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DOE Innovating Distributed Embedded Energy Prize (InDEEP)


The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Water Power Technologies Office is launching the Innovating Distributed Embedded Energy Prize (InDEEP) to encourage innovation in distributed embedded energy converter technology to generate new, precommercial materials for wave energy conversion.

Donor Name: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

State: All States

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Award

Deadline: 08/25/2023

Size of the Grant: $250,000


Competitors will use innovative methods to identify DEEC-Tec components and materials that have high techno-economic potential for wave energy converters. Successful concepts developed through this prize are those that show the greatest techno-economic potential to contribute to grid-scale power systems.

This three-phase, two-year competition is offering a combined cash prize pool up to $2.3 million to encourage innovation in distributed embedded energy converter technology for wave energy conversion.

WPTO has specifically chosen the prize mechanism for InDEEP to contribute to four high-level objectives within the office:

  • InDEEP aims to explore a diverse range of potentially high-impact technologies for wave energy. By employing the prize mechanism, the barrier to entry is lowered, and multiple prizes can be awarded to researchers both inside and outside the wave energy industry, supporting them to conceptualize a variety of high-techno-economic DEEC concepts.
  • InDEEP encourages the use of systems engineering approaches and methodologies in the field of wave energy. Working in the ocean is a challenge; generating cost competitive energy is a challenge; transforming the energy of ocean waves and converting it into electricity is a challenge; scales, timelines, risks, and costs of never-been-done-before engineering systems are a challenge. Leveraging systems engineering approaches and methods at the early concept development and engineering analysis stage will generate consistent and highperforming long-term results.
  • InDEEP will make new investments in the marine energy community, targeting both the existing wave energy experts and those with ideas new to the wave energy industry. Simultaneously, InDEEP will build a community of innovators working to understand how DEEC-Tec and similar technology areas can be applied to wave energy
  • InDEEP will help prepare promising technologies for future research and maturation by proving comprehensive competitor support for every stage of technology development, from conception to building and testing.


WPTO’s desired outcome for InDEEP is an understanding of the landscape of innovators and potential DEEC-Tec solution providers that could apply this technology to wave energy devices in the ocean environment. The prize will incentivize the development of novel DEEC-Tec-based concepts to meet the following goals:

  • Leverage WEC innovation methods  to systematically develop DEEC-Tec concepts that could bring value to the ocean wave energy industry.
  • Build a solver community by engaging and facilitating collaboration between diverse innovators in the marine energy industry and related DEEC-Tec disciplines.
  • Encourage development of novel DEEC-Tec with high potential relevant to WECs by supporting an interdisciplinary set of competitors from ideation to design.
  • Refine WEC innovation methods to incorporate ideas beyond the field of wave energy based on feedback from the prize.

Funding Information

Total cash prizes: $2,300,000

  • Phase I: Up to 20 teams can each win $15,000 in cash awards.
  • Phase II: Up to 15 teams can each win $50,000 in cash awards.
  • Phase III: Up to five teams can each win $250,000 in cash awards.

Eligibility Criteria

The competition is open to private entities (for-profits and nonprofits), non-federal government entities such as states, counties, tribes, and municipalities, academic institutions, and individuals, subject to the following requirements:

  • Individuals can compete alone or as a group. A representative of a private entity can also register the entity to compete by itself or as the lead organization of a group of entities. Teams can also be comprised of a mix of individuals and entities or organizations.
  • An individual prize competitor (who is not competing as a member of a group) must be a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident.
  • A group of individuals competing as one team may win, provided the team captain and HeroX account holder for the team submission is a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident.
  • Individuals competing as part of a team may participate if they are legally allowed to work in the United States.
  • Private entities must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. If an entity seeking to compete does not have majority domestic ownership and control, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy may consider issuing a waiver of that eligibility requirement where (1) the entity otherwise meets the eligibility requirements; (2) the entity is incorporated in and maintains a primary place of business in the United States; and (3) the entity submits a compelling justification. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy may require additional information before making a determination on the waiver request.
  • Academic institutions must be based in the United States.

For more information, visit InDEEP.

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