DHS Announces Finalists for Cooling Solutions Prize Competition to Celebrate Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the finalists for the Cooling Solutions Challenge prize competition. Launched September 2021, by DHS Science and Technology Branch (S&T) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the $195,000 competition is the first in a series focused on national climate resilience.

The Cooling Solutions Challenge was designed to find breakthrough solutions to protect the public from extreme heat, the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the country. The challenge was looking for innovative ideas to help first responders, individuals, households, or displaced populations stay cool during extreme heat events, which have become more common in the United States with frequency, intensity, and duration. growing.

“I am privileged to recognize the finalists in the first-ever DHS awards competition focused on addressing the climate crisis,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchel, senior DHS official serving as undersecretary for science and technology. “These innovators have contributed unique concepts to combat the devastating effects of oppressive heat in communities across the country. These solutions will support DHS in its mission to build the country’s resilience. »

The 13 Cooling Solutions Challenge finalists will each receive a $5,000 prize and move on to the next round of judging. Finalists are eligible to win additional cash prizes, including a grand prize of $50,000. They are:

  • CalidGear: wearable thermoregulation device (Tayyaba Ali, Wilmette, IL)
  • Vacuum Assisted Cooling (Roland Bruyns, Madison, AL)
  • Enhanced Cooling Textiles for Clothing, Shades, and Temporary Structures (Don Chernoff, Small World Sciences LLC, Morrisville, NC)
  • High-efficiency portable AC to prevent heat stress (Sorin Grama, CEO, Transaera Inc., Somerville, MA)
  • Radiative cooling of structures (Hal Greenberger, Better Stuff LLC, Natick, MA)
  • The Evaporation Enhancer (Team: SNJ, Corona, CA)
  • Hybrid Cooling Jacket (Team: Young Ko, Evelyn N. Wang, and Jeffrey C. Grossman, Cambridge, MA)
  • Elastocaloric cooling loop in continuous flex mode (Barrow Green, LLC, Bethesda, MD)
  • Ultra-efficient air conditioning via liquid desiccant dehumidification and evaporative cooling (Jacob Miller, CTO, Zephyr Innovations, Inc., Somerville, MA)
  • TAC Jacket Cooling Solutions (Nanoohmics, Inc., Austin, TX)
  • Ultra-efficient flex-fuel air conditioning system for better resiliency (Micro Nano Technologies, Gainesville, FL)
  • Portable air conditioner providing a heating solution for today and tomorrow (MiClimate, Phoenix, AZ)
  • Ultra-white radiant cooling paints to mitigate extreme heat for households (Xiulin Ruan, West Lafayette, IN)

DHS uses prize competitions to crowdsource innovation and harness the creativity of the American public to solve critical homeland security problems. To stay up to date with DHS S&T and its challenges, visit the DHS Prize Challenges Website and follow DHS S&T on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and instagram.

Learn more about DHS S&T