U.S. Department of Energy Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC)
Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy
The application period for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2023 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy™ is now closed.
The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting a challenge for university students to advance one of the most up-and-coming industries: marine energy. This competition is designed to challenge interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students to offer unique solutions to the burgeoning marine energy industry that can play a vital role in powering the blue economy, such as the applications seen in Figure 1.
Marine energy has the potential to provide reliable power to the blue economy, but further work is needed to optimize designs and reduce costs. The competition’s objectives are to bring together diverse groups of students from multiple disciplines to explore opportunities for marine energy technologies to benefit other existing maritime industries via real-world concept development experiences.
The competition will provide students with real-world experience and industry connections that will help them prepare for future careers in the marine energy sector and the blue economy. Although few institutions offer marine-specific advanced degrees, having related experience is highly valuable for future prospects within a wide range of blue economy opportunities. Jobs across the blue economy include opportunities for researchers, scientists, engineers, educators, project managers, business, sales forces, and many others.
For the competition, teams of students will:
- Develop a market-research-supported business plan, which will include key aspects of their design of a system that could be commercialized to address power needs for a chosen sector of the blue economy
- Pitch their plan to a panel of judges and hypothetical investors
- Have the option to build and test a device to achieve energy production
- Engage with their community through outreach and educational activities.
- The 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition will take place virtually during the week of May 23, 2022. The 2023 MECC may be held virtually, in person, or as a hybrid event at Waterpower Week or a similar industry event in Spring 2023.
- Teams may include graduate students but must consist of at least 50% undergraduate students, with undergrads adequately represented at the in-person or virtual competition.
- Interdisciplinary teams are highly encouraged across areas of study.
- Teams comprised of participants across multiple institutions are encouraged to apply; one application is required for the entire team.
- Foreign educational institutions are welcome to apply with the following restrictions:
- No more than 25% of the final teams selected to participate will be led by a foreign educational institution.
- Foreign educational institutions are ineligible to receive support funding from the U.S. Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy Laboratory and must provide their own support.
- A 20- to 30-page market research-supported business plan and technical design of a marketable device powering any marine energy sector of the blue economy
- A 20-minute virtual pitch that will be presented to a panel of judges, followed by a 15-minute Q&A session
- 5 minutes of the public pitch will focus on community engagement and outreach activities the team conducted throughout the year
- A poster summarizing the entire technical and business plan
- Optional: An effective prototype that will be tested for power performance at model scale. Results of the test will be summarized in the written report.
- May 8, 2022: 2023 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition application window closes
- Week of May 23, 2022: 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition final event. See the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition digital program for more information.
- Week of May 31, 2022: Marine Energy Collegiate Competition 2022 winners and 2023 selected teams announced.
- April 7, 2022: DOE Launches Inaugural Hydropower and Fourth Annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competitions
- May 20, 2021: Wave Hello to the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Teams
- May 20, 2021: DOE Announces the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Contenders
- April 30, 2021: 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Awards Ceremony
- April 30, 2021: Three Winners Claim Top Honors at 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition
- April 30, 2021: 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competitors Help Chart the Blue Economy Course
- April 5, 2021: Calling All Marine Tech Titans: The Third Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Is Now Open for Applications!
- March 17, 2021: Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Competitors to Set Sail This Spring: 2022 Competition Opens for Applications April 5
- October 15, 2020: Meet the 2021 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Contenders: National Renewable Energy Laboratory Announces 17 Teams To Compete This Spring
- July 23, 2020: Energy Department Announces 2020 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Winning Teams
- June 23, 2020: Marine Energy Collegiate Competition 2021 Opens for Applications in August
- May 21, 2020: Energy Department Moves Marine Energy Collegiate Competition to Virtual Format
- June 11, 2020: National Ocean Month: Celebrating Careers in Marine Energy
- March 30, 2020: Women Making Waves in Marine Energy Research
- March 3, 2020: Taking the Plunge: Inaugural Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Competitors Dive In
- November 18, 2019: Say Hello to Your 2020 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition Participants
This portal is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) under Contract Number DE- AC36-08GO28308 with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Contract Number DE-AC05-76RL01830 with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Contract Number DE-NA0003525 with Sandia National Laboratories, as part of the MHK Data Communities project. The United States Government retains, and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes.