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Digitizing Utilities Prize

Help electric utilities tackle data and cybersecurity challenges to advance grid reliability and resiliency, and mitigate cybersecurity risks with Round 2 of the Digitizing Utilities Prize!

The $1.85 million Digitizing Utilities Prize Round 2—launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity—aims to connect utilities with interdisciplinary teams of software developers and data experts to transform digital systems and data analytics for utilities in the energy sector. With support from the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, this round will also address cybersecurity threats and risks with demonstrated improvements in risk identification, analysis, prediction, or proactive response for enhanced protection of digital energy infrastructures.

Round 1Round 2

Prize Background

The electric industry sector is facing an “explosion” of data coming from a variety of sources. Recent advances in sensor technologies allow utilities to access fast-streaming data sets, challenging traditional methods of data acquisition, use, and storage. To fully utilize the massive influx of data from these sensors, the electricity sector must undergo a transformation in how it manages data quality, storage, and processing. Traditional data storage and management tools in utilities may not be well suited to the large volumes, variety, and velocity of the data.

The Office of Electricity is committed to accelerating research, development, and demonstration of new technologies and tools within the electricity sector. One method of obtaining innovative research and ideas is the American-Made Digitizing Utilities Prize.

Following a successful Round 1, DOE is excited to launchRound 2 of the Digitizing Utilities Prize. This prize contains two phases—Plan and Progress—to incentivize competitors to develop innovative solutions to transform data analytics and system digitization for utilities, such as energy use data, synchrophasor data, weather data, fire assessment data, cybersecurity, and more.

DOE invites anyone, individually or as a team, to compete to work with utilities to build solutions for the identified digital transformation needs. Solutions developed under this prize will be used to guide the broader utility community with methods to solve data-related challenges.

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timeline of digitizing utilities round 2

Competitor Tracks

This prize invites competitors to propose software solutions meet challenges in one or both competitor tracks:

Track 1 Utility Digitization/Data Challenge

Track 2 Utility Cybersecurity Challenge

Competitors must identify whether the solution applies to Track 1, Track 2, or both within the application. Applicants who choose to compete in both Track 1 and Track 2 are eligible to receive prizes from both tracks.

Phase 1 - Plan

Competitors will identify a utility partner and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the utility’s presented problem, as well as their ability to access relevant resources that can be leveraged for this prize. The teams will then define their approach and plan of action to solve the issue presented by the partner utility.

Track# of WinnersPrize Amount
Track 1: Utility Digitization/Data ChallengeUp to 8$75,000 cash prize each
Track 2: Utility Cybersecurity Challenge Up to 6$75,000 cash prize each

Phase 2 - Progress

Competitors will work side-by-side with their selected utility partner on their presented issue for 6 months to develop and refine a software solution that addresses the issues that the utilities are dealing with. At the end of Phase 2, teams will present their progress toward implementing their solution.

Track# of WinnersPrize Amount
Track 1: Utility Digitization/Data ChallengeUp to 3$200,000 cash prize each
Track 2: Utility Cybersecurity Challenge Up to 1$200,000 cash prize each

Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, facility, or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can help promote transformation by participating in the American-Made Challenges.

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