Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize Funding Opportunity

November 24, 2021 | Annabelle Swift, Associate, CEBN

The impacts of climate change have not fallen evenly across the U.S., with low-income populations and populations of color facing disproportionately higher exposure to pollution and risk. These communities have also been full of innovators and change-makers, but have historically lacked access to resources from clean energy and climate initiatives. The Biden Administration has launched the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of climate investment benefits to disadvantaged communities and inform equitable research, development, and deployment within DOE. As a result, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have created a new, cross-cutting funding opportunity to support community partnerships. 

The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize will provide a total of $2.5 million in funding to up to 10 teams to advance programs advancing a just and equitable transition, building community partnerships, and creating a more vibrant, representative clean energy ecosystem. The winners of Phase One will receive cash awards of $200,000 each. Phase One winners will be eligible to participate in a Phase Two of the prize 12 months later, during which time it is anticipated that a total of $500,000 will be awarded to up to three teams. 

The Clean Energy Business Network is a nationwide nonprofit that serves as the small business voice for the clean energy economy. Our team is working with the Department of Energy and Small Business Administration to help ensure that federal grant dollars for clean energy technology innovation and economic growth reach a more representative range of the U.S. population. We want to make sure every eligible applicant knows about these funding opportunities and receives the support needed to successfully compete for these funds.

The deadline for this prize has passed.

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Funding details:

The application, which consists primarily of an impact plan and a 3-minute video, is due on February 25th at 5 pm ET.

How to Submit an Application:

  • Navigate to the HeroX webpage for the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize.
  • Click “Solve this Challenge.” You will be prompted to create an account if you don’t already have one.
  • Read through the prize rules and accept.
  • Once you accept the rules, the screen will then prompt you to register a team, join a team, or compete individually. If your partner has an account as well, you can join them. If not, you can list them on your application directly.
  • Now that you are registered, you can click “Begin Entry” to start filling out and uploading application material. Click “Save and Preview” to either submit your final entry or to exit and return to the application later. Only one person on your team should submit an application.

Have last-minute questions about applying? Post them on the HeroX forum to receive a response from one of the prize administrators (please note the forum is monitored Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm MT).

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