2018 Building Materials Challenge

In partnership with ADL Ventures and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Sto is seeking breakthrough materials to bring to the global building construction industry.


Up to 8 winners will be selected. $250 will be awarded to any individual who refers a selected application. Please see competition rules.

Ventures Track

Selected Ventures will be awarded resources in support of a successful go-to-market. Some possibilities include:

  • Purchase commitments contingent on meeting target specifications
  • Access to world class manufacturing facilities and global market reach
  • Opportunities for paid codevelopment and strategic investments
Fellows Track

Selected Fellows will be awarded opportunities for paid R&D work. Some possibilities include:

  • Paid fellowships
  • Full-time employment
  • Independent R&D contracts

About Sto

Sto is the leading global producer of a broad range of next-generation, energy-efficient building envelope solutions and coating systems for building construction, maintenance and restoration. For the past several decades, Sto has been a leader in building technology while also providing customers with the most experienced technical support in the industry. With operations around the world, Sto develops, manufactures, and markets high performance materials and advanced building products and systems for both interiors and exteriors.

Sto is highly regarded by architects and builders alike, with a well established track record for bringing innovative and energy-efficient new products from concept to market. Sto is committed to working with the world’s leading innovators to bring new technologies to market, and now the winners of the Sto 2018 Building Materials Challenge, whether they are academics or national lab researchers, startups or more established ventures, will have the opportunity to work with Sto in bringing their material innovations to the world.

Browse challenge areas

Click buttons for details
Next-generation building insulation materials
Next-generation building insulation materialsWall insulation materials that are noncombustible, sustainable, durable, and shapeable
Fire resistance enhancements for wall construction
Fire resistance enhancements for wall constructionMaterials that add fire resistance to walls with multi-functionality and minimal thickness
Multi-functional exterior wall separation materials
Multi-functional exterior wall separation materialsMulti-functional wall separation layers that have tunable properties and are easy to install
Long lasting architectural paints and coatings
Long lasting architectural paints and coatingsArchitectural coatings that last twice as long (i.e. color/gloss retention) and can be installed in cold climates

Competition rules

Concept Submission

Rolling basis

This opportunity is open to all. The Fellows and Ventures tracks are meant to be inclusive of diverse applicants, and applicants are thus encouraged to select the track that best fits their situation.

Review and Interviews

Rolling basis

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to provide additional information and engage in an interview process. Details about the process and requirements will be shared with invited respondents.

Final Selections

Awards: November 7th 2018

Finalists will be invited to negotiate an agreement with the corporate partner which may include purchase commitments, strategic investments, and access to other resources based on individual context.

Complete the fast online application with a high-level description of your solution and how it addresses one of the four challenge areas.


Up to 8 winners will be selected. $250 will be awarded for any individual who refers a selected application. Please see competition rules.

Confidentiality guidelines

Applications will not be made public nor shared with anyone outside our judging committee. That said, for the concept summary phase, we strongly encourage applicants to only submit non-confidential information. Although we will accept submissions that contain confidential information, neither ADL Ventures nor its clients will be held liable for any IP dispute, infringement, or violation.

Questions? Contact