Reminder: Ocean Observing Prize Closes Soon

The Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prize challenges innovators to develop solutions that integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observation platforms in order to revolutionize our ability to monitor, manage, and understand the ocean. The last date to submit for the competition is 12 February 2020.

The Powering the Blue Economy Initiative is an R&D effort being led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) to investigate alternative non-grid applications for marine energy. This joint prize between WPTO and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) program at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks to encourage energy innovation in ocean observation technologies. The Ocean Observing Prize will consist of a series of competitions over several years to develop marine energy solutions that meet the needs of ocean researchers, agencies, explorers, and other end-users in the ocean observing community. The development and execution of the Prize will be supported by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


The Ocean Observing Prize consists of two competitions that are designed to incentivize accelerated innovation in marine energy and ocean observations. The first competition, the DISCOVER Competition, will solicit novel concepts that integrate ocean observing technologies with marine energy systems to address end-user needs across five broad themes: (1) Unmanned Vehicles; (2) Communications and Underwater Navigation; (3) Extreme Environments; (4) Buoys, Floats, and Tags; and (5) Blue Sea Ideas (i.e., other). After the DISCOVER Competition, the second competition, the DEVELOP Competition, will focus on a single theme and challenge contestants to develop their ideas into a functioning prototype.


Together, the DISCOVER and DEVELOP Competitions will award up to $3 million in cash prizes, as well as other in-kind awards such as access to facilities, specialized equipment, and subject matter experts. Winner Announcement and Awards are anticipated for 26 March 2020.


The purpose of this prize is to:

  • Enable collection of valuable new data.
  • Generate sufficient power from co-located marine resources.
  • Accelerate commercialization of marine energy systems.
  • Grow a community of innovators.

For more information on the prize and the rules, please review the official Rules Document for instructions on the application process rules for competing.

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