DOE Announces Major Expansion of Crowdsourcing Initiative for Building Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a major expansion of its distinctive online crowdsourcing community for building technologies. Seeking to draw on the creativity and technical expertise of the American public, citizens can now submit their ideas to six open calls for innovation, with the chance to partner with a DOE national laboratory and a leading private sector partner.

The crowdsourcing community, called JUMP (#jump4innovation), was first launched by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2015. Today, it has expanded to be co-hosted by five DOE national laboratories and some of the top private companies in the buildings sector. JUMP stands for Join in the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation and Promote technology-to-market. The goal is to broaden the pool of people from whom DOE seeks ideas and to move these ideas to the marketplace faster.

The participating national labs are Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and ORNL. Together the labs offer a crowdsourcing 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.

“It is exciting to see unique, diverse and new to DOE individuals, start-ups, and entrepreneurs join in the JUMP community,” said Karma Sawyer, technology analysis and commercialization manager with DOE’s Building Technologies Office.

“Together we are tackling the technology and market challenges critical to advancing energy efficient buildings. We have more than 500 registered users on our JUMP crowdsourcing platform and we look forward to connecting an even larger community for innovation in the upcoming regional events with our national lab and industry partners.”

Each lab is seeking industry partners and innovators to join JUMP. Industry partners gain access to national laboratory expertise while helping shape technologies and services for the next generation of energy-efficient buildings.

“By leveraging their individual research team and industry connections, each lab is developing calls for innovation relevant to the most pressing industry challenges, to accelerate technology to market,” said Melissa Voss Lapsa, ORNL’s group leader for Whole-Building and Community Integration.

“Our industry partners are gathering and reviewing ideas and getting even closer to solving their challenges.”

Industry partners are A.O. Smith, Building Robotics, Clean Energy Trust, CLEAResult, Callida Energy, Emerson Climate Technologies, General Electric, Honeywell, IntelliChoice Energy, and United Technologies Research Center. Working with the labs, industry partners are offering challenges focused on building technologies, including appliances, building envelope, building analytics and information systems, lighting, heating and cooling systems, and sensors and controls.

JUMP includes opportunities for innovators to comment and vote on ideas. This community discussion helps DOE and its partners gauge the market’s interest in the topic and potential solutions. A judging panel evaluates top ideas based on their potential for significant energy savings, novelty, and technical, market, and economic feasibility. Innovators get connected to industry partners and may qualify for cash prizes, in-kind technical support, and recognition.

Innovators are encouraged to view the JUMP technology challenges and submit their ideas. Industry stakeholders interested in crowdsourcing a pressing technology challenge are invited to contact the JUMP Team to get involved.

This initiative is being funded by DOE’s Building Technologies Office.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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