WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a major expansion of its distinctive online crowdsourcing community for building technologies. Seeking to draw on the creativity and technical expertise of the American public, citizens can now submit their ideas to six open calls for innovation with the chance to partner with a DOE national laboratory and a leading private sector partner.

The crowdsourcing community, JUMP, was first launched by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2015. Today, it has expanded to be cohosted by five DOE national laboratories and a handful of private companies in the buildings sector. JUMP stands for Join in the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation, and Promote technology-to-market. The goal is to broaden the pool of people from whom the DOE seeks ideas and to move these ideas to the marketplace faster.

The participating national labs are Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and ORNL. Together, the labs offer a crowdsourcing platform for innovators, particularly small entrepreneurs, to present ideas for new technologies for energy-efficient buildings to private and public sector leaders in research and development.

“It is exciting to see unique, diverse, and new-to-DOE individuals, startups, and entrepreneurs join in the JUMP community,” said Karma Sawyer, technology analysis and commercialization manager with the DOE’s Building Technologies Office. “Together, we are tackling the technology and market challenges critical to advancing energy-efficient buildings. We have more than 500 registered users on our JUMP crowdsourcing platform, and we look forward to connecting an even larger community for innovation in the upcoming regional events with our national lab and industry partners.”

JUMP includes opportunities for innovators to comment and vote on ideas. This community discussion helps the DOE and its partners gauge the market’s interest in the topic and potential solutions. A judging panel evaluates top ideas based on their potential for significant energy savings and novelty as well as technical, market, and economic feasibility. Innovators get connected to industry partners and may qualify for cash prizes, in-kind technical support, and recognition. Innovators are encouraged to view the JUMP technology challenges and submit their ideas by visiting http://bit.ly/DOE-JUMP.

Publication date: 5/9/2016

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