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Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial Technology Prize

Open Date:


Close Date:


Eligible Recipients:

  • Cooperatives
  • Educational Institutions
  • General Public
  • Local Governments
  • Native/Tribal Entities
  • Non-profits
  • Private Sector
  • State Governments

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure
  • Environmental Clean-up
  • Health and Safety
  • Technical Assistance

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 Technology Prize awards up to $3.2 million in cash prizes and $800,000 in technical assistance vouchers to teams that identify a critical need in the DAC industry, develop a solution to address this gap, and test the idea to a degree of scale. It focuses on the steps of ideation and entrepreneurship needed to prepare technologies and businesses for commercialization.

The DAC Pre-Commercial Technology Prize (DAC Technology 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.

Direct air capture is technically challenging compared to other carbon capture systems, which prevent the release of additional emissions. However, it is an increasingly important tool in counterbalancing hard-to-decarbonize sectors. Because of this, the DAC Technology Prize focuses on developing DAC technology innovations, such as novel materials or systems integration, that will accelerate opportunities and successes in the industry.

Who Can Compete? Competitors or teams who meet eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply to the initial phase of the prize. Diverse, multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged; competitors interested in collaborating can connect on HeroX on the “Teams” page.

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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