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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Air Force Synthetic Biology Challenge, Aerospace Fuels

Help the Air Force Research Laboratory to improve the performance of aerospace fuels using synthetic biology and biotechnology.

Department of Defense

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $1,000,000
Type of Challenge: Scientific
Partner Agencies | Federal: Air Force Research Laboratory
Submission Start: 05/20/2020 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 07/20/2020 11:59 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here: https://innovatedefense.net/afrl-challenge-2

Description

This is the second of three challenges the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is sponsoring. It is focused on the use of biotechnology to improve the performance of aerospace fuels. Participants will submit white papers on viability of the approach to bio-synthesize two molecules A and B needed for aerospace thermosets. In Phase Two, submitted white papers will be down-selected from the viable entrees.

The potential awardees will be given two weeks to enter into a subsequent agreement with a company that can scale up their production concept and demonstrate the capability to manufacture testable amounts with a U.S. company (if they cannot manufacture themselves). Semi-finalist teams will be given a one-hour time slot to pitch their concept and scale up strategy, with their manufacturing partner (if needed), to the evaluation team.

Prizes

  • 25% of the prize purse will be awarded to the winner of this pitch competition to describe a formulation for a high-energy endothermic fuel using novel molecules that the team identifies and to describe the biosynthetic approach to generate this fuel.
  • 25% of the prize purse will be awarded to create a 500 mL sample of the biofuel to AFRL for testing. The properties of the biofuel must be determined as delineated in the “Solution Requirements” section.
  • 25% of the prize purse will be provided to proposers if the properties of the proposed biofuels are sufficient, as determined by AFRL, to proceed to manufacture at least 4L of the biofuel and provide a cost analysis comparing the biosynthetic path to traditional methods along with a scale-up plan to generate 10,000-100,000 gallons of biofuel.
  • 25% of the prize purse will be awarded upon delivery of the 4L of biofuel and the scale-up plan.

Rules

Participants will submit white papers on viability of improving performance of aerospace fuels using synthetic biology and biotechnology.

In the first phase of this contest, participants will submit white papers on viability of the approach to biosynthesize a high-energy endothermic fuel. In phase 2, these white papers will be down selected to the viable entries (potential awardees). These selectees will be given 2 weeks to enter into a subsequent agreement with a US company that can scale up their production concept and demonstrate the capability to manufacture testable amounts (if they cannot manufacture it themselves). These teams will be invited to present a 1-hour pitch of their concept and scale up strategy with their manufacturing partner (if needed) to the evaluation team.

Judging

Submissions will be evaluated for the viability of the approach to improve performance of aerospace fuels using synthetic biology and biotechnology.

How to Enter

Submissions will be made on NSIN’s Defense Innovation Network website: https://innovatedefense.net/afrl-challenge-2.

Here, you should create an account, navigate to the challenge page, and click “Add Submission” in the Activity Space to submit your solution.