SUNSHOT CATALYST Official Rules for Round 1



INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, SunShot Initiative (SunShot) aims to make subsidy-free solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of energy by the end of the decade. SunShot drives American innovation in manufacturing, engineering, and business through a series of programs designed to spark and promote market solutions to solar energy development and clean energy growth. The SunShot Initiative continues to design and implement prize challenges that allow the public to rapidly innovate and deliver valuable solutions leveraging existing tools, capabilities and data assets. The SunShot Catalyst is an open innovation program that allows the public, through a series of prize challenges, to rapidly create and develop products and solutions that address near-term challenges in the U.S. solar marketplace. /

Using the America COMPETES Act prize authority, the SunShot Catalyst Program is a series of contests designed to incentivize the public to address time-sensitive market problems in the solar industry. The Catalyst Program consists of four steps with value awarded to all winning contestants totaling $1,000,000 which includes approximately $500,000 in cash prizes. The four steps, in each cycle of Catalyst, are as follows.

No.Contest NameTotal WinnersAwards
Step 1Ideation ContestUp to 5 winners$1,000 cash per winner
Step 2Business Innovation ContestUp to 20 winners$25,000 in services for each winner
Step 3PrototypeUp to 20 finalists
Step 4Incubation ContestUp to 5 winners$100,000 per winner

This document outlines the official rules for the SunShot Catalyst Program. Nothing within this document or in any documents supporting the SunShot Catalyst shall be construed as obligating DOE or any other Federal agency or instrumentality to any expenditure of appropriated funds, or any obligation or expenditure of funds in excess of or in advance of available appropriations.

SUMMARY OF CONTESTS

The following is only a summary of each contest. For more information please review the full details of each contest terms and conditions as provided throughout this document.

STEP 1: Ideation Contest

The Ideation Contest focuses on generating and aggregating pressing U.S. solar market needs and problem statements that can be solved through automation, algorithms, data, and software by leveraging available data assets, tools, capabilities and resources. Anyone can participate in this contest by submitting problem statements online or by voting on existing submissions of problem statements during the active voting period. There will be five monetary prizes of $1,000 each, based on the results of a subsequent Incubation Contest (Step 4).

STEP 2: Business Innovation Contest

The Business Innovation Contest (Step 2) is designed to help teams form and explore business solutions to the most compelling problems in increasing solar energy generation, with a focus on problems and challenges identified by the public during the Ideation Contest (Step 1). Anyone can participate in this Contest by submitting a Business Plan Package online featuring a five minute video describing the proposed business plan. Winners of Step 2 will be given the opportunity to participate in the Prototyping (Step 3). DOE will grant access to $25,000 worth of online software development capabilities for every winner of Step 2. Up to 20 winners will be given the opportunity to work directly with the Topcoder platform in order to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) as proposed in their business plan.

STEP 3: Prototyping

The Prototyping stage is designed to help the selected winners from the Business Innovation Contest (Step 2) complete within 60 days the development of minimum viable products (MVPs) using the Topcoder platform with a budget for services not exceeding $25,000 per participating team. During this prototyping period teams will receive from the DOE-provided software developer training, support and access to the Topcoder platform in order to complete the development of their MVP. Each Team is expected to work closely with Topcoder to formulate their requirements and scope of work for one MVP.

STEP 4: Incubation Contest

The Incubation Contest is designed to help teams with minimum viable products (MVPs) completed during the Prototyping (Step 3) start their businesses and accelerate the offering of new products and services to the solar marketplace. To win cash awards, teams have to participate in a DOE managed publically-held Demo Day. This event will showcase the teams MVPs market entry execution strategy and a 6-month growth plan. During Demo Day, teams will be evaluated by judges in accordance with the Evaluation and Judging Criteria shown in this contest. The top five winners may receive a maximum total of $100,000 in cash prizes. Funds will be distributed in two tranches (Seed Round and Progress Round). The first tranche of $30,000 will be given to the 5 top teams that participate in Demo Day. Those teams will be eligible for a second tranche of $70,000 as a follow-on cash award based on the team’s success in meeting its targets and goals as identified in its 6-month growth plan.

CATALYST PROGRAM EMAIL

For questions about the Official Rules contact SunShot.Catalyst@ee.doe.gov.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DATES

Link to Program Schedule


OFFICIAL RULES OF IDEATION CONTEST

Introduction:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Catalyst program is a series of prize-based contests authorized under the America COMPETES Act, designed to make starting companies faster, easier, and more focused on solving time-sensitive market problems in solar. The Catalyst Program consists of four steps with value awarded to all winning contestants totaling $1,000,000 which includes approximately $500,000 in cash prizes.

The Ideation Contest (Step 1) focuses on generating and aggregating pressing U.S. solar market needs and problem statements that can be solved through highly scalable business processes, automation, algorithms, data, and software, especially by leveraging available data assets, tools, capabilities and resources. This contest is designed to give any member of the public including stakeholders in the solar industry an opportunity to express and share problems that they wish to be addressed in the short-term with innovative market-based solutions.

SunShot will administer this contest using an online platform, IdeaScale Inc. to harness the collective power of industry stakeholders, communities, experts, thought-leaders, innovators, and most importantly the public in identifying and solving solar market challenges and needs.

Anyone can participate in this contest by submitting problem statements online or by voting on existing problem statement submissions during the active voting period. DOE will have SunShot Thumbs Up vote options to indicate programmatic interest in submitted problem statements. The public will also have thumbs up vote options to indicate their interests. Qualified contestants that submit problem statements may be given letters of commendation as non-monetary prizes based on SunShot Thumbs Up votes and the number of thumbs up votes from the public. A Qualified contestant with a problem statement in an Ideation Contest (Step 1) may win $1,000 in cash prizes when a team who adopted this referenced problem statement in their business solution has been selected among top five winners by a panel of judges in accordance with the rules of the Incubation Contest (Step 4).

Important Dates:

Link to Program Schedule


How To Enter:

  • Visit http://catalyst.energy.gov (the "Ideation Contest") and click "Submit a Problem Statement" anytime during the submission period stated above. You will be prompted to create an account by entering your name and email address.
  • After you sign up on the website a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email to verify your email address. As a registered contestant you will then be able to enter the contest by making one or more submissions that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each a "submission").
  • Complete the entry submission form on the contest website, consisting of a written description of a solar market need or a problem statement (2,800 characters including spaces) and optional links to no more than five pieces of available online content (e.g. a video link, a website link). Submissions longer than 2,800 characters including spaces will not be eligible for a prize, monetary or non-monetary.

Evaluation Criteria:

During the submission period and prior to the beginning of the voting period, DOE will initially screen submissions for compliance with the objectives and rules of this contest. A submission that fails to meet the compliance criteria will be disqualified and will be ineligible for public voting or prizes. DOE reserves the right to delete redundant problem statements or when possible combine similar problem statements into a single problem statement based on timestamps. If problem statements are combined or edited by DOE, only the first submitter will be eligible to receive the $1000 prize. DOE will exercise full discretion in this matter. DOE decisions are final. Submissions that pass the initial compliance screening will be published on the contest website and will be open for public voting. Publishing a submission to the contest website does not constitute the DOE's final determination of contestant or submission eligibility. DOE will publish a list of all eligible statements at the end of step 1.

NON-MONETARY PRIZE EVALUATION:

The screened submissions will be evaluated based on the two scoring criteria listed below. Any eligible submission that gets a SunShot Thumbs Up and is among the top 25 in terms of total public votes may be granted a letter of commendation from DOE as a non-monetary prize.

SCORING CRITERIA # 1 - SUNSHOT THUMBS UP:

A submission will receive the SunShot Thumbs Up vote if SunShot determines that the answer to each of the following questions is “Yes”:

  • Is the Problem Statement clearly defined and well-articulated?
  • Does the problem statement reflect a timely and a compelling solar market need in the U.S. whose solution will have a great and measurable impact consistent with SunShot goals?
  • Does the problem statement have the potential to be solved using highly scalable business processes, automation, data, or software?
  • Do potential solutions to the problem statement have viable monetization pathways with high probability for yielding market-driven self-sustaining or profitable businesses?
SCORING CRITERIA # 2 - PUBLIC VOTES:

The public can participate in the voting in this contest by casting no more than one vote per submission during the active public voting period. Any attempt to circumvent the vote limit or to use any form of automated vote process will subject all votes from that person to disqualification. DOE may disqualify the votes and/or submissions of any users or contestants seeking to defraud the voting process.

Public votes may be displayed on the contest website, on a real-time basis, before being verified for integrity. These unverified votes may not necessarily reflect the final number of verified votes to qualify for non-monetary prizes. To qualify for non-monetary prizes a submission must receive a total number of public votes that places them among the top 25 publically voted submissions during the voting period and as determined by DOE. DOE reserves the right to cancel or extend the voting period at any time for any reason.

BASIS FOR MONETARY PRIZE AWARDS:

To win a monetary prize in an Ideation contest (Step 1), the problem statement of a contestant in Step 1 has to be the referenced problem statement of a winning contestant of a subsequent Incubation contest (Step 4). The winning contestant in Step 4 may be related or unrelated to the contestant in Step 1. A contestant in Step 1 may win more than one cash prize in addition to any number of non-monetary prizes, or none, provided that all requirements set forth herein are satisfied in accordance with the Official Rules of Step 1 and Step 4. All monetary prizes for Step 1 are equal in the amount of $1,000 per award and not exceeding $5,000 in total.

VERIFICATION OF WINNERS:

All potential contest winners are subject to verification of identity, qualifications and role in the creation of the submission by DOE.

Winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and receiving a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The Winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date that results are announced. Each Winner (or Winner's parent/guardian if under 18 years of age), will be required to sign and return to DOE, within ten (10) days of the date the notice is sent, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) in order to claim any recognition. In the sole discretion of DOE a potential winner will be deemed ineligible to win if: (i) the person/entity cannot be contacted; (ii) the person/entity fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period; (iii) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or (iv) the submission or person/entity is disqualified for any other reason. In the event of a disqualification of a winner, DOE in its sole discretion may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner.

SUBMISSION AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

In order for Submissions to be eligible to win a Step 1 Contest prize (monetary or non-monetary), they must meet the following requirements:

  • General - contestants must provide a written submission(s) that is no greater than 2,800 characters including spaces. Applicants may include up to 5 links to articles or videos posted online although DOE may not consider any information outside of the 2,800 characters of the problem statement.
  • Deadline - The submission must be available for evaluation by the end date noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.
  • No DOE logo - submission(s) must not use DOE's logo or official seal and must not claim DOE endorsement.
  • DOE will also screen submissions for contestant eligibility and IT security. Once a submission has been submitted, the contestant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the submission. Contestants may make multiple submissions. Failing to meet submission requirements or other submission screenings will result in that submission being deemed ineligible to win a prize. Posting to the contest website does not constitute DOE's final determination of contestant or submission eligibility. DOE will publish a list of all eligible statements at the end of step 1.
  • Each submission must be original, the work of the contestant, and must not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • It is an express condition of submission and eligibility that each contestant warrants and represents that the contestant's submission is solely owned by the contestant, that the submission is wholly original with the contestant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the submission.
  • Each contestant further represents and warrants to DOE that the submission, and any use thereof by DOE shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • A Contestant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the Submission, provided the Submission is solely the Contestant's work product and the result of the Contestant's ideas and creativity and the Contestant owns all rights to it.
  • Each Submission must be in English.
  • Submissions will not be accepted if they contain any matter that, in the sole discretion of DOE, is indecent, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct.
  • If DOE in its discretion, find any submission to be unacceptable, then such submission shall be deemed disqualified.

CONTESTANT ELIGIBILITY:

The contest is open only to: (a) citizens or permanent residents of the United States; and (b) private entities, such as corporations or other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Individuals submitting on behalf of corporations, nonprofits, or groups of individuals (such as an academic class or other team) must meet the eligibility requirements for individual participants. An individual may join more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations, and members of their immediate family (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program. Federal entities and Federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, are also not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program.

TEAMS:

Contest submissions can be from an individual or a team (Team). If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prize winner, DOE will award a single dollar amount to winning Team(s) and each Team, whether consisting of a single or multiple contestants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members. It will be up to the winning Team(s) to reallocate the prize money among its member contestants, if they deem it appropriate.

SUBMISSION RIGHTS:

Ideas and videos submitted to the Ideation contest (Step 1) must be submitted and released to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

In addition to the rights under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, by making a submission and consenting to the Official Rules of the contest, a contestant is granting the following license to DOE, administrator, and any other third parties supporting DOE in the contest: a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide perpetual license to copy, display publicly and use the submission for Government purpose. This license includes posting or linking to the Public submission on DOE's and administrator's websites and applications, including the contest Website, DOE websites, and partner websites, and inclusion of the submission in any other media, worldwide. The submission may be viewed by the DOE, administrator, and Judges for purposes of the contest, including but not limited to screening and evaluation purposes. The DOE and administrator, and any third parties acting on their behalf will also have the right to publicize contestant's name and, as applicable, the names of contestant's team members, organization, or large organization which participated in the submission on the contest website for a period of three years following the conclusion of the contest.

COPYRIGHT:

Each contestant represents and warrants that the contestant is the sole author and copyright owner of the submission; that the submission is an original work of the contestant and that the contestant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including DOE, to use the submission, as specified throughout the Official Rules, that the submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the contestant is aware; and that the submission is free of malware.

SUBMISSION COMPLIANCE:

All submissions should meet the intent of the Catalyst Ideation contest (Step 1), and as previously defined in the contest summary and described on the contest website. The general criteria for compliance are responsiveness, program relevance and compatibility. The following is only an illustrative list of non-compliant submissions:

  • Submissions that outline Federal, state or local government policies as problems to be addressed. The SunShot Catalyst Program is not designed for the public to lobby any Federal, state or local official with respect to any legislation, resolution, appropriation, or measure.
  • The problem statement is not related to the U.S. solar industry.
  • Submissions with a primary focus on energy technologies other than solar, including hydrogen and fuel cells, solar fuels, combined heat and power (CHP), wind energy, hydropower, bioenergy and biomass.
  • Submissions that state or promote existing or specific solutions, capabilities, products, or companies.
  • Submissions that propose incremental improvements to existing products.
  • Submissions that propose technologies or solutions that are not based on sound technical principles or inconsistent with a basic understanding of the U.S. market economy.
  • Submissions that seek funding primarily to support existing programs or fund already-designed programs or products. The problem statement is of a promotional nature or highlights a future goal, vision, or a solution without a well-articulation of a challenge or a market need in the U.S. solar marketplace.
  • The problem statement is significantly duplicative to an existing submission. Such submissions will be deleted or merged with the earlier submissions, if possible. DOE will have ultimate authority over this decision.

OFFICIAL RULES OF BUSINESS INNOVATION CONTEST

Introduction:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Catalyst program is a series of prize-based contests authorized under the America COMPETES Act, designed to make starting companies faster, easier, and more focused on solving time-sensitive market problems in solar. The Catalyst Program consists of four steps with value awarded to all winning contestants totaling $1,000,000 which includes approximately $500,000 in cash prizes.

The Business Innovation contest (Step 2) is designed to help teams form and explore business solutions to the most compelling problems in solar, especially problems and challenges submitted by the public during the prior Ideation contest (Step 1). In this contest teams are expected to brainstorm, explore, and articulate technical, operational, financial and business aspects of their proposed solution. This includes but is not limited to the business value proposition, customer segments, potential revenue streams, cost structures, operational concepts, key activities, key partners, and other business elements. The main goal of this contest is for teams to formulate feasible and executable business plans for bringing new and innovative solutions to the U.S. marketplace.

SunShot will administer this contest using an online platform,IdeaScale Inc., to harness the collective power of industry stakeholders, communities, experts, thought-leaders, innovators, and most importantly the public, in proposing feasible and executable business plans for solving solar market challenges and needs.

Anyone, so long as they meet the eligibility requirements, can participate in this contest by submitting a Business Plan Package online consisting of: (i) a referenced voted problem statement listed in the prior Ideation contest (Step 1) or a new problem statement; (ii) a link to a video no longer than 5 minutes describing the proposed business plan, posted to any online video hosting website; (iii) name and titles with links to publically accessible resumes or profiles on any online professional social media network for the top five members of the team; and (iv) A short description of the proposed business plan, to share with the public, not exceeding 1,400 characters including spaces.

A panel of judges assigned by DOE will score qualified submissions according to this contest Evaluation and Judging Criteria and select up to 20 finalists. All judges will comply with the requirements of the America Competes Act. DOE will announce the top 20 Qualified Winners online with a short description of each winning team and a link to their video submission. Winners in this contest will not receive direct cash prizes. Each winner will be given access to $25,000 worth of software development capabilities. The applicant will be given the opportunity to work directly with the Topcoder platform to design and implement a series of software development challenges and to develop and complete minimum viable products (MVPs).

Important Dates:

Link to Program Schedule


How to Enter:

  • If you do not have an IdeaScale account, visit http://catalyst.energy.gov and click "Join Catalyst" to create an account. You will be prompted to create an account by entering your name and email address. After you sign up on the website, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email to verify your email address. As a registered contestant, you will then be able to enter this contest by making a submission that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each, a "submission").
  • If you have an IdeaScale account, visit http://catalyst.energy.gov and click "Log In." Enter your IdeaScale credentials. You will then be able to enter this contest by making a submission that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each, a "submission").
  • Explore the publically listed voted problem statements from the Ideation contests displayed on the http://catalyst.energy.gov website (collectively "Voted problem statements"). Every submission must use one Voted problem statement to qualify in this contest. The website may provide a problem statement click-through capability in order to complete a submission in this contest. In this case, a Submit Business Plan button will be shown in every voted problem statement (e.g. problem statement click-through submission feature). A contestant may input a new and unlisted problem statement if the proposed business plan solution does not address any voted problem statement. By entering a new and non-duplicative problem statement the contestant will forfeit all monetary and non-monetary prizes related to the Ideation contest (Step 1). In this case, DOE reserves the right to disqualify any contestant if the submitted problem statement was determined by DOE as conceptually duplicative of existing voted problem statements, or otherwise noncompliant or ineligible as provided in this document.
  • During the submission period, visit http://catalyst.energy.gov and confirm that you have read and agreed to the Official Rules on this contest. To submit your Business Plan package, click the "Submit Business Plan" button, or use the problem statement click-through submission feature, and provide the information listed in the submission and Eligibility Requirements Section of this contest.
  • Submission Rights: In order to complete and confirm the submission, the contestant must consent, in writing, and grant to DOE and the other supporters a royalty-free license to: Publicize the names of opted contest participants (including the individual members of the contestant team) and Qualified Winners and select submission materials through media and events of DOE's choosing. Such license shall remain in force indefinitely.

Step 2 Evaluation Criteria and Judging:

DOE will initially screen submissions for compliance with the objectives and Rules of this contest. A submission that fails to meet the compliance criteria will be disqualified and will be ineligible to compete in this contest. Submissions that pass the initial compliance review will be evaluated and scored by a panel of judges. An evaluation of a submission by a panel of judges does not constitute the DOE's final determination of contestant or submission eligibility.

Submissions will be judged according to the four scoring criteria below:

Scoring Criteria #1: Novelty & Impact Potential (Max 40/100)

  • The extent to which the proposed approach described in the submission tackles the selected or the stated problem statement. Solutions and business plans that are unrelated to the selected or stated problem statement will receive 0 points.
  • Whether the contestant proposed a product or solution that is unique, innovative, economically feasible, and has viable monetization pathways with high probability for yielding market-driven profitable businesses.
  • The potential impact of the proposed solution to advance the state of the U.S. solar/building energy efficiency market readiness, maturity and competitiveness.
  • Whether the contestant demonstrated sufficient awareness of competing approaches and identified how the proposed plan provides significant improvements over these other potential solutions.
  • The benefits associated with the proposed solution are well articulated and justified with reasonable and rational assumptions that are clearly stated.

Scoring Criteria #2: Business Plan Scope & Quality (Max 40/100)

  • Whether the contestant envisions outcomes and deliverables that are clearly defined.
  • Whether the contestant demonstrates a reasonable and credible approach to accomplish the proposed objectives, tasks, outcomes and deliverable.
  • Whether the contestant proposes a strong and convincing development approach.
  • Extent to which the proposed approach uses and integrates existing algorithms, tools, databases, APIs, capabilities, and platforms (public and private resources).

Scoring Criteria #3: Team Experience & Abilities (Max 20/100)

  • Quality and qualifications of the contestant Team and the likelihood that they will be able to successfully implement the proposed plan.
  • Extent to which the business plan shows a mastery of the skills required to complete the proposed solution including the ability to lead and engage a number of stakeholders to realize the proposed plan.
  • Level of commitment and dedication to pursue the proposed solution as determined by availability of key personnel and previous track record of solving similar problems.

DOE will initially screen submissions for compliance with the Official Rules and the objectives of the contest. The screened submission will be scored by the judges on a scale of 0-100 points (one hundred being the highest) in a range of categories that reflect the above scoring criteria. The average score in each category will be computed, and the average scores will be combined to compute a total score. Entries with the 20 highest final scores will be recommended for selection of $25,000 worth of software development capabilities and services.

Judges:

The submissions will be judged by a qualified panel of experts selected by DOE at its sole discretion. The panel will judge the submissions according to the judging criteria identified above in order to select winners. Judges may not (A) have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a registered participant in a contest; or (B) have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered participant.

The decisions of the judges for the contest will be announced in accordance with the dates noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.

Verification of Winners:

ALL POTENTIAL CONTEST WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY, QUALIFICATIONS AND ROLE IN THE CREATION OF THE SUBMISSION BY DOE.

Winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The Winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of the judging. Each Winner (or Winner's parent/guardian if under 18 years of age), will be required to sign and return to DOE, within ten (10) days of the date the notice is sent, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) in order to claim any recognition. In the sole discretion of DOE, a potential winner will be deemed ineligible to win if: (i) the person/entity cannot be contacted; (ii) the person/entity fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period; (iii) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or (iv) the submission or person/entity is disqualified for any other reason. In the event of a disqualification of a winner, DOE in its sole discretion may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner.

Submission and Eligibility Requirements

Submission Requirements

In order for submissions to be eligible to win in the Business Innovation contest (Step 2), they must meet the following requirements:

  • General - contestants must provide a complete Business Plan package that includes the following:
    • A reference to a voted problem statement or a new problem statement not exceeding 2,800 characters including spaces.
    • A link to a video presentation no longer than 5 minutes describing the proposed business plan, posted to any online video hosting website (e.g., YouTube), that include the following elements:
      • Who you are and why we should believe you can solve this problem
      • What problem you are trying to solve
      • Your proposed solution and how it will mke money
      • Who are your customers and how you will involve them early and often
    • Name and title of the top five members of the applying team including links to publically accessible resumes or profiles any online professional social media network.
    • A short description of the business plan to share with the public not exceeding 1,400 characters including spaces.
  • Deadline - The submission must be available for evaluation by the end date noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.
  • No DOE logo - submission(s) must not use DOE's logo or official seal and must not claim DOE endorsement.
  • DOE will also screen submissions for contestant eligibility, IT security, and compliance with IdeaScale's Standards of Conduct available online at ideascale.com. Once a submission has been submitted, the contestant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the submission. Failing to meet submission Requirements or other submission screenings will result in that submission being deemed ineligible to win in this contest. Posting to the contest website does not constitute DOE's final determination of contestant or submission eligibility.
  • Each submission must be original, the work of the contestant, and must not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • It is an express condition of submission and eligibility that each contestant warrants and represents that the contestant's submission is solely owned by the contestant, that the submission is wholly original with the contestant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the submission.
  • Each contestant further represents and warrants to DOE and the other Sponsors that the submission, and any use thereof by DOE or the other Sponsors (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries and affiliates), shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, privacy rights, moral rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • A contestant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the submission, provided the submission is solely the contestant's work product and the result of the contestant's ideas and creativity and the contestant owns all rights to it.
  • Each submission must be in English.
  • Submissions will not be accepted if they contain any matter that, in the sole discretion of DOE, is indecent, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct.
  • If DOE, or the Judges, in their discretion, find any submission to be unacceptable, then such submission shall be deemed disqualified.

Contestant Eligibility

To receive a prize through this contest, participants must be either: (a) private entities, such as corporations or other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States; or (b) an individual or group of individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. DOE employees, DOE Contractors, individuals who have been employed by DOE or working for DOE as a contractor within the six months of the deadline of submission for the Business Innovation Contest (Step 2), employees of sponsoring organizations, and members of their immediate family (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program. Federal entities and Federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, are also not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program.

Teams

Contest submissions can be from an individual or a team (Team). If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prizewinner, DOE will award a single dollar amount to winning Team(s) and each Team, whether consisting of a single or multiple contestants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members. It will be up to the winning Team(s) to reallocate the prize money among its member contestants, if they deem it appropriate.

Submission Rights

  • Content of the Business Plan package including videos in this contest (Step2) must be submitted and released to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • In addition to the rights under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, by making a submission and consenting to the Official Rules of the contest, a contestant is granting the following license to DOE, administrator, and any other third parties supporting DOE in the contest: a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide perpetual license to copy, display publicly and use the submission for Government purpose. This license includes posting or linking to the Public submission on DOE's and administrator's websites and applications, including the contest website, DOE websites, and partner websites, and inclusion of the submission in any other media, worldwide. The submission may be viewed by the DOE, administrator, and Judges for purposes of the contest, including but not limited to screening and evaluation purposes. The DOE and administrator, and any third parties acting on their behalf will also have the right to publicize contestant's name and, as applicable, the names of contestant's team members, organization, or large organization which contributed in the submission on the contest website indefinitely.

Copyright

Each contestant represents and warrants that the contestant is the sole author and copyright owner of the submission; that the submission is an original work of the contestant and that the contestant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including DOE, to use the submission, as specified throughout the Official Rules, that the submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the contestant is aware; and that the submission is free of malware.

Submission Compliance

All submissions must meet the intent of the Catalyst Business Innovation contest (Step 2), and as previously defined in the contest summary and described on the contest website. The criteria for compliance are responsiveness, program relevance and compatibility. The following is a list of types of submissions that will be deemed non-compliant:

  • Submissions that propose solutions that are highly dependent on new, pending or proposed Federal, state or local government legislation, resolution, appropriation, measure or policy will be deemed non-compliant. The SunShot Catalyst Program will not fund any activity that is designed to lobby any Federal, state or local government office.
  • The proposed solution is not related to the U.S. solar industry.
  • Submissions that state or promote existing or specific solutions, capabilities, products, or companies.
  • Submissions that propose improvements to existing solutions, capabilities, products or companies.
  • Submissions that propose technologies or solutions that are not based on sound technical principles or inconsistent with a basic understanding of the U.S. market economy.
  • Submissions that seek funding primarily to support existing programs or fund already-designed programs or products.
  • Submission that are of promotional nature or highlight only a future goal or vision.

OFFICIAL RULES OF PROTOTYPING

Introduction:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Catalyst program is a series of prize-based contests authorized under the America COMPETES Act, designed to make starting companies faster, easier, and more focused on solving time-sensitive market problems in solar. The Catalyst Program consists of four steps with value awarded to all winning contestants totaling $1,000,000 which includes approximately $500,000 in cash prizes.

Prototyping (Step 3) is designed to help selected winners from a Business Innovation Contest (Step 2) rapidly complete the development of minimum viable products (MVPs) using the Topcoder platform with a budget of $25,000 per participating team.

Step 2 winners will take their business plan to Topcoder support, selected by DOE. Topcoder's crowdsourced approach to software development depends on constructing a series of contests to compete the tasks for the different phases of the software development life-cycle (SDLC) which may include requirements specification, design, implementation, testing and integration. The tasks will be offered to a community of problem solvers, designers, software engineers, algorithimists, programmers, data base coders, user experience experts, and web/mobile developers to bring about high quality low cost software solutions.

Winners of Step 2 will be given access to Topcoder services provided by DOE to develop high quality low cost MVPs. The group of participating teams (Teams) will receive equal access, training, and support from Topcoder. Each team is expected to formulate their requirements and scope of work for one MVP. Each team will work directly with Topcoder and under DOE supervision, to design, manage, and complete the development of their MVPs during a scheduled prototyping period and with a fixed budget of $25,000 per Team.

Important Dates:

Link to Program Schedule


How to Enter:

Visit http://catalyst.energy.gov (the "Prototyping") and follow instructions on how to access the Topcoder platform.

Questions:

For questions about Catalyst Prototyping contact SunShot.Catalyst@ee.doe.gov.

OFFICIAL RULES OF INCUBATION CONTEST

Introduction:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Catalyst program is a series of prize-based contests authorized under the America COMPETES Act, designed to make starting companies faster, easier, and more focused on solving time-sensitive market problems in solar. The Catalyst Program consists of four steps with value awarded to all winning contestants totaling $1,000,000 which includes approximately $500,000 in cash prizes.

The Incubation Contest (Step 4) is designed to help five teams with minimum viable products (MVPs) completed during a prior Step 3 (Prototyping) start their businesses and accelerate offering new products and services in the solar marketplace. This contest consists of two rounds, Seed Round and Progress Round. It offers up to $100,000 per winner in cash prizes. DOE expects to make five awards with a possible $500,000 in total cash awards distributed to all winners. SunShot will administer this contest using the IdeaScale Inc. online platform.

To win cash awards, Teams have to participate in a DOE managed publically-held event, Demonstration (Demo) Day, to showcase their MVPs, market entry execution strategy, and a 6-month growth plan. During Demo Day, Teams will be evaluated by judges appointed by DOE in accordance with the Evaluation and Judging Criteria shown in this contest. The top five winners may receive $100,000 in cash prizes, per winner, distributed in two tranches (Seed Round and Progress Round). The first tranche of $30,000 is distributed by DOE, upon announcement, to seed the winning Team. The second tranche of $70,000 will be given as a follow-on cash award based on the Team’s success in meeting its targets and goals as identified in its 6-month growth plan.

Each one the top five winners will receive, for a period of 18 months, exclusive rights to commercialize its MVP developed during Step 3. During this time, SunShot and Topcoder will not publish or otherwise make publicly available the MVP. Teams that were not selected among the top five will be given an option to also receive an 18 month period of exclusive rights to commercialize their MVPs developed during Step 3. During this time, SunShot and Topcoder will not publish or otherwise make publicly available the MVPs. With the exception of a possible 18 month term of exclusivity as described in the preceding sentences, all MVPs, including source code, developed in Step 3 will be made available to the public royalty-free to further development, enhancement, and commercialization.

Only those Teams who completed MVPs in a prior Step 3 (Prototyping) are eligible to compete in this contest.

Important Dates:

Link to Program Schedule


How to Enter:

  • Visit http://catalyst.energy.gov (the "Incubation Contest") and follow instructions to submit the required material in preparation for the scheduled Demo Day including requirements and presentation expectations for Demo Day participation.
  • Seed Round: Before the Demo Day submission deadline shown above, each participating Team should use their official login to http://catalyst.energy.gov and visit (the "Incubation Contest") to confirm that they have read and agreed to the Official Rules of this contest’s round. To submit your Demo Day package, click the "Demo Day" button, and provide the information listed in the submission and Eligibility section for the Seed Round.
  • On Demo Day each contestant will be scheduled to demo their MVP to a panel of judges in real-time and without interruption for 15 minutes and discuss the market entry execution strategy and the 6-month growth plan. Judges will ask clarifying questions for no more than 10 minutes to make a well-informed assessment of each contestant. Judges will then privately convene for 5 minutes to deliberate before inviting the next contestant to begin. After all of the presentations, the Judges will convene again and discuss all applications and give their final scores in accordance with the review criteria.
  • Progress Round: Before the 6-month Assessment Submission deadline, shown above, each participating team, should use their official login and visit http://catalyst.energy.gov to confirm that they have read and agreed to the Official Rules of this contest’s round. To submit a Progress Round package, click the "Progress Round" button, and provide the information listed in the submission and Eligibility section for the Progress Round.
  • Submission Rights for both Rounds: In order to complete and confirm the submission, the contestant must consent, in writing, and grant to DOE and the other supporters a royalty-free license to: Publicize the names of contest participants (including the individual members of the contestant team) and Winners and select submission materials through media and events of DOE's choosing.

Evaluation Criteria:

Seed Round

Scoring Criteria #1: MVP Quality & Impact (max 40/100)
  • Level to which the MVP demonstrates a functional solution to a business need in the solar energy production industry
  • Level to which MVP embodies the potential functionality of the final product
  • Level to which the applicant demonstrates mastery of MVP as shown by their knowledge of the capability and functionality of the software.
  • Extent to which project shows potential for scalability of the proposed product to address desired market
Scoring Criteria #2: Market Entry (Max 20/100)
  • Level to which applicant provides a clear path to a functional final product
  • Likelihood of a transformational product and/or widespread adoption of proposed product or solution
  • Extent to which applicant identifies other competing products and differentiates proposed product from existing market.
  • Identification of realistic target market(s), discussion of competitive advantage, and the clarity of the business strategy in identifying market objectives (e.g. segment, price, volume/size, and region) and that these objectives are aligned with the contestant’s capabilities and resources
  • Identification and accurate assessment of business risks and assumptions
Scoring Criteria #3: Growth Strategy (Max 20/100)
  • Quality of the 6-month deliverables, success verification methods and the level to which deliverables:
    • Show progress to final commercial product;
    • Eliminate highest risk functionality;
    • Compliment proposed business plan;
    • Show progress in both product development and market acceptance;
    • Engage realistic market segments and execute contracting mechanisms
Scoring Criteria #4: Team Success Potential (Max 20/100)
  • Quality of partnerships, mentors, and investors as determined by relevant expertise, financial capability and track record of bringing new products to market.
  • Extent to which the training, capabilities and experience of the assembled team will result in the successful completion of the proposed goals and outcomes.
  • Likelihood that this team will be able to achieve the final outcomes on time and to specification.
  • The team has access to facilities, equipment, and any other resources they would require to complete the proposed outcomes.

Progress Round

Prize awards are only available to the top five selected Winners in Step 4 Seed Round.

Scoring Criteria: Score Card Performance

DOE will evaluate submissions by applicants based on the contestant Score Card performance and the extent of progress that has been shown during this six month assessment period. Specifically, DOE will evaluate each of the five or more performance metrics provided by each team based on the grading scale of A, B, C, or D as further described below.

  • Grade A means the team met or exceeded their stated score card metric or met similar goals taking into account reactions to market changes.
  • Grade B means the team made significant progress towards meeting the goal or will likely hit their goals based on current performance.
  • Grade C means that teams made enough progress towards hitting their goals.
  • Grade D means the level of progress made by the team does not indicate a likelihood of future success.

DOE will also evaluate each team’s performance on the following two questions based on the same grading scale.

  • Did the contestant demonstrate substantial progress to building a viable business in the solar industry as outlined in their Seed Round submission?
  • Did the contestant increase their assets by at least $1 million (e.g. revenue exceeded $1 million, closed equity investors)?

If a team’s most occurring grade is A, the team will receive the full $70,000. If the most occurring grade is a B the team will receive $50,000. If the most occurring grade is a C, the team will receive $20,000 and if the most occurring grade is a D, then the team will receive no additional funds.

Judges

The submissions for the Seed Round will be judged by a qualified panel of experts selected by DOE at its sole discretion. The panel consists of DOE and non-DOE experts and will judge the submissions according to the judging criteria identified above in order to select winners. Judges may not (A) have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a registered participant in a contest; or (B) have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered participant.

The Progress Round submissions will be judged by panel of DOE officials. The decisions of the judges for the contest will be announced in accordance with the dates noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.

The decisions of the judges for the contest will be announced in accordance with the dates noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.

Verification of Winners

IF NECESSARY ALL POTENTIAL CONTEST WINNERS, IN EITHER ROUNDS, MAY BE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY, QUALIFICATIONS AND ROLE IN THE CREATION OF THE SUBMISSION BY DOE.

Winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of the Official Rules. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The Winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of winning results. Each Winner of monetary or non-monetary award, in both Rounds (or Winner's parent/guardian if under 18 years of age), will be required to sign and return to DOE, within ten (10) days of the date the notice is sent, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) in order to claim any recognition. In the sole discretion of DOE, a potential winner will be deemed ineligible to win if: (i) the person/entity cannot be contacted; (ii) the person/entity fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period; (iii) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or (iv) the submission or person/entity is disqualified for any other reason. In the event of a disqualification of a winner, DOE in their sole discretion may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner when applicable.

SUBMISSION AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Submission Requirements

In order for submissions to be eligible to win in the Incubation contest, they must meet the following submission requirements for Seed and Progress Rounds:

  • General - Seed Round - contestants must provide a complete Demo Day package that includes the following:
    • A link to a video available on the internet of the MVP being used which demonstrates its key features and functionality (not longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length).
    • A link to the MVP (i.e. the location where the application can be accessed or downloaded).
    • A link to a technical specification webpage that briefly describes the MVP key functionality, instructions on how to access, install or use, and system requirements to use the system. This webpage should also include checkmarks indicating which existing data assets, tools or capabilities are used.
    • A 4-page market entry and growth strategy including a six month business growth plan with measurable and verifiable targets or goals. One page should be dedicated to an execution score card (“Score Card”) where each team specifies at least five measurable success metrics (i.e. key performance inductors) and states planned targets by the end of the six months assessment period.
    • The official name of the contestant, if the participating team has formed a legal business entity. Also include a short description of the MVP, key team members, mentors, investors, and partners to share with the public, not exceeding 4,800 characters including spaces. Key team members may provide links to their publically accessible profiles on any online professional social media network.
    • (Optional) Links to view online commitment letters from mentors, advisors, incubators, accelerators, or investors to help and support the contestant in their market entry and growth strategy including potential financial commitments. Contestants are not prohibited from raising private investments through crowd funding platforms or other easily accessible channels.
    • Selection to receive an 18-Month Public License Wavier for the developed MVP in case contestant was not selected among top five in the Seed Round.
  • General – Progress Round: contestants must provide a complete Progress Round package that includes the following:
    • A link to any online video hosting website with any new updates on the MVP being used which demonstrates its key features and functionality (not longer than 5 minutes in length)
    • A link to the updated MVP (i.e. the location where the application can be accessed or downloaded).
    • A link to a technical specification webpage that briefly describe the updated MVP key functionality, instructions on how to access, install or use, and system requirements to use the (if any). This webpage should also include checkmarks indicating which existing data assets, tools or capabilities are used.
    • An updated one-page Score Card showing planned versus actual success metrics with an optional overall self-assessment short narrative.
    • (Optional) The official name of the contestant, should the participating team incorporate as a company or restructure, with short description of the MVP, key team members, mentors, investors, and partners to share with the public, not exceeding 4,800 characters including spaces. Key team members may provide links to their publically accessible profiles on any online professional social media network (e.g., LinkedIn, etc.)
    • (Optional) Links to view new commitment letters from mentors, advisors, incubators, accelerators or investors to help and support the contestant in their market entry and growth strategy including potential financial commitments. Contestants are expected to raise private funding or investments through crowd funding platforms or other easily accessible channels.
  • Deadline - The submission must be available for evaluation by the end date noted in the "Important Dates" section of these rules.
  • No DOE logo - submission(s) must not use DOE's logo or official seal and must not claim DOE endorsement.
  • DOE will also screen submissions for contestant eligibility, IT security, and compliance with IdeaScale Standards of Conduct. Once a submission has been submitted, the contestant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the submission. Failing to meet submission Requirements or other submission screenings will result in that submission being deemed ineligible to win a prize. Posting to the contest website does not constitute DOE's final determination of contestant or submission eligibility.
  • Each submission must be original, the work of the contestant, and must not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • It is an express condition of submission and eligibility that each contestant warrants and represents that the contestant's submission is solely owned by the contestant, that the submission is wholly original with the contestant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the submission.
  • Each contestant further represents and warrants to DOE and the other Sponsors that the submission, and any use thereof by DOE or the other Sponsors (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries and affiliates), shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • A contestant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the submission, provided the submission is solely the contestant's work product and the result of the contestant's ideas and creativity and the contestant owns all rights to it.
  • Each submission must be in English.
  • submissions will not be accepted if they contain any matter that, in the sole discretion of DOE, is indecent, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct.
  • If DOE in its discretion, find any submission to be unacceptable, then such submission shall be deemed disqualified.

Contestant Eligibility

To receive a prize through this contest, participants must be either: (a) private entities, such as corporations or other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States; or (b) an individual or group of individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. DOE employees, DOE Contractors, individuals who have been employed by DOE or working for DOE as a contractor within the six months of the deadline of submission for the Business Innovation Contest (Step 2), employees of sponsoring organizations, and members of their immediate family (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program. Federal entities and Federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, are also not eligible to participate in any portion of the SunShot Catalyst Program.

Teams

Contest submissions can be from an individual or a team (Team). If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prizewinner, DOE will award a single dollar amount to winning Team(s) and each Team, whether consisting of a single or multiple contestants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members. It will be up to the winning Team(s) to reallocate the prize money among its member contestants, if they deem it appropriate.

Submission Rights

Videos in this contest (Step 4) must be submitted and released to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

By making a submission, and consenting to the Official Rules of the contest, a contestant is granting to DOE, administrator, and any other third parties supporting DOE in the contest, a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide perpetual license to display publicly and use the submission for Government purpose. This license includes posting or linking to the Public submission on DOE's and administrator's websites and applications, including the contest website, DOE websites, and partner websites, and inclusion of the submission in any other media, worldwide. The submission may be viewed by the DOE, administrator, and Judges for purposes of the contest, including but not limited to screening and evaluation purposes. The DOE and administrator, and any third parties acting on their behalf will also have the right to publicize contestant's name and, as applicable, the names of contestant's team members, organization, or large organization which participated in the submission on the contest website indefinitely.

Copyright

Each contestant represents and warrants that the contestant is the sole author and copyright owner of the submission; that the submission is an original work of the contestant and that the contestant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including DOE, to use the submission, as specified throughout the Official Rules, that the submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the contestant is aware; and that the submission is free of malware.

Submission Compliance

All submissions should meet the intent of the Catalyst Incubation contest (Step 4), and as previously defined in the contest summary. The main criteria for compliance are responsiveness, relevance and compatibility with Step 2 and Step 3 submissions and outcomes.

ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

CONTEST SUBJECT TO APPLICABLE LAW

All contests are subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes each Participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the contest. Eligibility for a prize award is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. This notice is not an obligation of funds; the final award of prizes is contingent upon the availability of appropriations.

RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES

The Department of Energy is solely responsible for administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the contest.

In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the contestant. The "authorized account holder" is the natural person or legal entity assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Contestants and potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

PUBLICITY

The winners of these prizes (collectively, "Winners") will be featured on the DOE website.

Except where prohibited, participation in the contest constitutes each winner's consent to DOE's and its agents' use of each winner's name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state information for promotional purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further permission, payment or consideration.

LIABILITY AND INSURANCE

Any and all information provided by or obtained from the Federal Government is without any warranty or representation whatsoever, including but not limited to its suitability for any particular purpose. Upon registration, all participants agree to assume and, thereby, have assumed any and all risks of injury or loss in connection with or in any way arising from participation in this contest, development of any application or the use of any application by the participants or any third-party. Upon registration, except in the case of willful misconduct, all participants agree to and, thereby, do waive and release any and all claims or causes of action against the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), arising from their participation in the contest, whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract or tort. Upon registration, all participants agree to and, thereby, shall indemnify and hold harmless the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), including but not limited to any damage that may result from a virus, malware, etc., to Government computer systems or data, or to the systems or data of end-users of the software and/or application(s) which results, in whole or in part, from the fault, negligence, or wrongful act or omission of the participants or participants' officers, employees or agents.

Participants are required to demonstrate financial responsibility by certifying that they have $500 to cover claims in the amount of $500 or less, made by: (A) a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in the Catalyst competition; and (B) the Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER

The following disclaimer is mandatory for applications deployed on non-DOE information systems. This standard disclaimer shall be incorporated into the software in such a way that individuals must read and accept its conditions before initial use (NOTE: The standard disclaimer must appear in all capital letters):

THE MATERIAL EMBODIED IN THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY OR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF PROFIT, LOSS OF USE, SAVINGS OR REVENUE, OR THE CLAIMS OF THIRD PARTIES, WHETHER OR NOT DOE OR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH LOSS, HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE POSSESSION, USE, OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

RECORDS RETENTION AND FOIA

All materials submitted to DOE as part of a submission become DOE records and cannot be returned. Any confidential commercial information contained in a submission should be designated at the time of submission. Submitters will be notified of any Freedom of Information Act requests for their submissions in accordance with 29 C.F.R. § 70.26.

508 COMPLIANCE

Participants should keep in mind that the Department of Energy considers universal accessibility to information a priority for all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. In this regard, the Department is strongly committed to meeting its compliance obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. This obligation includes acquiring accessible electronic and information technology. When evaluating submissions for this contest, the extent to which a submission complies with the requirements for accessible technology required by Section 508 will be considered.

PRIVACY

If you choose to provide DOE with personal information by registering or filling out the submission form through the contest website, that information is used to respond to you in matters regarding your submission and/or the contest only - unless you choose to receive updates or notifications about other contests from DOE on an opt-in basis. Information is not collected for commercial marketing. Please read the IdeaScale Privacy Policy for complete information.

GENERAL CONDITIONS

DOE reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond DOE's reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the contest, as determined by DOE in its sole discretion. DOE is not responsible for, nor is it required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit votes, including those secured through payment or achieved through automated means.

ALL DECISIONS BY DOE ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE CONTEST.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

OPEN DATA RESOURCES

The Department of Energy has many data assets, tools, and APIs available to the public. For any of the contests in Catalyst, any participant has a chance to explore these resources, learn about their capabilities and identify the best ways to leverage them. While competing in any of the contests of Catalyst, participants are highly encouraged to explore, identify, and use additional resources that may be not listed in the catalogs below.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY OPEN DATA CATALOGS

EERE Energy Data Portal: Select sources of data on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies from throughout EERE and from the DOE national laboratories. These data resources provide information such as prices, savings, use, and state statistics by technology. Also included are links to more comprehensive data collections, policy data resources, and supply and demand forecasts.

Energy Information Administration: Portal to data collected and published by the EIA. The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.

National Renewable Energy Data & Resources: Databases, maps, and tools produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These resources are available to assess, analyze, and optimize renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for your project.

OpenEI.org: A knowledge-sharing wiki, containing links to Department of Energy and other energy datasets, applications and articles.

National Library of Energy: The library "virtually integrates information from Energy.gov (the DOE website) and all DOE program offices, national laboratories and other facilities. The National Library of Energy search feature provides one-stop, easy access to information in DOE's broad mission areas: science and R&D; energy and technology for industry and homeowners; energy market information and analysis; and nuclear security and environmental management."

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Data Sets: Data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity.