The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that the DuPont/Smart Fuel Cell (SFC) Team was awarded a $1 million top prize for winning the Wearable Power Prize competition.
Designed to spur innovation, the competition was launched in July 2007 by the DoD’s Research and Engineering Directorate to help develop a long-endurance, lightweight power pack for warfighters in the field. After beginning with 169 registered entries, the ultimate testing concluded on Oct. 4 when the final six teams met at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., to determine the winner.
DuPont/SFC won the competition by building the lightest wearable system that provided an average of 20 watts of power for more than 96 hours and weighed less than 4,000 grams, or 8.8 pounds. AMI of Ann Arbor, Mich., was awarded $500,000 for second place, and Jenny 600S of Middleburg, Va., won the $250,000 third place prize.
All of the finalists used either fuel-cell or battery technologies or a combination of both to meet the rigorous standards set by the DoD.
“The winners, and really all the teams that competed, have moved wearable power technology forward,” said William Rees Jr., the deputy under secretary for defense laboratories and basic sciences. “But the real winners from this competition are our ground warfighters, as these systems show great promise to reduce the weight of batteries they have to carry while performing their critical missions.”
Rees, who sponsored the DoD Wearable Power Prize, also hopes this competition will inspire scientists and engineers.
“The rules we developed for this DoD competition attracted small businesses, individual inventors, and large companies alike,” said Rees. “Our nation has tremendous capacity for innovation, so we hope that this and future competitions also motivates the scientific community to continue important advancements in technology.”
Media can direct queries to Cmdr. Darryn James, DoD Public Affairs, (703)-693-8287. More information on the Wearable Power Prize can be found at: