Crowdsourcing. It’s a great way to gather input and enlist the minds of many to do good. With crowdsourcing, you’re not limited to a small group of pre-selected individuals. Rather, you get to expand your reach to a vastly larger pool. Various companies use this tactic to not only get a broader set of ideas, but also to get people involved and personally invested in a particular project. Take Ben & Jerry’s for instance. Its 'Do the World a Flavor?' international crowdsourcing campaign asked customers to create their very own Fair Trade ice cream flavors. The campaign resulted in close to 100,000 new flavor submissions, including the winning flavor, “Dulce Delish.”
Now, in partnership with the Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), CLEAResult is leveraging crowdsourcing to uncover innovative and new ideas to save energy in homes. Along with NREL, we launched a Call for Innovation as part of the DOE JUMP initiative during the Bay Area Maker Faire, sparking a challenge that will focus on saving energy in residential buildings with the aid of a smartphone. The DOE was aiming to reach an innovative audience for JUMP’s crowdsourcing initiatives, and what better place to do that than at Maker Faire, which is an event that feeds off invention, creativity and resourcefulness.
This Call for Innovation is open to everyone. We’re all energy consumers, we all pay utility bills and we’re all looking for ways to cut our energy use. Register with JUMP and respond to our open call. The submission deadline is July 31, 2016.
This challenge provides an opportunity for innovators to present ideas for new energy-efficient building technologies to private and public sector leaders in research and development. Concepts will be evaluated by a team of judges, with an additional public voting period on the JUMP website. The winning innovation will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize and in-kind support from our company.
The Call for Innovation will be conducted in two phases:
Phase One: Submit your best ideas for ways to leverage the open, programmable, and sensor-rich platform that modern smartphones offer to enhance the way we live, manage, and interact with our homes today and in the future. This part only requires a written proposal on the JUMP website. During this time, the public is invited to vote on ideas throughout the submission period. Based on the results of the voting, no more than six finalists will be invited to proceed to Phase Two of the competition.
Phase Two: The top submissions in Phase One will be invited to present their proposals with additional details and supporting materials at the CLEAResult Energy Forum in October in Austin, Texas. The 10-minute presentations will take place in front of an industry audience and panel of judges. The presentation will require, at a minimum, a slide deck overview, but you may bring other supporting items such as hardware or software demonstrations. The judges will then carefully deliberate and select the overall winner.
As the largest provider of energy efficiency programs and services in North America, NREL reached out to us to be its partner on this residential challenge. Our very own Emily Kemper, senior engineering manager at CLEAResult, took the stage with the DOE at Maker Faire to present the Call for Innovation (pictured here). She manages CLEAResult’s engineering and technical team in support of residential energy efficiency programs and projects across the country, so it makes perfect sense that she’s also a judge in this competition.
The deadline to submit an idea ends July 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, so get those brilliant minds working and don’t be late! And if you want to be involved in choosing who makes it past Phase One, be sure to vote on the submissions. Public voting ends Aug. 14, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Energy Department Launches Crowdsourcing Community to Bring More Innovators into the Mix — June 2016 NREL Announces Innovation Challenge for Crowdsourced Ideas for Energy-Efficiency in Residential Buildings — May