The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office is funding the "American-Made Challenges: Perovskite Startup Prize" - a two-stage, $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate the development and manufacturing of perovskite solar cells by moving world-class research out of the lab and into new U.S. companies.

American-Made Challenges: Perovskite Startup Prize image

Competitors who advance from the first stage to the second will receive a $200,000 cash prize. The winners of the second stage will receive $500,000 in cash—a combined total of $700,000—plus $100,000 in technical support vouchers for launching a viable solar manufacturing company with the potential to introduce marketable perovskite products in the United States.

The first stage of the competition is the Countdown Contest. To enter, participants must assemble a team of strong technical and business experts and then submit plans for a viable perovskite solar business with quantifiable goals. During the contest, teams can leverage the American-Made Network—consisting of national laboratories, investors, industry experts, and more—for resources, connections, and technical support.

The second and final stage of the competition is the Liftoff Contest. Competitors will complete the objectives in the plan evaluated during the Countdown Contest, obtain third-party validation of their perovskite solar cells and modules, and solidify the network that will help them launch their business.

The Countdown Contest opened on March 25, 2021. The first application period closes in June 2021. The Liftoff Contest will open in June 2021.