Mission Innovation member countries and private-sector groups offer a number of prizes, competitions, research fellowships, and funding opportunities designed to generate new ideas, support entrepreneurship, launch businesses, and create incentives to spur clean energy innovation. Links to some of these prizes and opportunities are shown below.
Fellowships and Funding Opportunities
Smart Grids funding opportunity: Sponsors innovations on components, systems, and technologies required to address the challenges of optimizing grids powered by up to 100% renewable energy and interoperable with centralized networks.
Value: US$5 million total
Off-Grid Access funding opportunity: Promotes innovations that will significantly reduce costs and increase performance of renewable power systems for individuals and communities with no or limited access to grid-connected power.
Value: US$5 million total
Innovation Crossroads: Fellowship program with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help entrepreneurs create the next generation of clean energy companies by matching innovators with technology leaders, experienced mentors, and business and investment networks.
Value: Up to US$350,000 each for five awards
Chain Reaction Innovations: Fellowship program with Argonne National Laboratory for innovators focusing on energy and science technologies. Four to six teams will be awarded financial and technical support needed to mature nascent technologies, scale them, and launch them into the marketplace.
Value: Up to US$420,000 each for four-to-six awards
Prizes and Competitions
Prizes from Mission Innovation Members
ERA Grand Challenge: Innovative Carbon Uses: Awards the most innovative technologies that will convert CO2 emissions into new carbon-based products and markets.
Value: CAD$35 million total purse
Horizon Prizes: Offers cash rewards to stimulate innovation and come up with solutions to problems that matter to European citizens. The prizes support and accelerate change in the world and have become an important driver for innovation in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors worldwide.
– Horizon Prize Fuel from the Sun: Artificial Photosynthesis: Awards a fully functional, bench-scale prototype of an artificial photosynthesis based system which is able to produce a useable synthetic fuel.
Value: € 5 Million top prize
– Horizon Prize Cleanest Engine of the Future: Awards the best next-generation engine and powertrain technology that reduces emissions of pollutants and lowers fuel consumption in real driving conditions without affecting the operational capabilities of the vehicle.
Value: € 3.5 Million top prize
– Horizon Prize CO2 Reuse: Awards the most innovative products that reuse CO2 to significantly improve net CO2 emissions, while overcoming technical, commercial, and/or financial barriers.
Value: €1.5 Million top prize
– Horizon Prize Engine Retrofit for Clean Air: Awards the cleanest engine retrofit that best addresses the issue of greatly reducing emissions of NOx, particles, and hydrocarbons in real driving conditions.
Value: € 1.5 Million top prize
– Horizon Prize Low Carbon Hospital: Awards the most innovative renewable energy solution that integrates several technologies into one energy system in a hospital, while ensuring a 100% secure energy supply.
Value: €1 Million top prize
– Horizon Prize Integrated Photovoltaic Energy System: Awards the most suitable architectural and aesthetically-pleasing design for photovoltaic energy system in combination with optimal technical solutions, with the least visible impact on and minimal intrusion to the structure of protected historical urban buildings in Europe.
Value: €750,000 top prize
Start-Up Energy Transition (DENA) Award: Awards innovative clean energy technology solutions in five categories plus one special prize. The awards program is a facilitator linking start-ups, non-profits, corporations, investors, and venture capitalists and the public sector.
Value: 5-digit prize money
Sustainable Energy Technologies Development Project (PRODETES) Prize: Awards successful proposals that develop technological improvements, new products, processes, or services based on advanced clean technologies in the areas of energy storage; energy efficiency; and transmission, distribution, and consumption of clean energy.
Value: US$7 Million total purse
Intelligent Energy Management Challenge: Creates advantages for prospective customers by optimizing production and consumption of electricity. The benefits appear in whole buildings’ energy systems where the customer, via a user-friendly interface, can control and optimize various features according to their wishes.
Value: €10,000 top prize
United Arab Emirates
Zayed Future Energy Prize: Award that celebrates achievements reflecting impact, innovation, long-term vision, and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.
Value: US$4 Million total purse
Cleantech University Prize: Prize to inspire clean energy innovation across the United States by creating businesses from best in-class technology research, while inspiring and cultivating America’s next generation of entrepreneurs to drive those businesses forward.
Value: US$50,000 top prize, with an opportunity to complete for an additional US$100,000
The Golden Carrot for Super-efficient Refrigerators: Competition among manufacturers to design a market-ready refrigerator that would be 25 to 50 percent more efficient than the current market average.
Value: US$30 Million total purse
H-Prize: Competitions to encourage and reward innovations and advances in hydrogen energy technologies.
Value: US$1 Million top prize
JUMP Prize Competitions: Crowdsourcing community platform for innovators, particularly small entrepreneurs, to present ideas for new technologies for energy-efficient buildings to private- and public-sector leaders in research and development.
Value: In-kind technical support and cash prizes
The L-Prize: Awards to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products that set leading-edge performance benchmarks for industry.
Value: US$10 Million top prize
Solar Decathlon: Competition made up of 10 contests that challenge university student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses.
Value: US$300,000 top prize
The Sunshot Initiative: National effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. SunShot supports collaboration with public and private partners and sponsors several competitions:
– Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize: Competition to make it faster and easier for U.S. innovators to launch cutting-edge companies, while tackling time-sensitive market challenges. The program aims to catalyze the rapid creation and development of products and solutions that address near-term challenges in the U.S. solar and energy efficiency marketplaces.
Value: US$100,000 top prize
– Race to 7-Day Solar: Competition to spur faster, easier, and cheaper solar deployment in the United States, offering a total of $10 million in cash awards to make permitting, installation, inspection, and interconnection (permit-to-plug-in) processes more efficient.
Value: US$10 Million total purse
– SunShot Prize: Solar in Your Community: Competition to expand solar electricity access to all Americans, especially underserved segments such as low- and moderate-income households, state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations.
Value: US$5 Million total purse
The Wave Energy Prize: 18-month public design-build-test competition designed to increase the diversity of organizations involved in Wave Energy Converter technology development, while motivating and inspiring existing stakeholders.
Value: US$125,000 top prize
Prizes from Multinational Initiatives
Global LEAP Awards: Awards to accelerate the off-grid energy access market by recognizing high-quality, energy-efficient, off-grid lights, televisions, fans, and refrigerators.
Value: Significant exposure and eligibility for participation in a Global LEAP procurement incentives program
SEAD Global Efficiency Medal: Awards the world’s most energy-efficient products, providing recognition that encourages the production and sale of super-efficient equipment, appliances, and electronics.
Value: International promotion on a high-profile global platform
Prizes from the Private Sector
Carbon XPRIZE: Global competition to develop breakthrough technologies that will convert CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities into valuable products such as building materials, alternative fuels, and other items that we use every day.
Value: US$20 Million top prize
Designing an Abundant Clean Energy Design Challenge: Open-source challenge to design an XPRIZE competition to pioneer breakthrough new energy technologies to rapidly provide abundant clean energy globally.
Value: US$50,000 total purse
MIT Clean Energy Prize: Competition of student-organized business plans that is open to any student, anywhere, who has a clean energy start-up idea that can change the world.
Value: US$200,000 top prize
Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge: Prize incentivizing demonstrating a single type of distributed generation (such as solar), or incentivizing integration of multiple technologies for distributed generation, energy storage, and/or distribution (such as in a microgrid).
Virgin Earth Challenge: Innovation incentive designed to award scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Value: US$25 Million top prize