are:
- Daheco Engines & Energy LLC (Valdese, NC): NBESSH: Non-Battery Energy Storage System with Heat
- Dr. Hari Dharan, Omnes Energy (Woodland, CA): Long Duration Power Delivery for Critical Infrastructure
- ElectricFish (Fremont, CA): 350squared
- Maxout Renewables (Livermore, CA): Cost Effective PV Backup Power with the Maxout Evergrid
- New Use Energy Solutions, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ): The SunKit
- ONYX POWER LLC (Long Beach, CA): ONYX Rugged Mobile Nanogrid
- TeleSwivel LLC (Durham, NC): Resilient DC Fast Charging for Emergency Response Fleets
- Tiami Networks (Elk Grove, CA): Small-Scale Compressed Air Energy Storage for Critical Infrastructure Resilience
- Urban Electric Power, Inc. (Pearl River, NY): Rechargeable Zinc-Manganese Dioxide Battery Energy Storage
Congratulations to the finalists and thanks to all who entered the Challenge!
In Stage 2 of the challenge, the finalists will compete for:
- Grand Prize: $400,000
- Runner-up: $200,000
- Honorable Mentions: $50,000 (up to 2)
The challenge was open to individuals who are over the age of 18 and are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents, and to entities that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Prize Winners will be announced in March 2024. (All dates are subject to change.) Find more information, follow, and ask questions about the Clean Power for Hours Challenge at Challenge.gov.
White House Releases Federal Prize and Citizen Science Authority Report
Recently, the White House Office of Science and Technology released the Implementation of Federal Prize and Citizen Science Authority for Fiscal Years 2019-20 report. This biennial report to Congress details recent federal efforts to stimulate innovation and partnership and expand the American public’s participation in prize competitions and citizen science. Many exciting examples of prizes, challenges, crowdsourcing and citizen science projects are highlighted in the report. Find out how to access the report and learn more!