Energy Department Launches Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, First Two Prizes Open for Ideas

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two new manufacturing prizes as part of the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, an effort to crowdsource solutions for next generation manufacturing, to increase energy productivity and strengthen America’s industrial base. The challenge is being launched in partnership with Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing platform with over 30 million users.

Both prizes focus on additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing: Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response and Solid State Lighting Manufacturing. Participants will be asked to share designs that represent an innovation in each respective application of additive manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response – $7,500 total prize purse (3 winners at $2,500 each)

DOE is seeking design concepts that explore new applications for large scale additive manufacturing for disaster response. Natural disasters can rapidly destroy critical large- and small-scale infrastructure, such as power lines and communications towers, and delay aid and relief efforts. By producing critical infrastructure components on site, rather than shipping them from afar, additive manufacturing has the potential to accelerate disaster recovery times.

This prize opportunity ends on December 7, 2018. Learn more.

Solid State Lighting Manufacturing – $9,000 total prize purse (3 winners at $3,000 each)

DOE is seeking applicants for a Solid State Lighting (SSL) manufacturing design concept that advances novel 3D printing for applications in luminaire applications, specifically 3D printing concepts of optical materials for SSL.

This prize opportunity ends on December 7, 2018. Learn more.

The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge is part of a broader effort by DOE and the Administration to foster innovation and attract broad industry participation to help solve today’s manufacturing challenges. DOE will continue to launch additional prize opportunities for manufacturing design concepts within several technology areas including bioenergy, buildings, and vehicle technologies. Individual prizes will range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Earlier this month, President Trump proclaimed October 5, 2018 as National Manufacturing Day and the White House released the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing report which outlines paths for the U.S. to take leadership roles in building up the manufacturing sector.

To learn more about some of DOE’s efforts to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and energy security, visit DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office website.

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