Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize (IEIP) - American Cities Climate Challenge
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Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize (IEIP)

Federal Agency


Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED)


To support ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

The intent of this program is to boost national competitiveness; individuals participating in talent recruitment programs are not eligible to compete.

Decarbonization Considerations

This prize is intended to enable clean energy and climate innovation, and to create/increase participation in clean energy and climate-smart jobs. Workforce training could cover identifying energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas inventories, renewable energy manufacturing, and deployment. Prizes will help identify and fund activities that will help disadvantaged communities become aware of, apply to, or otherwise secure DOE funding (or other federal, state, local government, private, or non-profit funding.

Equity Considerations

Prizes will enable the development of replicable clean energy transitions that deliver just and equitable benefits to disadvantaged communities in support of the government's Justice40 goals. Prizes also target colleges and universities that serve large populations of students underrepresented in STEM, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), community colleges, and undergraduate institutions, as well as formerly incarcerated individuals and youth transitioning out of foster care. Applicants must seek to foster grassroots innovation and equitable clean energy deployment with activities focusing on community-centric networks and bottom-up solutions, based on the needs of communities involved.

Helpful Tips

Successful organizations will not necessarily need to have expertise in “deep tech” support and incubation and/or in working with large research institutions but should demonstrate strong community ties and serve as bridges between DOE and innovators with whom DOE has not previously engaged. Additionally, DOE seeks to support clean energy grassroots innovation from disciplines beyond science and engineering. This may include siting, financing, and community ownership of clean energy and climate solutions at the local or state level. Competitors are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams while developing their concept. The HeroX platform provides a space where parties interested in collaboration can post information about themselves and learn about others who are also interested in competing in this contest.

Other Notes

This is a new program and is split into two phases. Phase 2 will be open to the winners of Phase 1 roughly 12 months after winners are announced. Phase 2 will offer a total of $500,000 In bonus prizes to further develop Phase 1 activities. Program rules for Phase 1 can be found here:

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

February 25, 2022

Funding Available


Max Award Amount

$200,000 (Phase 1)

Expected Allocations


Average Award (Estimated)

$200,000 (Phase 1)

Matching Funds

Not required

Go to Program Website