The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office has announced a new partnership between DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Siemens to seek innovative ideas for the use of personal “smart” devices to control such things as lighting and air conditioning in public spaces. Through the JUMP online crowdsourcing platform, Siemens and ORNL seek to engage the public in gathering ideas to explore this concept. Winners will receive a cash award, an in-kind contribution, and an opportunity to collaborate with both organizations.
Personal smart phones and other smart devices are providing access to more and better information each day. Individuals now have the ability to enhance and improve their daily lives by simply downloading an app and tapping a button or two. Through JUMP, ORNL and Siemens aim to find ways to extend this same level of simplicity into our shared spaces in a safe and secure manner:
- Shopping in a clothing store with the ability to adjust the lighting in the fitting room
- Entering a public building and receiving immediate notification of the best emergency routes in the event of a fire or other urgent situation
- Working in an office with access to light and temperature controls in individual workspaces
- Accessing buildings and public infrastructure through mobile device authentication
A cash award of $5,000 will be sponsored by Siemens for the top selected technology submission. The idea submitter will also be invited to discuss future collaboration with Siemens and ORNL technical experts. ORNL may provide up to $20,000 of in-kind technical support to enable ORNL staff to provide prototype development, testing, and/or third party validation. Additionally, participation in the DOE Small Business Voucher (SBV) pilot will also be discussed, through which ORNL may provide in-kind technical support of up to $300,000, if SBV approved.
“We’re excited to launch this new challenge with Siemens, which targets a particularly challenging, yet potentially game-changing field,” said Karma Sawyer, DOE’s acting program director for Emerging Technologies. “By opening up this challenge to the broader American public, we’re aiming to find unique ideas—ones that we might not have learned of otherwise—and to help turn those ideas into an actual product on the market that can make people’s lives better.”
The Siemens Building Technologies Division, which has initiated the challenge, is a leading provider of automation technologies and services for commercial, industrial, and public buildings and infrastructures. The company helps its customers reach their energy efficiency and operational goals through implementation of advanced building operation, automation, comfort, fire safety and security solutions.
JUMP is incubating a community of innovation for building technology. More than 900 community members are exploring advancements for appliances, building envelope, building analytics and information systems, lighting, heating and cooling systems, and sensors and controls. To date, the program has issued 15 calls garnering 75 viable ideas, with three winning ideas now geared up for advancement.