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DOE Adds Four Federal Labs to Crowdsourcing Innovation Initiative

DOE Jump

Launched in 2015 by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), JUMP is an online crowdsourcing community designed to build new technologies by drawing on the creativity and technical expertise of the American public. Through callouts in six innovation categories, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking for citizen collaboration to work with its federal labs and industry partners to move technologies into the marketplace.

As a generally new concept, crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. It’s a tool that has been used by other federal agencies and will hopefully prove even more successful with additional DOE laboratory participation. The DOE’s community, JUMP, stands for Join in the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation, and Promote technology-to-market. Since its initial launch last year, the community has grown quite a following on social media with the hashtag #jump4innovation.

The federal labs joining ORNL in this expansion for citizen innovation are Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The labs offer a crowdsourcing platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to pitch their new technology ideas for energy-efficient buildings to private and public sector leaders in research and development (R&D).

“It is exciting to see unique, diverse and new to DOE individuals, startups, 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.”

While this initiative is being funded by DOE’s Building Technologies Office, each laboratory seeks industry partners and citizen innovators to join JUMP, access federal lab expertise, and collaborate to 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.

The list of industry partners participating in JUMP includes A.O. Smith, Building Robotics, Clean Energy Trust, CLEAResults, Callidia Energy, General Electric, and Honeywell.

Currently, innovation calls are being sent out for the following areas:

  • Appliances
  • Building envelope
  • Building analytics and information systems
  • Lighting
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Sensors and controls.

Ideas submitted in these categories are judged and voted on by the JUMP community, which helps DOE evaluate the market interest of the topic, technology, and potential solutions. A judging panel evaluates the top ideas based on their potential for significant energy savings; novelty; and technical, market, and economic feasibility. After that, innovators are connected to participating industry partners, and may qualify for cash prizes, technical support, and recognition.

To view the JUMP community page, visit

Click here to view the DOE’s original article.

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