DEVELOP Competition:

Develop a Marine Energy Powered System

Competitors in the DEVELOP Competition are challenged to compete for up to $2.4 million in cash awards by designing, building, and testing novel, wave-powered, self-charging autonomous vehicle systems that, with refinement, would be suitable for a six-month deployment in the Atlantic Ocean to monitor hurricane formation. WPTO and NOAA are seeking new ideas to develop new technologies that can help fill the data gaps at sea that make it difficult to predict the intensity of hurricanes. Accurate forecasting could better protect coastal communities from the disastrous impacts of oncoming storms.


Prototypes built during this competition are not meant to be mature systems, but should demonstrate basic functionality and potential for refinement into a commercially viable product. This theme focuses on systems that effectively integrate marine energy for propulsion, to recharge batteries, or more generally to increase the range, duration, or performance of the vehicle.

Important DEVELOP Competition Dates

DESIGN Contest Key Dates


All dates subject to change.
  • Submission Open: October 19, 2020
  • Submission Close: February 16, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Judging and Review Complete: March 2021
  • Winner Announcement and Awards: April 19, 2021

BUILD Contest Key Dates


All dates subject to change; see the HeroX Ocean Observing Prize page for the latest dates.
  • Submission Open: April 19, 2021
  • Tank Testing: Anticipated January-February 2022
  • Winner Announcement and Awards: Anticipated February 2022

SPLASH Contest Key Dates


All dates subject to change.
  • Submission Open: Anticipated February 2022 through August 2022
  • Testing at Sea: Anticipated September 2022
  • Awards: Anticipated September 2022

Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, facility or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can help promote transformation by participating in the American-Made Challenges.


Follow the DEVELOP Competition