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Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial EPIC Prize

Open Date:


Close Date:


Eligible Recipients:

  • Educational Institutions
  • Non-profits
  • Private Sector

Program Purpose:

  • Economic Development
  • Energy Infrastructure
  • Environmental Clean-up
  • Health and Safety

Reserved for Energy


Upcoming Milestones:

This prize closes and re-opens with each of its phases.


National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


The Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize awards up to $3.7 million in cash prizes to incubator teams that submit creative and impactful plans to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the DAC space and create meaningful community engagement. It aims to support both emerging and established direct air capture incubators and accelerators in implementing those plans to develop strong clusters, resources, and connections for energy startups and entrepreneurs.

The DAC Pre-Commercial EPIC Prize (DAC EPIC Prize) is part of a suite of interconnected competitions in the American-Made DAC Prize program. Understanding that there are several steps to move from an idea to a marketable product, the DAC Prizes are a suite of prizes that work together to advance carbon dioxide removal technologies and the incubators that make this process possible.

Incubators play a critical role in helping transition direct air capture technologies from an idea to a marketable product, through design support, connections with industry resources, business strategy assistance, and much more. The DAC EPIC Prize supports solutions that have the potential to accelerate regional economic development, strengthen national innovation capacity, and expand domestic carbon removal manufacturing and technology development.

Who Can Compete? Incubator organizations and programs that aid in the development of new business ventures, business accelerators, co-working startup communities, or any other organizations that self-identify as advocates for innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged to compete.

Competitors in the DAC EPIC Prize will compete in three escalating phases. Only winners of the previous phase can apply for the next phase.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Direct Award
Total Amount Available:
Limit per Applicant:
Estimated Awards:

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

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