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Opportunity for USA Post-Secondary School Students to Participate in a Contest Related to Clean Energy

EnergyTech University Prize 2024


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Office of Technology Transitions (OTT)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/01/24 - Deadline for Student Explore Phase Save

Grant Description
Opportunity for USA post-secondary school students to participate in a contest related to clean energy. Students are challenged to devise marketable alternative energy sources. Competitors will receive mentorship and resources to assist them as they develop a business plan to leverage emerging energy technologies.

In EnergyTech UP, student teams will compete for cash prizes for successfully identifying a promising energy technology, assessing its market potential, and creating a business plan for commercialization. Through the student portion of the competition, EnergyTech UP aims to cultivate the next generation of energy innovators while accelerating the transfer of energy technologies to market. In 2023 alone, the competition engaged more than 600 student participants within 184 teams from 124 collegiate institutions. By empowering a growing number of diverse students across the nation with knowledge and skills in the area of energy technology commercialization, DOE seeks to stimulate the growth of the next generation of clean energy technology entrepreneurs.

This prize seeks to attract and support the talented students of today and help them develop into the engineers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, market analysts, and project developers of tomorrow. Multidisciplinary student teams will develop and present a business plan that leverages national laboratory-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, including university-developed technologies or other technologies of interest to student competitors.

Technology areas of interest:

Student track information on competition phases:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Student Eligibility:
- All participating students must be enrolled in an accredited collegiate institution. Students must be enrolled in at least one class and must be pursuing a degree throughout the duration of the competition.
-- For the purposes of this competition, “collegiate institution” refers to a school of postsecondary or higher education, including but not limited to community colleges, colleges, universities, and graduate schools.
-- Postsecondary students of any level are eligible to compete.
-- Students will self-certify their eligibility as part of registration for the competition.
-- Current collegiate level will be considered when determining eligibility for the Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize.
-- Teams with students from multiple collegiate institutions are allowed, and multiple teams from the same collegiate institution are allowed.
-- Individual students may be members of only one team.
- Teams must consist of at least two collegiate students, with a single student identified as team captain.
- The team captain must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- The final submission must come from the team captain’s HeroX account.
- The team may have non-student team members or advisors who provide input and guidance and support the development of the idea, but only students may present to judges. Students must be a majority of the team makeup.
- To be eligible to compete for the national prizes, the team must be selected as a finalist.

- Expert reviewers, competition administrator staff, national laboratory employees, and DOE employees are ineligible to compete.
- Immediate family members of DOE employees and NREL Prize Administrators are ineligible to compete.
- If the competition administrator becomes aware that a team or individual is not eligible, that team may be disqualified from competition.
- This prize competition is expected to positively impact U.S. economic competitiveness. Participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program could conflict with this objective by resulting in unauthorized transfer of scientific and technical information to foreign government entities. Therefore, individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs of foreign countries of risk are not eligible to compete. Further, teams that include individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs of foreign countries of risk3 are not eligible to compete.
- Entities and individuals publicly banned from doing business with the U.S. government such as entities and individuals debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participating in federal programs are not eligible to compete.

Pre-Application Information
Challenge Timeline:
- April 4, 2023: 2024 Competition Announced
- June 14, 2023: Date Launched
- July 2, 2023: Enter - Team registration for the 2024 competition opens.
- Sept. 27, 2023: Rules Released
- Jan. 12, 2024: Office Hours
- Jan. 18, 2024: Office Hours
- Jan. 23, 2024: Final Informational Webinar
- Feb. 1, 2024: Registration Closed
- Feb. 6, 2024: List of Competing Teams Announced
- Feb. 13, 2024: All-Team Webinar
- Feb. 27, 2024: Regional Explore Events
- March 7, 2024: Announce Bonus Prize Finalists
- March 12, 2024: All Finalist Webinar
- April 5, 2024: Submission Deadline - Business plans and recorded video due from all finalists
- April 15, 2024: Final National Competition at ZPryme Energy Thought Summit
- April 18, 2024: Won

For information regarding the contest entry process, see:

Challenge Resources (including informational webinar recordings):


Final Informational Webinar Recording Available:

Recording of the January 23 webinar:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Student Track:
Explore Phase -
- Regional Finalists: Up to one student team will be selected as a regional finalist from each of the up to 15 regional events. These teams will each be awarded $3,000 and invited to the Refine and Pitch phases. Up to $45,000 total will be awarded to regional finalists.
- Technology Bonus Prize Finalists: From amongst all presenting teams, each program office offering a bonus prize may identify up to one Technology Bonus Prize finalist from each Technology Bonus Prize offered. These teams will be awarded $3,000 each and invited to the Refine and Pitch phases.
- National Lab IP Licensing Bonus Prize Finalist: OTT may identify up to one National Lab IP Licensing Bonus Prize finalist from among the eligible presenting teams. This team will be awarded $3,000 and invited to the Refine and Pitch phases.
- Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize Semifinalists and Finalist: At the conclusion of each regional event, up to one student team will be selected as Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize semifinalist. These teams’ entries will then be reviewed by OTT who may identify up to one Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize finalist. This team will be awarded $3,000 and invited to the Refine and Pitch phases.

Pitch Phase:
- National Prize Winners: The National First-Place Winner will be awarded $50,000, the National Second-Place Winner will be awarded $20,000, and the National Third-Place Winner will be awarded $10,000. A total of $80,000 in national prizes will be awarded.
- Technology Bonus Prize Winners: The program offices sponsoring each of the Technology Bonus Prizes may identify and award prizes. Teams winning these prizes will each be awarded $22,000.
- National Lab IP Licensing Bonus Prize Winner: One winner of the National Lab IP Licensing Bonus Prize may be identified and awarded by OTT. The winning team will be awarded $22,000.
- Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize Winner: One winner of the Undergraduate-Only Team Bonus Prize may be identified and awarded by OTT. The winning team will be awarded $22,000

Contact Information
To apply, click on the "Solve This Challenge" button on the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Email questions to the organizers at

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