DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions Launches EnergyTech University Prize Geared Toward Students

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) has announced, today, the launch of the OTT-sponsored EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), designed to further energy technology commercialization by challenging multidisciplinary teams of college students to develop and present a business plan that leverages DOE national laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies.

EnergyTech UP awards $250,000 in total cash prizes to teams that navigate a three-phase process, which includes successfully identifying an energy technology (“Explore”), assessing its market potential (“Refine”), and proposing a strategy for commercialization (“Pitch”). The top teams will compete for a share of $100,000 in prizes funded by OTT. In addition, six DOE Technology Offices are offering up to $25,000 each in bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields. The six offices include: the Geothermal Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Building Technologies Office, and the Water Power Technologies Office.

“This is an exciting time for energy technology. The EnergyTech University Prize will engage our collegiate population and accelerate these technologies to market where they can generate real impact,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, who also kicked off the prize launch with a video message to participants.

EnergyTech UP is distinct from other startup competitions in its design to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide. Targeting undergraduate students with- or without a background in energy or business, the competition provides the resources needed for teams to succeed and selects winners based on the strength of their proposal, not the strength of their background. Students are encouraged to explore national lab-developed technologies on the OTT Lab Partnering Service.

Participating teams will present their projects in January 2022 at the regional event closest to their institution. Regional winners will then be granted exclusive DOE mentorship and access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum, a tool that will help each team refine their ideas. Finally, the regional winners pitch their complete business plan at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU’s) Energy Week, hosted by CMU’s Scott Institute in March 2022.

“We at OTT are thrilled to fund such a promising program that fits perfectly within our critical mission and so directly points toward energy technology commercialization,” said Vanessa Chan, Chief Commercialization Officer for DOE and Director of OTT. “EnergyTech UP has the power to tap into America’s brilliant young minds, corral their ideas, and accelerate this country’s transition to a clean energy future.”

OTT was established in 2015 to expand the commercial impact of the research investments of the DOE. This charge enables OTT to develop a connective foundation of support across the DOE Applied Offices, National Laboratories and the private sector, which includes a new approach for managing DOE’s research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) portfolio. OTT serves as the steward of DOE’s RDD&D continuum and develops programs and initiatives that aid technologies in their progression to commercialization – starting with research into an innovative idea and ending with commercial scale deployment.

If you’re interested in learning more about EnergyTech UP and how to participate, attend the informational webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. ET. Register here.

OTT’s EnergyTech UP is partnering with DOE’s American-Made Challenges prize platform, offering a new opportunity to the prize community. A virtual information session for the EnergyTech Up Prize will be hosted by OTT in October 2021. Additional information regarding the event is forthcoming. Learn more and register a team to compete.

The announcement from the Office of Technology Transitions can be found here.

Great Lakes Higher Education Partnership Pilot Fund: Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals: Protection and Sustainable Use of the Waters of the Great Lakes Watershed

Deadline: November 30, 2021

The Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium (GLHEC) was launched in 2020 to facilitate a new
era of cross-border, institutional collaboration in the Great Lakes region with a focus on three
overarching priorities for strengthening the region’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability
– skills and talent development, research and innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Consortium
will solve real world problems to support sustainable growth and inclusive economic development
and will advance a shared commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

The Consortium, with funding from the United States Mission in Canada to the Council of the
Great Lakes Region, is piloting a dedicated Great Lakes Higher Education Partnership Fund and
Grant to facilitate the creation of binational partnerships and programs between higher education
institutions (HEIs), government, and businesses in the region.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the
United States and Canada in 2022, the first Call for Proposals from the Consortium is seeking
proposals that support the formation of new collaborations, or grow existing ones, which respond
to the protection and sustainable use of water in the Great Lakes watershed as well as the
broader Great Lakes mega-region.

Ideal proposals would seek to address legacy and emerging water quality and use risks in the Great
Lakes watershed and the broader region through binational projects that embrace collaborative
research, student skills development and workforce development, the creation of novel water
protection and conservation approaches or technologies, and/or the transformation of innovative
water solutions into new Great Lakes enterprises. Ideal proposals would also seek to develop, or
include, collaborations with industry, government agencies, and/or other water clusters or centres
of excellence in the region.

See the full Call for Proposals here.



Published Materials

Ng, Tze Ling; Wayland Eheart, J.; Ximing Cai; John B. Braden; George F. Czapar, 2012, Agronomic and Stream Nitrate Load Responses to Incentives for Bioenergy Crop Cultivation, Reductions of Carbon Emissions and Fertilizer Use, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 140:1, 112-120.

Ng, Tze Ling; Wayland Eheart, J.; Ximing Cai; John B. Braden; George F. Czapar, 2011, An Agent-Based Model of Farmer Decision-Making and Water Quality Impacts in a Watershed Under Markets for Carbon Allowances and Second-Generation Bioenergy Crops, Water Resources Research, 47:9, W09519.

Aquatic Ecology


Published Materials

Kalscheur, K.N.; Miguel Rojas; Christopher G. Peterson; John J. Kelly; Kimberly A. Gray, 2012, Algal Exudates and Stream Organic Matter Influence the Structure and Function of Denitrifying Bacterial Communities, Microbial Ecology, 64, 881-892.

Drinking Water Treatment


Groundwater and Aquifers


Published Materials

Reed, Patrick; Barbara Minsker; Albert Valocchi, 2000, Cost Effective Long-term Groundwater Monitoring Design Using a Genetic Algorithm and Global Mass Interpolation, Water Resources Research, Vol. 36:12, 3731-3741.

Human Dimensions


Published Materials

Allred, Kyle O., 2004, Multi-Objective Spatial Decision Support for Protection of Streams in Urbanizing Watersheds, MS Dissertation, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, 76.

Hydrology and Hydraulics


Published Materials

Reed, Patrick; Barbara Minsker; David E. Goldberg, 2000, Designing a Competent Simple Genetic Algorithm for Search and Optimization, Water Resources Research, Vol. 36:12, 3757-3761

White, Amanda; Praveen Kumar; Patricia Saco; Ben Yen, 2001, Hydrodynamic and Geomorphologic Dispersion: Scale Effects in the Illinois River Basin, Water Resources Research

Public Health