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Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize – Phase 1

Open Date:


Close Date:


Upcoming Milestones:

Prize Closes: 5 p.m. ET on February 25, 2022
Phase One Winner Announcement & Awards: March 2022 (anticipated)
Phase Two Begins: March 2023 (anticipated)

Eligible Recipients:

  • Educational Institution
  • General Public
  • Local Government
  • Native/Tribal Entity
  • Non-profit
  • Private Sector
  • Public Utility Entity
  • State Government

Program Purpose:

  • Economic Development

Reserved for Energy


Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


This prize aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations; state, local, and tribal governments and government entities; for-profit companies; and academic institutions with experience in supporting environmental, climate, and energy justice. The prize will support, create, and identify activities that provide incubation, acceleration, and community-based entrepreneurship and innovation services in climate and clean energy technologies.

In addition, the prize aims to achieve five critical goals:

  1. Enable clean energy and climate innovation, and entrepreneurship programming and capabilities, at colleges and universities that serve large populations of students underrepresented in STEM, minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and undergraduate institutions.
  2. Create or increase participation in clean energy and climate-smart job training and job placement/hiring, including programs that target participation from disadvantaged communities, such as formerly incarcerated individuals and youth transitioning out of foster care. Workforce training could cover identifying energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas inventories, renewable energy manufacturing, and deployment.
  3. Foster grassroots innovation related to just and equitable clean energy deployment through activities focusing on community-centric networks and bottom-up solutions for sustainable development, based on the needs of the communities involved.
  4. Identify and fund activities that will help disadvantaged communities become aware of, apply into, or otherwise secure DOE funding or other federal, state, local government, or private (for-profit or nonprofit) funding, in support of the government’s Justice40 goals.
  5. Enable the development of replicable clean energy transitions that deliver just and equitable benefits to disadvantaged communities in support of the government’s Justice40 goals.

Teams need not have a scientific or engineering background to compete in the prize. The Department of Energy (DOE) seeks to support grassroots organizations working on climate and clean energy technology solutions that focus on enabling a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy. Novel state or local policies, for example, are critical to enabling the success of the clean energy transition, especially in disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.

In Phase One, up to 10 winners will receive an initial cash prize of up to $200,000 each, with the opportunity to receive additional awards. Winners from Phase One will receive in-kind mentorship and other support services to ensure their success. In Phase Two, up to three teams will be awarded cash prizes from a prize pool of $500,000. The prize is open for submissions for Phase One through Feb. 25, 2022.

Related Resources

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - no match
Total Amount Available:
Limit per Applicant:
Estimated Awards:

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

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