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DHS Prize Competitions

DHS Prize Competitions

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.
A photo of a blue windmill farm and green grass with text on top that reads, "Clean Power for Hours Winners Announced!

Announcing the Clean Power for Hours Challenge Winner!

Congratulations to the winners of the Clean Power for Hours Challenge! This Challenge sought innovative power solutions to help critical facilities continue to operate during electrical outages. This 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. 

Clean Power for Hours Winners:

Grand Prize Winner: $400,000 goes to Urban Electric Power, Inc. (Pearl River, NY), for their rechargeable zinc-manganese dioxide battery energy storage system. The technology uses the chemistry found in alkaline batteries to make a rechargeable battery system for stationary energy storage applications.

Runner-Up:  $200,000 goes to Dr. Hari Dharan of Omnes Energy (Woodland, CA) for their long duration power delivery for critical infrastructure system, a nonlithium technology that uses an electromagnetically suspended steel rotor (flywheel) coupled with a motor/generator.

Honorable Mentions:

Judges were impressed with the solution from startup company ElectricFish (Fremont, CA) and created the “Innovator” award with a prize of $50,000 for their 350squared, a containerized battery storage device which operates as a microgrid for local critical loads, distributed energy resource for the grid, and electric vehicle fast charger.

Judges selected two additional Honorable Mention winners for their technology solutions that can benefit first responders: New Use Energy Solutions, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) for the SunKit, an expandable battery and solar generator system; and ONYX POWER LLC (Long Beach, CA) for their rugged, mobile, modular nanogrid that can recharge from the grid or solar. Each will receive $25,000.

The Clean Power for Hours Challenge launched on Earth Day in April 2023 in partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Nine finalists were selected in Stage 1 of the Challenge and each received an award of $15,000, advancing to Stage 2 of judging, which included live demonstrations of their technology solutions.

S&T, along with CISA and its government partners, plans to continue working with the providers of the most promising Challenge solutions and offer mentoring and other follow-on opportunities.

DHS uses prize competitions to crowdsource innovation and harness the creativity of the American public to solve critical homeland security challenges. Stay tuned for more prize competitions on climate change. We will announce them on this website, Challenge.gov and DHS S&T social media: LinkedInXFacebook and Instagram.

Full details on the Challenge, including rules, terms, and conditions, can be found in the archives on the Challenge.gov website (which is the official website where the Federal Government announces all prize Challenges), and in the past prize competitions section of this webpage.

The Clean Power for Hours Challenge finalists, announced in October 2023, each received an award of $15,000 and advanced to the next stage of judging, including a demonstration of their solution. The judges increased the finalist award from $10,000 to $15,000. 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

View the finalist announcement press release.

White House Releases Federal Prize and Citizen Science Authority Report

Front Picture of Report with Presidential Seal: Executive Office of the President of the United States | Implementation of Federal Prize and Citizen science Authority: Fiscal Years 2019-20 | A Report by the Office of Science & Technology Policy | In Response to the Requirements of the American COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act March 2022

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 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!

For questions on the Department of Homeland Security’s Prize Competitions, contact the team at PrizeAuthority@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 04/08/2024
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