The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) recognize that improvements are needed to make the clean energy innovation ecosystem more inclusive and accessible to disadvantaged communities and individuals from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize, DOE aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.
Up to 10 organizations will share a total prize pool of up to $2.5 million.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations; state, local, and tribal governments and government entities; for-profit companies; and academic institutions with experience in supporting environmental, climate, and energy justice. The prize will support, create, and identify activities that provide incubation, acceleration, and community-based entrepreneurship and innovation services in climate and clean energy technologies.
Teams need not have a scientific or engineering background to compete in the prize. DOE seeks to support grassroots organizations working on climate and clean energy technology solutions that focus on enabling a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy. Novel state or local policies, for example, are critical to enabling the success of the clean energy transition, especially in disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.
In Phase One, up to 10 winners will receive an initial cash prize of up to $200,000 each, with the opportunity to receive additional awards. Winners from Phase One will receive in-kind mentorship and other support services to ensure their success. In Phase Two, up to three teams will be awarded cash prizes from a prize pool of $500,000. The prize is open for submissions for Phase One through Feb. 25, 2022.