In celebration of Earth Day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the finalists in the Cooling Solutions Challenge prize competition. Launched in September 2021, by DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this $195,000 prize competition marks the first in a series focusing on national climate resilience.
The Cooling Solutions Challenge was designed to find groundbreaking solutions to protect the public against extreme heat, the nation’s leading cause of weather-related deaths. The challenge sought innovative ideas to help first responders, individuals, households, or displaced populations keep cool during extreme heat events, which have become more common across the United States with increasing frequency, intensity, and duration.
“It’s my privilege to recognize the finalists for the first-ever DHS prize competition focused on tackling the climate crisis,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchel, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “These innovators have contributed unique concepts to combat the devastating effects of extreme heat in communities across the country. These solutions will support DHS in its mission to strengthen the nation’s resilience.”
The 13 finalists of the Cooling Solutions Challenge will each receive a prize of $5,000 and advance to the next round of judging. The finalists are eligible to win additional cash prizes, including a Grand Prize of $50,000. They are:
- CalidGear: Wearable Thermoregulatory Device (Tayyaba Ali, Wilmette, IL)
- Aspirator Assisted Cooling (Roland Bruyns, Madison, AL)
- Improved Cooling Textiles for Clothing, Solar Shades, and Temporary Structures (Don Chernoff, Small World Sciences LLC, Morrisville, NC)
- High-Efficiency Portable AC for Preventing Heat-Related 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 Wrap (Team: Young Ko, Evelyn N. Wang, and Jeffrey C. Grossman, Cambridge, MA)
- Continuous Bending-Mode Elastocaloric Cooling Loop (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 (Nanohmics, Inc., Austin, TX)
- Fuel-Flexible Ultra-Efficient Air Conditioning System for Improved Resilience (Micro Nano Technologies, Gainesville, FL)
- Wearable Air Conditioner Providing a Heat Solution for Today and Tomorrow (MiClimate, Phoenix, AZ)
- Ultra-White Radiative Cooling Paints for Mitigating 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 challenges. To stay up to date with DHS S&T and its prize challenges, visit the DHS Prize Challenges website and follow DHS S&T on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.