The FREEDM Systems Center at NC State University is now an official partner of the American-Made Network, which supports the efforts of competitors in the American-Made Challenges program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The American-Made Network is designed to strengthen and scale critical connections to accelerate and sustain innovation.
American-Made Challenges incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to strengthen American leadership in energy innovation and domestic manufacturing. Rather than grants, the Challenges award prizes through several rounds of competition. These challenges seek to lower the barriers U.S.-based innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning from years to weeks, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s National Laboratories across the nation.
“FREEDM is honored to be an American-Made Network Connector, and we hope the partnership results in helping entrepreneurs and innovators meet and exceed their goals as they participate in the Grand Challenges,” said FREEDM Director Iqbal Husain, Ph.D. Currently FREEDM is working with Resilient Power Systems, one of the grand prize winners of Solar Prize Round 2.
The American-Made Challenge’s prize model, administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), supports the Administration’s work to spur manufacturing, develop innovative solutions and products, and create new domestic jobs and opportunities through public-private partnerships. It demonstrates a new way the government can foster R&D to empower American ingenuity and reassert national leadership in the marketplace.
NC State University and FREEDM alumni, Landon Mackey, Ph.D., and his company, WATER BROS Desal LLC, are participating in the Waves to Water Challenge. WATER BROS was founded following the initial startup work of the Surge-Actuated Reverse Osmosis System (SAROS) pioneered at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. WATER BROS recognized the promising work developed by the early team and began a collaboration to expand the concept to meet the needs of the competition. They are currently in the second round of the Challenge.