Department of Energy Calls for Innovation

Department of Energy Calls for InnovationThe United States Department of Energy (DOE)  is now using crowdsourcing to issue calls for innovation on a national scale, to bring new ideas on energy-efficient building technologies to the attention of leaders in research and development. Through a program called JUMP, innovative thinkers in the area of energy-efficient building technologies are rewarded with idea development and prize money. The first JUMP winners were recently announced in May 2016.

What is JUMP?

JUMP is an online crowdsourcing initiative aimed at advancing energy-efficient building technologies. It’s an online crowdsourcing community co-hosted by five DOE national laboratories. The program presents an opportunity for the public to present ideas for new energy-efficient building technologies to private and public sector leaders in research and development.

One of the great benefits of the program is the ability for inventors to collaborate as a community. One 2016 winner said “JUMP is exactly the platform I was looking for to express my creativity and innovate collaboratively. Independent inventors often struggle to develop ideas that the market is ready to accept. Even then, it is difficult to strike the balance between protecting and sharing an idea to further develop it. JUMP is a recipe for success because it brings the large organizations, small innovators, and national laboratories to the table to

identify what the market needs, the technology can solve that need, and how to get it to market quickly.”

JUMP is an acronym that stands for:

  • Join the discussion
  • Unveil innovation
  • Motivate transformation
  • Promote tech to market



How to Participate in JUMP

Each year the DOE issues specific challenges through JUMP that innovators can submit solutions for. To participate, visit the JUMP website and learn about upcoming regional events and the current challenges that have been issued.


The DOE welcomes energy efficient building technology ideas that fall under the specific topics, or “calls for innovation” that have been rolled out. To qualify, ideas must offer the potential for significant energy savings, advance disruptive innovation for building technologies, must be developed fully enough that feasibility can be evaluated, and must not advertise or endorse specific companies or products.


JUMP participants benefit first of all by networking with other innovators by reviewing, commenting, and voting on ideas. In addition, award winners may receive one or more of the following:

  • Cash awards between $2,000 and $5,000
  • Networking with national laboratory scientists to help develop your idea
  • Access to the Small Business Voucher Program, if eligible
  • Coordinated access to leading industry partners to potentially collaborate to advance your design and possible funding opportunities
  • Invitation to recognition events for advancing design and demonstration of your idea

For more detailed information, be sure to visit the JUMP FAQ.

JUMP Winners 

Congratulations to the recently announced winners of the JUMP contest! There were three calls available, and one winner was selected in each one.

In the HVAC Sensors Challenge, Rande Cherry and Chris Cirenza won for their concept of non-invasive thermal flow/Btu metering using heat flux sensors. They will receive a $5,000 cash award sponsored by United Technologies Research Center.

In the Water Heater Challenge, Benjamin Knobb was selected for his idea for a thermally isolating preheater. He will receive a $5,000 cash award sponsored by A.O. Smith.

Finally, in the Defrost System Challenge, Joseph Geddes won for his idea to use light emitting diode arrays to radiatively transfer energy to the ice. He will receive a $3,000 cash award from General Electric.

The New Calls for Innovation 

There are three new calls that are eligible for submissions for the next JUMP awards. They are:

  • DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program and ORNL are seeking commercialized or near-commercialized technologies on lighting or lighting controls, and packaged HVAC or HVAC control systems to enable significant energy savings in federal buildings. Submit your idea!
  • CLEAResult and National Renewable Energy Laboratory are seeking ideas for ways to leverage the open, programmable, and sensor-rich platform of smartphones to enhance the way we live, manage, and interact with our homes today and in the future. Submit your idea!
  • Callida Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are seeking ideas for distributed temperature sensing in office buildings. Submit your idea!

There are expected to be multiple calls throughout 2016, so keep up to date on the JUMP site.

JUMP uses Ideascale technology to drive innovation in energy. To read about how our customers use Ideascale visit our resource center today!


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