EPIC Prize Round 2 Bonus Prizes


The  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) is proudly partnering with a number of DOE program offices to provide Bonus Prize opportunities. In addition to the $4 million in Core Incubator Prize funding, one Bonus Prizes of $50,000 is available during Phase 1: Design It! in each of the following technology areas:

Building Technologies

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) focuses on developing innovative technologies that advance energy and carbon reduction, high-efficiency operations, and smart systematic control of the built environment while enabling grid interactivity and interoperability. Competitors should aim to detail and exemplify how their organization is uniquely qualified to provide the mentorship, expert technical support, and market insight to address the specific commercial barriers of a given building/construction technology area.

Building Technologies Office Bonus Prize

BTO seeks to support technologies that demonstrate significant improvements in performance (both in efficiency and capacity), resiliency, embodied carbon reduction, affordability, and commercial viability. Specific qualifications include but are not limited to:

  • Ability to support individuals and communities from traditionally underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds and regions
  • Access to prototyping/fabrication facilities and other specialized equipment
  • Measurement and validation (M&V) testing sites
  • Demonstration and deployment sites
  • Network of relevant stakeholders and market enablers that include:
    • Subject matter experts and business mentors
    • Venture capital, private equity, and other financial institutions
    • Manufacturers and distributors
    • Local and federal governments
  • Marketing and productization support
  • Leadership and entrepreneurial training.

Areas of technology focus can cover any element of the built environment (e.g., residential, commercial, or a role within the larger energy ecosystem).

Potential technology areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic manufacturing (windows, heat pumps, insulation, etc.)
  • Low GWP refrigerants
  • Whole home electrification
  • Energy systems integration and control (battery, on-site renewables, etc.)
  • Heat pumps and heat pump water heaters
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Air-sealing (windows, ducts, fixtures, etc.)
  • Windows
  • Solid state lighting (SSL)
  • Electric appliances, plug loads, and other miscellaneous electric loads (MELs).

Solar Technologies

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is looking to support innovative hardware technologies that can improve the performance, affordability, reliability, and value of solar systems on the U.S. grid and to tackle emerging challenges in the solar industry. Competitors should identify a particular area of focus within the solar hardware innovation ecosystem and describe how they are uniquely positioned to support innovation in that area.

Potential areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Scaling domestic solar manufacturing
  • Emerging photovoltaic cell/module technologies (e.g., multijunction, perovskite, or organic)
  • Multiuse, integrated photovoltaic systems (e.g., building-integrated photovoltaics, agrivoltaics, floatovoltaics, or vehicle-integrated solutions)
  • Advanced solar power electronics
  • PV recycling
  • Solar systems resilient to weather-related or cyber threats
  • Concentrated solar-thermal power
  • Solar projects intended to benefit disadvantaged or underserved communities.

SETO is interested in organizations that can support innovators and accelerate the commercialization of new solar technologies. Examples of ways competitors can be uniquely positioned to support innovation include but are not limited to:

  • Ability to support individuals and communities from traditionally underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds and regions
  • Access to prototyping and other specialized equipment
  • Access to testing sites
  • Ability to facilitate connections with relevant stakeholders and networks (e.g., financiers, go-to-market partners, and potential customers)
  • Mentorship by industry experts.

Water Power Technologies

The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides. WPTO enables research, development, and testing of new technologies to advance marine energy and next-generation hydropower and pumped storage systems for a flexible, reliable grid.

Marine energy uses natural energy from moving water—such as waves, tides, and river and ocean currents—to produce renewable power. Marine energy also offers opportunities to provide clean energy to remote and island communities and to leverage the ocean to power blue economy applications such as ocean observation technology or desalination and water treatment devices.

Hydropower is a clean, renewable, domestic source of energy and provides enormous benefits to the country’s electric grid . In 2021, hydropower accounted for 31.5% of U.S. renewable electricity generation, while pumped storage hydropower remains the largest contributor to U.S. energy storage, representing roughly 93% of all commercial storage capacity in the United States.

Water Power Technologies Office Bonus Prize

For this Bonus Prize, WPTO seeks to support activities that enable economic development, entrepreneurial ventures, and job growth in water power and/or the blue economy. Specifically, WPTO is interested in organizations that support entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth by supporting commercialization of water power technologies, improving competitiveness of start-ups related to water power and/or the blue economy, increasing connectivity and collaboration between relevant stakeholders, and leveraging the blue economy to support innovation and job creation. Additionally, these activities must center principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (i.e., support individuals and communities from traditionally underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds and regions).

For more information, rules, and eligibility requirements, read the official rules document .

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