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Calling All Innovators: Submit Your Ideas for Smart, Energy Efficient Buildings!

jump logoThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wants your ideas on how to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient. As a DOE national lab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is partnering with the DOE and private industry on JUMP, an online crowdsourcing community for building technologies.

You can submit your ideas on specific technology calls for innovation (for example, how can you keep rooms more comfortable while saving energy? Can you convert a smartphone into a distributed temperature sensor?). If your idea is chosen as the best, you could win cash prizes and the opportunity to work with a national lab to develop it.

Here Reshma Singh, Program Manager, Energy Technologies Area answers some questions about how and why to get involved in JUMP.

Q. What is the aim of JUMP? Why has DOE launched this initiative?

A. JUMP is a crowdsourcing campaign that awards prizes and incubation support to design and technology ideas for sustainable, smart, and connected buildings. The DOE has launched this initiative through five national labs as a public-private partnership to engage the public in helping solve building energy challenges. For example, Berkeley Lab has partnered with two startup companies, Building Robotics and Callida Energy, to issue JUMP calls for innovation for smart, energy-efficient buildings.

Q. Who is eligible to submit ideas?

A. Any U.S. resident (or team) is eligible, especially students, researchers, enthusiasts, makers, and early-stage startups. You can submit ideas to specific JUMP calls for innovation that have been posted on the JUMP website.

Q. How will you select the winners? Who will be the judges?

A. Your idea will be posted on the JUMP website to be voted on by members of the JUMP community during public voting period (unless you specifically ask for privacy, in which case it will not be publicly posted, be provided only to the judges). Following this, a panel of three to five expert judges will review the top ideas. The winner will be awarded a cash prize or in-kind technical support by the respective industry partner at a recognition event. And if eligible you will have a chance to enter into the DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot, through which up to $300,000 in technical support is provided.

Q. What is the deadline for submitting ideas?

A. There are currently nine JUMP calls for innovation posted on the website, six of which have deadlines in June. For instance the Berkeley Lab-Building Robotics call has a deadline of June 30th. Three new JUMP calls will be announced at the #JUMP4Innovation panel at the Bay Area Maker Faire on May 22nd, which will have deadlines in the fall.

Q. If I don’t have an idea to submit but still want to participate, can I?

A. Absolutely! At the very least you can you browse the calls and be informed about the types of challenges being explored by industries in the forefront. You can also actively participate by registering and voting on the submitted ideas, or joining the conversation on the forum. But the best way of course is that you enter the crowdsourcing challenge and post your ideas—as words, drawings, or pictures, in response to the calls for innovation, for a chance to win!

Q. Where can I get firsthand information about the JUMP calls for innovation?

A. You can get more information at the following two events in May:

  • Webinar on open JUMP calls for innovation on sensors, Thursday, May 19, 2-3 pm EDT. Sign up here.
  • Meet-up opportunity with JUMP industry partners at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, May 22, 3-3:30 pm at the Maker Show and Tell The panel will include the exciting launch of three new JUMP calls by Callida Energy, CLEAResult, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). Winners of previous calls for innovation will also be announced.

Visit the JUMP for Innovation website:

More questions & answers can be found here.

Contact: [email protected]