The American-Made Network

The American-Made Network helps to accelerate and sustain innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, investors, facilities and other valuable industry partners from across the United States who engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of E-ROBOT Prize competitors.



American-Made Network members work with E-ROBOT Prize competitors, offering resources and support at every stage of the competition. The Network helps competitors solve pressing technology challenges, forge connections, and advance potentially game-changing ideas and innovations. It also leverages highly specialized skills, tools, and expertise to strengthen and scale critical connections to support the progress and success of competitors.

Connectors


National labs, accelerators, incubators, universities, industry organizations, and other entities who help competitors navigate the innovation process are called Connectors. Connectors recruit entrepreneurs to participate in the E-ROBOT Prize and provide the support, resources, and necessary connections needed to succeed in the competition.


The E-ROBOT Prize offers Connectors incentives to help competitors succeed. Connectors are eligible to win Recognition Awards for a variety of activities, including:

  • Attracting a diverse range of talented individuals to become contest competitors. This includes bringing new experts with diverse expertise, robotics experts, and other non-buildings experts into the prize and connecting them with competing teams;
  • Helping competitors refine their innovations, develop business plans, and connect competitors with investors and industry partners;
  • Connecting teams to other teams and resources that can expand their capabilities and lead to a strong holistic solution;
  • Raising non-federal funding to support this program and its participants;
  • Providing in-kind resources, tools, and facilities to accelerate competitors’ abilities to innovate, test, and refine their solutions while reducing technology and business risks; and
  • Connecting competitors to regional prototyping and manufacturing expertise, facilities, and experts.

Connectors who support participants in either Phase 1 or Phase 2 Contests can earn Recognition Awards based on the table below.


Connector Recognition Awards:


Phase 1 Connector Awards
Award Name Prize Pool Number of Awards Details
Connector Recruitment Event Award $25,000 Up to 25; at $1,000 each Payment of $1,000 per event that includes a minimum of 30 attendees likely to participate in this prize. Must be registered as a Connector before the event takes place. Payments made on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Team Support to Winning Teams $100,000 Up to 10; at $10,000 each Each winning team may list one Connector to receive an award. Must be registered as a Connector before Phase 1 closes to receive an award.
Team Support to Non-Winning Teams $250,000 Split evenly; up to $5,000 per submission* This award goes to Connectors who helped teams that submit eligible applications but did not win. Each team may list one Connector to receive an award. Must be registered as a Connector before Phase 1 closes to receive an award.

* DOE and the Prize Administrator will re-evaluate the number of awards in the event there are more than 50 Connectors listed by teams that did not advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2 Connector Awards
Award Name Prize Pool Number of Awards Details
Team Support to Winning Teams $200,000 Up to 4; at $50,000 each Each winning team may list one Connector to receive an award. Must be registered as a Connector before Phase 2 closes to receive an award.
Team Support to Non-Winning Teams $150,000 Split evenly among Connectors submitted; up to $25,000 This award goes to Connectors who helped the eligible applications that did not win. Each team may list one Connector to receive an award. Must be registered as a Connector before Phase 2 submission closes to receive an award.

We are continually adding expertise and resources to the Network. If you or someone you know would make a great addition to the Network, we invite you to join!


Power Connectors


Power Connectors are a core group of national labs, accelerators, incubators, universities, industry organizations, and other entities who further develop and sustain the program. They substantially help teams achieve project success, build long-term alliances and capabilities for the program, host demo days, and partner with NREL to envision and execute a long-term sustainable strategy for scaling the American-Made Challenges. Power Connectors are not eligible for Connector Recognition Awards.


Learn more about the Power Connector roles and how they work alongside NREL to build a sustainable network.