WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced two winners for the final prize of the American Inventions Made Onshore (AIM Onshore) Prize Competition, which opened in 2018 as part of a DOE initiative to close the gap between American innovators who develop new energy technologies and domestic manufacturers who produce them.
First-place winner Fuzehub and second-place winner ADL Ventures were awarded $250,000 and $100,000, respectively. They were selected among four finalists who were awarded AIM Onshore initial prizes of $150,000 each, and then leveraged DOE’s Build4Scale training over the past year to help bolster U.S. manufacturing.
AIM Onshore prize competition sought out creative, specific, and innovative proposals to train innovators and help create partnerships with U.S. manufacturers. After documenting their work, each finalist submitted applications for the final prize, which were reviewed and scored by a team of external reviewers.
Finalists were asked to demonstrate a sustainable revenue stream to continue providing training, and winners were evaluated by hard metrics, including the number of contracts developed between innovators and domestic manufacturers, and the dollars unlocked by private stakeholders to continue the training and related activities.
“Through AIM Onshore, these innovative organizations worked with American scientists and engineers to increase their knowledge about basic manufacturing processes and improve product design for manufacturing,” says Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for the office of energy efficiency and renewable energy. “These models for knowledge transfer through training can help inform strategic manufacturing-related decisions and help ensure that energy technologies invented in America are manufactured in America.”
The Build4Scale training—developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in collaboration with industry, academia, and government—helps innovators avoid the common pitfalls of product design by teaching them manufacturing design fundamentals in the early stages of prototype development and providing the know-how needed to work with manufacturers. DOE’s Build4Scale training and other resources are available to the public for use and dissemination at Build4Scale.org.