Rounds 1 through 4 of the Solar Prize sought to energize innovation in solar manufacturing and hardware. This year, Solar Prize Round 5 includes two separate tracks for hardware and software. Both the Hardware Track and Software Track follow the same three-contest structure but participants will compete for separate prizes.
Active Innovation Challenges
The American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), is designed to de-risk and increase market viability for direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines. The prize does this by incentivizing the development of technologies to improve the current state-of-the-art of direct lithium extraction in ways that lower cost.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are competitive funding opportunities provided by the Department of Energy to encourage U.S.-based small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization. Through SBIR/STTR, small businesses can receive up to $200,000 to engage in high-risk, innovative research and development with the potential for commercialization. Successful awardees can then receive up to $1.1 million for prototype development.