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DOE Announces JUMP Initiative Winners, Launches New Crowdsourcing Calls at Bay Area Maker Faire

May 23, 2016 – The Department of Energy’s Buildings Technologies Office announced the latest winners for its JUMP platform, an online crowdsourcing initiative aimed at advancing energy-efficient building technologies, during the 11th annual Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. BTO also launched three more “calls for innovation,” in which the public is invited to present ideas for new energy-efficient building technologies to private and public sector leaders in research and development.

For the first round of JUMP, BTO worked with three industry partners—United Technologies Research Center, A.O. Smith, and General Electric—and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to identify three critical technology challenges that the broader American public could help solve. The winners for these challenges:

  • HVAC Sensors Challenge – Rande Cherry and Chris Cirenza will receive a $5,000 cash award sponsored by United Technologies Research Center for their concept of non-invasive thermal flow/Btu metering using heat flux sensors.
  • Water Heater Challenge – Benjamin Knobb will receive $5,000 sponsored by A.O. Smith for his idea for a thermally isolating preheater.
  • Defrost System Challenge – Joseph Geddes will receive a $3,000 cash award from General Electric for his idea to use light emitting diode arrays to radiatively transfer energy to the ice.

The winners will discuss potential collaboration options with ORNL and industry partners to move the technologies to the market.

Benjamin Knobb, the winner of the A.O. Smith JUMP Campaign, said, “JUMP is exactly the platform I was looking for to express my creativity and innovate collaboratively. Independent inventors often struggle to develop ideas that the market is ready to accept. Even then, it is difficult to strike the balance between protecting and sharing an idea to further develop it. JUMP is a recipe for success because it brings the large organizations, small innovators, and national laboratories to the table to identify what the market needs, what technology can solve that need, and how to get it to market quickly.”

“This is a huge leap for JUMP, demonstrating the power of crowdsourcing to solve technology challenges and advance energy efficiency,” said Karma Sawyer, technology analysis and commercialization manager with BTO. "Our partners were happy with the quality of the ideas, and we look forward to working with the partners and the winners to move these technologies to the market."

JUMP is also presenting three new building technology calls for innovation:

  • DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program and ORNL are seeking commercialized or near-commercialized technologies on lighting and/or lighting controls, and packaged HVAC and/or HVAC control systems to enable significant energy savings in federal buildings. Submit your idea!
  • CLEAResult and National Renewable Energy Laboratory are seeking ideas for ways to leverage the open, programmable, and sensor-rich platform of smartphones to enhance the way we live, manage, and interact with our homes today and in the future. Submit your idea!
  • Callida Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are seeking ideas for distributed temperature sensing in office buildings. Submit your idea!

Visit to learn about upcoming regional events and new calls. Multiple calls for energy-efficient technologies in the building space are expected in 2016.

Support for JUMP is provided by DOE’s Building Technologies Office, within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The Building Technologies Office works with a vast network of research and industry partners to continually develop innovative, cost-effective energy saving solutions—better products, better new homes, better ways to improve older homes, and better buildings in which we work, shop, and lead our everyday lives.

JUMP is an online crowdsourcing community co-hosted by five DOE national laboratories and some of the top private companies in the buildings sector. Participating labs include Argonne National LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryNational Renewable Energy LaboratoryPacific Northwest National Laboratory, and ORNL. JUMP stands for Join in the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation and Promote technology-to-market. The goal is to broaden the pool of people from whom DOE seeks innovative ideas and to move these ideas to the marketplace faster.