Powering the Blue Economy Ocean Observing Prize: Submit by February 16

Powering the Blue Economy Ocean Observing Prize: Submit by February 16

Compete for up to $3 million in cash prizes!

January 8, 2021

The Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prize challenges innovators to integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observation platforms, ultimately revolutionizing our ability to collect the data needed to understand, map, and monitor the ocean.

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This joint prize between the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks to develop new technologies that can help fill the data gaps making it difficult to realize the full potential of the Blue Economy. The Ocean Observing Prize includes a series of competitions with millions of dollars in awards to encourage rapid innovation in the fields of marine energy and ocean observations, that began with the DISCOVER Competition and is followed by the DEVELOP Competition. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are supporting DOE and NOAA on the development and administration of the prize.


The Ocean Observing Prize is repeatable, and it is expected that future iterations may focus on other themes. Through this competition, innovators will be able to tap into DOE and NOAA’s network of National Laboratories, energy incubators and accelerators, subject matter experts, and other resources across the nation to build novel technologies that collect critical ocean data.


The Ocean Observing Prize is a series of competitions with cash awards to incentivize accelerated advancement of ideas from concept to demonstration. The first competition, the DISCOVER Competition, closed on February 12, 2020. Competitors submitted novel concepts that integrate ocean observing technologies with marine energy systems to address end-user needs across five broad themes: (1) Unmanned Vehicles; (2) Communications and Underwater Navigation; (3) Extreme Environments; (4) Buoys, Floats, and Tags; and (5) Blue Sea Ideas (i.e. other). Following the DISCOVER Competition, the DEVELOP Competition focuses on a single theme, hurricane monitoring, and challenges contestants to develop their ideas into a functioning prototype through three contests: DESIGN, BUILD, and SPLASH. Together, the DISCOVER and DEVELOP Competitions will award up to $3 million in cash prizes as well as other in-kind awards.


The first contest in the DEVELOP Competition, DESIGN, is now open for applications. Submissions close on February 16, 2021 at 5 pm ET.


During the DESIGN Contest, contestant teams will submit their designs of prototype systems that could be used for hurricane monitoring.


Contestant teams may submit more than one design, so long as it is materially different from other submissions submitted by the contestant team. Designs from the same team that are not materially different, at the prize team’s sole discretion, will be disqualified.


The winners of the DESIGN Contest will be invited to the next contest of the DEVELOP Competition, the BUILD Contest, where they will build functioning prototypes and test their systems in a controlled environment such as a wave tank. Winners of the BUILD Contest will be invited to participate in the SPLASH Contest (and the culmination of the first DEVELOP Competition), where they will test their designs at-sea.


Read more: https://americanmadechallenges.org/oceanobserving/