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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Fish Protection Prize

Catalyze new solutions, designs and strategies to protect fish from water infrastructure, such as water diversions, pipes and hydropower dam intakes.

Department of Energy - Water Power Technologies Office

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $700,000
Type of Challenge: Ideation, Technology Demonstration/Hardware
Partner Agencies | Federal: Department of the Interior - Bureau of Reclamation
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Submission Start: 01/27/2020 8 AM ET
Submission End: 04/24/2020 5 PM ET


Fish and water infrastructure are not natural bedfellows. When fish swim into pipes and dam intakes, they become separated from their natural habitat, which impacts native populations, threatens biodiversity, and impedes recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species.

The U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office, in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has launched the Fish Protection Prize, inspiring innovators to compete for $700,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support to help protect fish from these threats. Up to 10 finalists will receive up to 50 hours of support for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to refine their concepts in an Incubation Stage, and those finalists will be invited to compete in a Pitch Contest and compete for up to $700,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. As many as three winners will be selected at the Pitch Contest. The prize is administered through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Key Dates

  • Submission Open: January 27, 2020
  • Submission Close: April 24, 2020
  • Judging and Review Complete: Anticipated May 22, 2020
  • CONCEPT Stage Winner Notification: Anticipated May 22, 2020
  • INCUBATE Stage Winner Notification: Anticipated August 30, 2020
  • PITCH Contest and Awards: Anticipated September 2, 2020
  • Winners Announced: Anticipated September 2020


  • Concept Stage Prizes: Up to 10 finalists will win 50 hours of support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to refine their concepts and develop a plan to test their solution.
  • INCUBATE Stage Winners: Finalists who submit their final reports and pitch deck will be invited to participate in the PITCH Contest.
  • PITCH Contest: Participants will present their concepts in front of a live audience, with a 10-minute pitch and 10-minute question-and-answer period. Participants will be judged based both on their pitch and their required technical submission and will be evaluated based on technical innovation, technical feasibility, market feasibility, and the proposed research and development plan. The three winners of this stage will split a prize pool of up to $700,000 receive cash and in-kind voucher support for use through September 30, 2021.


The rules for the Fish Protection Prize can be found here:

Judging Criteria

Please review the official rules for the judging criteria at

How To Enter

Competitors can enter the challenge at