American Inventions Made (AIM) Onshore Prize Competition


American scientists and engineers invent transformative energy technologies every day, but these innovators often do not have manufacturing expertise – or know where to find it. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) American Inventions Made Onshore (AIM Onshore) prize competition is seeking creative, specific, and innovative proposals from intermediary organizations – accelerators, incubators, universities, and others – to deliver DOE’s Build4Scale manufacturing fundamentals training to energy technology innovators, and help them forge partnerships with domestic manufacturers. Successful proposals must include a sustainable revenue model to ensure the initiative is viable past the point of government funding.

Four organizations will be selected for AIM Onshore’s Initial Prize ($150,000 each). After one year, the two best-performing initial prize winners will receive the AIM Onshore Final Prize ($250,000 for first place; $100,000 for second place).

Please refer to the official prize rules for details.

Who benefits from AIM Onshore?
  • Hardware innovators (scientists, engineers, inventors) will receive basic manufacturing training and form partnerships with domestic manufacturers for initial production.
  • Small and medium-sized domestic manufacturers will be able to identify new business prospects—hardware innovators developing next-generation technologies with growth potential.
What kind of organizations should apply for the AIM Onshore competition?
  • Incubators, accelerators, universities, community and technical colleges, manufacturing institutions, and other intermediary organizations that serve hardware technology innovators are encouraged to apply for the AIM Onshore prize competition.
How do I apply?
  1. Register via this website by April 3, 2018
  2. Within 24 hours, you will receive a link to the submission portal
  3. Submit your completed application packet via the submission portal by April 10, 2018
  4. Ask us any questions by emailing aimonshore@nrel.gov
What are the prize competition details?
Dates/Deadlines:
  • February 6, 2018: Initial application/registration period opens.
  • April 3, 2018: Registration period closes.
  • April 10, 2018: Initial application period closes.
  • May 3, 2018: Winners of Initial Prize announced.
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Eligibility
To be eligible to win a prize under AIM Onshore, a participant:
  1. Shall have successfully registered to participate in the AIM Onshore Prize;
  2. Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;
  3. May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
  4. May not be a DOE employee, immediate family (spouses, children, siblings, parents) of a DOE employee, or living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related;
  5. May not be a Federal grantee using Federal funds to participate in AIM Onshore;
  6. With the exception of Federal contractors that DOE may engage for assistance in administering the AIM Onshore Prize, Federal contractor participants may not use Federal funds from a contract to participate in AIM Onshore challenges or to fund efforts in support of an AIM Onshore participant.

A participating entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.

Entities can form a participant team to compete for the prize. Each participant team is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its members as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between participant members. It will be up to each winning participant team(s) to allocate the prize money as they deem appropriate.

I certify that our entity is eligible. [1/3]

Liability

Upon registration, participant assumes any and all risks and waives claims against the Federal Government and its related entities (for example, its officers, employees and agents (including parties authorized to act on behalf of the DOE to administer this prize competition)), except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not, arising from their participation in the competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise and whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract or tort. Therefore, except in the case of willful misconduct, participant waives and releases any and all claims or causes of action against the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents (including parties authorized to act on behalf of the DOE to administer this prize competition) for any and all injury or 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 competition, whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract or tort.

In accordance with the prize competition statutory authority at 15 U.S.C. § 3719, participant shall provide proof of general liability insurance of up to $1 million for claims by a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with the competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the participant’s insurance policy. Participant shall indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to prize competition activities. Participant liability insurance shall also cover claims by the Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

All costs associated with the securing this insurance is the responsibility of the participant. Proof of the required insurance must be provided to the DOE and the Prize Administrator at the time of submission.

I agree to these terms and conditions and will provide documentation at the time of my submission of general liability insurance of up to $1 million for claims by a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with the competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the participant’s insurance policy. [2/3]

Terms and Conditions

To compete in the AIM Onshore Prize, all participants[2] must agree to the following terms and conditions. Participant acknowledgement of these terms and conditions will be made upon registration and may require documentation at the time of registration. DOE reserves the right to require additional documentation demonstrating a participant’s compliance with the terms and conditions of this prize competition at any time.

Participant Representations and Warranties
Upon registration, participant hereby represents and warrants that:
  1. it is the sole author and copyright owner of the submission; that the submission is an original work of the participant and that the participant has 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 participant is aware; and that the submission is free of malware;
  2. the submission, and any use thereof by DOE is not defamatory or libelous in any manner; does not constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of the publicity rights or right of privacy of any person or entity, or infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, privacy rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  3. it is free to enter into this competition without the consent of any third party and has the capability to fully perform its obligations as stipulated by the AIM Onshore rules;
  4. it is validly existing and duly organized in the state or jurisdiction of its incorporation;
  5. it is not a party to (and it agrees that it shall not become a party to) any agreement, obligation, or understanding that is inconsistent with the Terms and Conditions or might limit or impair the DOE’s rights or the participant’s obligations under the AIM Onshore Prize Rules or Terms and Conditions;
  6. there is no suit, proceeding, or any other claim pending or threatened against the participant, nor does any circumstance exist, to its knowledge, which may be the basis of any such suit, proceeding, or other claim, that could limit or impair the participant’s performance of its obligations pursuant to AIM Onshore Rules or Terms and Conditions;
  7. it will not infringe, violate, or interfere with the intellectual property, publicity, privacy, contract or other right of any third party in the course of performance of this agreement or cause the DOE, AIM Onshore Prize, or their affiliates to do any of the same;
  8. it will comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in performing under these Terms and Conditions;
  9. it meets the eligibility requirements set forth by the prize competition statutory authority, and provided in Appendix A.

Government Representations and Warranties

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.

Treatment of Application Information and Data/Test Result Information

The use of protective markings such as “Do Not Publicly Release – Trade Secret” or “Do Not Publicly Release – Confidential Proprietary Business Information” in the Header or Footer of the Application is strongly encouraged where appropriate. However, participants should be aware that the use of protective markings is not dispositive as to whether information will be released publicly pursuant to a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act, (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. §552, et. seq., as amended by the OPEN Government Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-175. Any information received from the Participant is considered to be a federal agency record, and as such, subject to public release under FOIA. Decisions to disclose or withhold information received from a Participant are based on the applicability of one or more of the nine FOIA exemptions, not on the existence or nonexistence of protective markings. Only the agency’s designated FOIA Officer may determine if information sought under a FOIA request will be withheld pursuant to one or more of the nine FOIA exemptions. All FOIA requests received by DOE are processed in accordance with 10 C.F.R. Part 1004.

All data submitted to the Prize Administration Team will be made available to the DOE and parties authorized to act on behalf of the DOE. By accepting these Terms and Conditions, participant consents to the use of data submitted to the AIM Onshore Administrators and DOE consistent with these rules. All materials submitted to DOE as part of a submission become DOE records and cannot be returned. Data marked as proprietary will not be publicly disclosed to the public except as described in this section.

Personally Identifiable Information

All information provided by the Participant in the narrative/application and any follow-on reports must not include any Personally Identifiable Information (PII). PII refers to information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as the individual’s name, social security number, date and place of birth, personal telephone or cell phone number, or any other information this is linked or linkable to an individual such as employment information. By way of example, Participants must not include any resumes in their application.

Intellectual Property Ownership

Neither the DOE nor the AIM Onshore Prize Administrator may gain an interest in the intellectual property submitted to the AIM Onshore Prize without the written consent of the participant.

Relationship of the Parties

Nothing contained in these Terms and Conditions is intended to create or constitute a relationship between the DOE nor the Prize Administrator with the participants. Participation in the AIM Onshore Prize does not imply any form of sanction or support of the participant by the DOE and AIM Onshore Prize Administration, nor does it grant either party any authority to act as agent, nor assume or create any obligation, on behalf of the other party. Participant may not use the DOE logo or official seal in their submission.

Judges

Each submission will be judged by a qualified panel of experts selected by DOE or DOE’s Prize Administrator at its sole discretion. The panel will judge the submissions according to the 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 competition; or (B) have a familial or financial relationship with a registered participant. The final decision of the panel of judges, as certified by DOE, is final and binding on all participants. The final decisions of the Judging Panel may not be challenged by the participants.

Resolution of Disputes

Participation constitutes each participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Terms and Conditions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the competition. The final decision of the panel of judges, as certified by DOE, is final and binding on all participants. The final decisions of the Judging Panel may not be challenged by the participants.

Publicity

The winners of these prizes (collectively, "Winners") will be featured on the DOE website. Except where prohibited, participation in the competition 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.

General Conditions

DOE reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the competition, 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 competition, as determined by DOE in its sole discretion. DOE is not responsible for, nor is it required to accept, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit submissions.

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

Build4Scale Manufacturing Training Materials Terms of Use and Trademark License for Participants

The Build4Scale manufacturing training materials include any manufacturing related training modules or other materials provided to participants during the course of the competition. Build4Scale and AIM Onshore and any associated nicknames and logos (“Competition Marks”) are trademarks owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) led the development of DOE’s Build4Scale training content in collaboration with multiple organizations. The Build4Scale manufacturing training materials are made available to the public at build4scale.org. The terms of use on the build4scale.org website govern the use of the training materials by non-participants, i.e., the public. The terms of use in this Appendix B govern the use of the training materials by participants. Use of the materials by non-participants[2] is restricted only to the extent necessary to advance the goals of the competition.

Training Materials Terms of Use

Participants have the right to (1) use, reproduce, change, distribute to the public, the Build4Scale manufacturing training materials, including making derivative works based on the Build4Scale manufacturing training materials; and (2) create new training materials and brand the new training materials with the Build4Scale logo. Participants must provide attribution to the U.S. Department of Energy for any use of the Build4Scale manufacturing training materials, including in any modified or new training materials developed pursuant to (1) or (2) above. In addition, for modifications to the training materials and derivative works described in (1) above, participants must provide the following disclaimer on such works: “This Build4ScaleTM manufacturing training has been modified by [Participant Name] from the original version provided by the Department of Energy.”

Non-participants, i.e., the public, will be permitted to use the Build4Scale manufacturing training materials with attribution to DOE, but will not be allowed to make changes to the materials or use the Competition Marks to brand new trainings, unless permitted in writing by DOE. Non-participants must agree to the terms of use on the build4scale.org website to access and use the training materials. DOE expects to further expand the public’s right to use the materials after the materials have been tested and piloted by DOE and the prize participants.

Use of the Competition Marks is subject to the trademark license provided below.

Trademark License

Build4Scale and AIM Onshore and any associated nicknames and logos (“Competition Marks”) are trademarks owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The trademark license granted to participants is in this Appendix B. The trademark license granted to non-participants can be found in the build4scale.org website terms of use.

Competition participants are granted, for the duration of the AIM Onshore competition, a revocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use the Competition Marks for the purposes of producing materials for the competition and other approved competition-related activities as long as the use does not suggest or imply endorsement of the competition participant by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the use of the Competition Marks by a competition participant does not imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of the competition participant by the Department of Energy.

Competition participants may not use the Competition Marks for any other purpose. Competition participants may not sublicense the Competition Marks.

Competition initial prize winners will be provided with an individualized trademark license for ongoing use of the Competition Marks once the competition winners have been declared.

I agree to the above terms and conditions. [3/3]