Develop scalable solutions to address global energy poverty

Courtesy of US Government

Why compete?

Learning opportunity

Learn about one of the most pressing issues facing humanity from experts in the field

Huge untapped market potential

A market of 1.1 billion unserved people is one of the largest market opportunities today

Exposure

Winners of the regional rounds and the global round will be featured on press releases, social media, and various media outlets

Networking

Participate in banquets and other social events with participants active in the sector

Sponsored field pilot

Winners of the regional round will be provided enough funding to complete a 2-month long field pilot

Significant Prize Monies

Amongst the regional rounds and global final winners a maximum $1 Million dollar prize purse will be distributed

Target customer community

Solutions are expected to serve customers with the following characteristics and needs.

Primarily off-grid

Tier 0-1 energy access

Purchasing power below $1.90 per day

Living in rural areas

Limited access to banking

<50% have bank accounts

Using feature phones

<40% have smartphones

Energy needs

Solutions must provide Tier 2 energy access (200+ watt hours per day), which includes:

Household uses

Household uses include: single house lighting, phone charging, telecommunication, entertainment, air circulation, refrigeration, water pumping, home cooling, smart cooking, electric two- and three-wheeler charging, etc.

Community uses

Community uses include: multiple home solutions for public lighting, water pumping & purification, education and health facilities, etc.

Productive uses

Productive uses include: agriculture processing, light manufacturing (sewing, pottery, weaving, carpentry), construction, food processing, commerce, new incoming opportunities, etc.

Competition tracks

The competition has four tracks, arranged by type of model and type of solution. For more details, refer to the competition guide.

Commercially available Solutions

At least 1000 active end customers

Emerging solutions

Less than 1000 active end customers

Track 1
Decentralized models

End user owns the generation assets

Track 1A

Example solutions could include: solar home systems, pay-go systems

Track 1B

Example solutions could include: new household-level ideas that may interconnect

Track 2
Centralized utility models

Company owns the generation assets and provides services to the end users

Track 2A

Example solutions could include: mini- and micro-grids

Track 2B

Example solutions could include: Top-down solutions with a system operator

Resources

Competition guide

Detailed description and judging rubrics for the competition.

Download

Competition rules

Official rules of the competition.


Download

Evaluation guide

Evaluation guideline used for the online round.


Download

Competition tutorial

Tutorial presented at the IEEE PEDG conference on Jun 25, 2018.

YouTube Youku Slides

Guide to Field Testing Plan

Guide to field testing plan of revised regional proposals.

Download

Tech Design Library

Designing a electricity solutions to such difficult markets is a high challenge. To this end, EBL competitors are provided with a library of Design Resources that lists some of the leading manufacturers and service providers in the space. Competitors will be evaluated on novelty of their solutions, but are not expected to "reinvent the wheel" and encouraged to use existing solutions, where suitable.

Listing in this library does not constitute as endorsement by IEEE Empower a Billion Lives. If you would like your company to be featured among our design resources, contact us at ​billionlives@ieee.org​.

Regional details

Select your region to know more about the competition dates and the organizing committee.

Timeline

May - Aug, 2018

Online round

Sep 30, 2018

Notification of Regional Finalists

Dec 15, 2018

Submission of Regional Proposals

Jan 16 - 18, 2019

Regional Final in Johannesburg, South Africa

Sep 2019

Global Final

Program Schedule

January 16 - 18, 2019

(Details coming soon!)

1 Grand Regional Award

200000 Rand

4 Best Track Awards

100000 Rand

1 Best Student Team Award

70000 Rand

Travel Information

Coming Soon!

Visa Information

You will receive official invitation letter from the organizing committee. You will need to apply for visa on your own using the letter. For more information, reach out to Willie Cronje at wacronje.ebl@eie.wits.ac.za.

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Chair

Gideon Potgieters

Co-Chair

Willie Cronje

Regional Manager

Lynn Kruger

Coming Soon!

For any queries, please contact Willie Cronje at wacronje.ebl@eie.wits.ac.za.

Timeline

May - Aug, 2018

Online round

Sep 30, 2018

Notification of Regional Finalists

Dec 15, 2018

Submission of Regional Proposals

Feb 5 - 7, 2019

Regional Final in Atlanta

Sep 2019

Global Final

Program Schedule

February 5, 2019

07:30 - 08:00

Registration and Continental Breakfast

08:00 - 08:30

Welcome and Process Discussion

08:30 - 12:00

Judging

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch

13:00 - 16:30

Judging

17:00 - 19:00

Judging at Posters and Demonstrations

19:00 - 20:30

Posters Open to All, DEAS Reception

February 6, 2019

07:30 - 08:30

Registration and Continental Breakfast

08:30 - 10:15

Plenary Session

10:15 - 11:15

Understanding EBL Metrics

11:15 - 12:15

Accessing Resources for the EBL teams

12:15 - 13:30

Lunch and Exhibition

13:30 - 14:30

Panel - Off-Grid Energy Access

14:30 - 15:45

Panel - Ad-Hoc Power Systems

15:45 - 17:00

Technical Papers - Off-Grid Issues

17:00 - 19:00

Exhibition, Posters, Reception and EBL Award Ceremony

February 7, 2019

07:30 - 08:30

Continental Breakfast

08:30 - 09:30

Invited Key Notes - Energy Access

09:30 - 12:00

Presentations by EBL Teams

12:00 - 12:30

Technical Papers - Off-Grid Issues

12:30 - 13:15

Lunch

13:15 - 14:30

Closing Panel Session - Key Challenges

1 Grand Regional Award

$15,000

4 Best Track Awards

$7,500

1 Best Student Team Award

$5,000

Travel Information

Coming soon!

Visa Information

If you require visa to travel please reach out to Aline Banboukian at aline.b@ieee.org.

Accommodation Option #1

Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel

Website

Accommodation Option #2

Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center

Website

Accommodation Option #3

Hampton Inn Atlanta-Georgia Tech-Downtown

Website

Georgia Institute of Technology

(Details coming soon!)

Georgia Tech Web Site

General Chair

Deepak Divan

Technical Program Chair

Sudip Mazumder

Steering Committee

Phil Krein

Braham Ferreira

Liuchen Chang

Stan Attcity

Prasad Enjeti

Henry Louie

Empower a Billion Lives Coordination Chair

Szilard Liptak

Empower a Billion Lives Regional Manager

Aline Banboukian

Coming soon!

For any queries, please contact Ms. Aline Banboukian at aline.b@ieee.org.

Timeline

May - Aug, 2018

Online round

Sep 30, 2018

Notification of Regional Finalists

Dec 15, 2018

Submission of Regional Proposals

Jan 22 - 23, 2019

Regional Final in Seville, Spain

Sep 2019

Global Final

Program Schedule

Coming Soon!

1 Grand Regional Award

EUR 13,000

4 Best Track Awards

EUR 6,500

1 Best Student Team Award

EUR 4,000

Travel Information

Coming Soon!

Visa Information

You will receive official invitation letter from the organizing committee. You will need to apply for visa on your own using the letter. For more information, reach out to your regional contact at ebl.europe@uloyola.es.

Accommodation Option #1

Hotel Inglaterra (4-star)

Address:
Plaza Nueva 7, Centro Historico de Sevilla, 41001 Sevilla, España

EBL Europe Rates:
110€/night

Website

Accommodation Option #2

Hotel Zenit Sevilla (****)

Address:
Pages del Corro 90, Triana, 41010 Sevilla, España

EBL Europe Rates:
94€/night (double room),
86€/night (double room for individual use)

Website



Please note: An agency is contracted to handle hotel reservations, please contact info@otravis.com (or call +34 954546184) to make a reservation at any of these hotels.

Coming Soon!

Chair

Pedro Rodriquez

Co-Chair

Braham Fereira

GOGLA liaison

Jelena Popovic

Regional Managers

Eva María Sánchez Fernández

Carmen Millán Chacartegui

Coming Soon!

For any queries, please contact at ebl.europe@uloyola.es.

Timeline

Jun 30, 2018

Team Registration with Preliminary Proposal

Aug 31, 2018

Submission of Proposal

Sep 15, 2018

Notification of Regional Final Team

Oct 29, 2018

Submission of Regional Proposals

Nov 4 -7, 2018

Regional Final in Shenzhen, China

Sep 2019

Global Final at IEEE ECCE Baltimore, USA

Program Schedule

November 3, 2018

14:00 - 18:00

Onsite Registration

November 4, 2018

08:30 - 09:50

Judging Panel session–1

09:50 - 10:10

Break

10:10 - 11:30

Judging Panel session-2

11:30 - 13:30

Break & Lunch

13:30 - 14:50

Judging Panel session-3

08:30 - 14:30

Layout for Tech Demo (Optional)

14:50 - 16:30

Tech Demo(Optional)

November 5, 2018

16:30-18:30

Poster Session

November 6, 2018

18:00 - 20:30

Award Ceremony and PEAC2018 Banquet

1 Grand Regional Award

¥70,000

4 Best Track Awards

¥28,000

1 Best Student Team Award

¥18,000

Travel Information

Getting Here – Everything you need to know about arriving to the conference hotel and ground transportation.

Visa Information

All foreign visitors entering the People's Republic of China must possess a valid passport. Delegates, except those from countries who have visa exemption agreements with China, should apply to a Chinese diplomatic mission in their countries for visas prior to departure. For details, delegates are advised to view the website.

Accommodation Option #1

Conference Hotel Crowne Plaza
Shenzhen Longgang City Centre

Other Accommodation Options

Friends International Hotel (Five Star) - 1.5 km to Conference Hotel

Vienna Hotel Shengping Shop, Shenzhen (Domestic Only) - 1.5 km to Conference Hotel

Relaxed Season Longcheng Hotel - 907 Meter to Conference Hotel

Samking Hotel (Domestic Only) - 705 Meter to Conference Hotel



Please note: Detailed information is available here.

Crowne Plaza Shenzhen Longgang City Centre, Shenzhen China

Address:

9009 Longxiang Avenue, Longgang City Centre, Longgang District, Shenzhen 518172

China Convention Center Web Site

Steering Committee Lead

Mark Dehong Xu

Steering Committee Members

Sewan Choi

Yaow-Ming Chen

Braham Fereira

Jung-Ik Ha

Jun-ichi Itoh

Philip Krein

Dong-Choon Lee

Tsorng-Juu Liang

Sanjib Panda

Toshihisa Shimizu

Kenji Wada

Jinfa Zhang

Lei Zhang

Regional Organizing Committee Chair

Tianhao Tang

Regional Organizing Committee Co-Chairs

Jinjun Liu

Philip Krein

Jinfa Zhang

Secretariat of Pacific Asia CPSS

Po-tai Cheng

Electricity Supply

The standard electrical supply is 220 volts AC/60 cycles. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for110 and 220 volts. Be careful and ask before plugging in a 110-volt appliance.

Foreign Exchange

The monetary unit is the Yuan (CNY). The exchange rate is approximately CNY 6.6 per USD as of December, 2017.

Tipping

Tipping is not a traditional Chinese custom.

Weather

To find the current weather of Shenzhen please visit here.

Useful Phone Numbers

Police: 110
Fire: 119
Medical Emergency: 120
Local Directory Assistance: 114

Business Hours

Government office hours are usually from 9:00 to 17:00 on weekdays. Banks are open from 9:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. Most stores are open every day from 10:00 to 21:00, including Sundays.

For any queries, please contact Ms. Naifen Yang at competition@cpss.org.cn.

Timeline

May - Aug, 2018

Online round

Sep 30, 2018

Notification of Regional Finalists

Dec 7, 2018

Submission of Regional Proposals

Dec 18 - 21, 2019

Regional Final in Chennai, India

Sep 2019

Global Final

Program Schedule

December 18 - 21, 2018

(Details coming soon!)

1 Grand Regional Award

₹ 5 lacs

4 Best Track Awards

₹ 3 lacs

1 Best Student Team Award

₹ 2 lacs

Travel Information

Coming Soon!

Visa Information

For visa information and letter of support, contact the regional contact at empowersouthasia@gmail.com.

Accommodation Option #1

The Westin Chennai Velachery

Address:
154 Velachery Main Road, Velachery
Chennai 600042, India

Accommodation Option #2

Park Hyatt Chennai

Address:
39 Velachary Road, Near Raj Bhavan
Chennai 600032, India

Accommodation Option #3

GRT Hotels

Address:
120, Sir Thyagaraya Road, T-Nagar
Chennai 600017, India

Accommodation Option #4

Taj Coromandel

Address:
37, Mahatma Gandhi Road
Chennai 600034, India

Accommodation Option #5

Ramada Plaza Chennai

Address:
No 36 Sardar Patel Road, Guindy
Chennai 600032, India

Accommodation Option #6

Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway

Address:
# 110, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), Thiruvanmiyur
Chennai 600041, India

Please note: Detailed information is available here.

Convention Center, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Located in Sardar Patel Road, Opposite to C.L.R.I, Adyar, Indian Institute Of Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036

Convention Center Web Site

South Asia Lead

Surya Doolla

Ashok Jhunjhunwala

Bhim Singh

B. G. Fernandes

Krishna Vasudevan

K. Sivakumar

Mukul C. Chandorkar

Santanu Mishra

Finance Chair

Prabhjot Kaur

Coming Soon!

For any queries, please contact Dr. Surya Doolla at empowersouthasia@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are looking for holistic solutions that provide tier 2 energy access to the end customers. The solution should address the entire power generation, delivery, and management system including the business and social aspects. We are actively looking for the “WOW factor”, disruptive ideas that change the paradigm.

Absolutely yes, but you should consider inviting business students and/or professionals who may help you build a business plan. We also have a special prize category specifically for student teams.

By all means you can compete. A valid entry does not have to include technical innovation, using an off-the-shelf product fits the competition requirements perfectly. We created a collection of design resources to aid your search for off-the-shelf products and services that can help you in creating your solution.

Unfortunately there is no funding available to teams at this time until the regional rounds when winning teams will receive funding to perform a 2 month field test and cover their travel expenses. The organizers highly encourage teams to pursue securing their own source of funding for the competition.

Unfortunately the organizers cannot disclose the list of registered teams, but we would like to encourage you to join our LinkedIn group to mash-up with other participants.

IEEE has a long history of facilitating transparent review and judging processes adhering to the IEEE Code of Ethics that is standard practice on IEEE conferences worldwide. Reviewers and judges will be assigned proposals that they have no financial or academic interest in.

No, the sponsors or judges claim no IP rights. You should use IP that you have a legal right to use. The competition will occasionally display your entry for purposes of advertising, evaluating, or promoting the competition. For details please see the official competition rules.

Unfortunately that is not possible due to the organizational difficulties it would pose. The judges will do their best to ensure confidentiality, but the organizers reserve the right to make public any technical document submitted. You are encouraged to file a provisional patent before submission. For details please see the official competition rules.

Absolutely! We are always happy to see committed volunteers working on the regional or on the global level. Please contact us at billionlives@ieee.org and let us know of your background, and interests.

The last day to register your team is August 31st. Changing team members is still possible after the deadline.

No, student teams must be consisted of exclusively students who are actively enrolled in a higher education institution. Faculty can be involved in an advisory role, but may not hold IP in the solution. Team with active faculty participants will be treated as normal teams.

Make sure to register your team or sign up to our newsletter to hear about the latest updates regarding the competition.

August 31st midnight Pacific time.

Yes, you can submit it several times, the judges will review and provide you with feedback within 15-30 days. You cannot submit a new proposal while one is under review.

The organizers highly recommend creating a short (less than 3 min) pitch video to briefly explain your idea to the judges. This helps the judges to get a clear high level understanding of your proposal that will guide them in the reading the rest of your proposal. This video is not required to be a professional video, or animation, a simple recording using a smart phone works well for the online round.

Proposals shorter than 6 pages are acceptable but must fulfill all the formatting requirements laid out in the Appendix I of the competition guide.

No, all proposals must be submitted on an A4 or 8.5”x11” page with a font size of minimum 11. For details please see the Appendix I of the competition guide.

Yes, as long as the proposals are different. The same proposal cannot be submitted in different tracks.

Yes, as long as the team leader is different.

No, unfortunately teams must sponsor their own travel to the regional rounds.

No, this is normal. We are currently transferring the proposal submission system to a third party competition management platform which will be able to send you a confirmation email. We appreciate your patience until then.

No, every team can attend only one regional round.

Yes, you can select your preferred region. In some special circumstances the organizers may need to assign you to a different region.

All Regional Rounds follow the same structure, principles, and evaluation process. There are some slight variation between regions, all this is available in the regional details section of the website.

No, unfortunately teams must sponsor their own travel to the regional rounds. Under special circumstances, such as a team having to attend a different regional as preferred, Empower a Billion Lives may provide limited travel support.

Absolutely, just reach out to us and we’re happy to provide a letter of support certifying your participation in the competition, just reach out to billionlives@ieee.org with your team name.

Empower a Billion Lives sponsors the registration fee for the regional workshops for two participants per team. Any additional team member will have to pay for their own registration fees, which varies region by region. Please visit the host conference’s website or reach out to the regional contact to find out the specific registration fee.

No any team member can represent the team on the regional round as long as that person is designated by the team leader.

Absolutely you can, but any extra attendees will have to pay for their own registration, which varies region by region. Please visit the host conference’s website or reach out to the regional contact to find out the specific registration fee.

Unfortunately at least one member of the team must be attending the regional round and present the team’s solution. Additional attendees can be Skyped in if the regional organizers are able to accommodate this special request.

If you don’t find any comments from the reviewers, we would advise to improve the proposal based on the numeric scores you received.

Please submit your Regional Proposal to the regional contact email address and copy billionlives@ieee.org.

Yes, a highly qualified team can receive multiple awards. Theoretically speaking, a team may win the Regional Grand Award, the Best Track Award, and even the Best Student Team Bonus Award.

The regional round evaluation will follow the same three scores and same principles that are laid out in the Competition Guide. You will have 4 venues to showcase your solution on the Regional Round; Regional Proposal, Pitch Presentation, a networking session with posters or other collateral, and an optional solution demonstration.

  • Regional Proposal: Please update your proposal based on the feedback you received in the regional round. In the Regional Round you will have a page limit of eight (8) pages for the proposal, plus one (1) page for the Field Testing Plan, so altogether nine (9) pages . Please submit your regional proposal by the deadline shown on the regional details section of the website to regional contact email address and the official billionlives@ieee.org address.

  • Pitch Presentation: You will need to pitch your solution on stage in front of a panel of judges in 15 minutes, which is followed by a 5-10 minute long question and answers (Q&A) session. To ensure equal opportunity for all teams, pitches and Q&A will be held behind closed doors.

  • Optional solution demonstration: If the solution has a central technology piece or any other element that you would like to showcase, you will need to notify the regional contact person about this and you will be provided the opportunity to set up your demonstration and the judges will visit your station.

Networking session with posters or other collateral: You will have a chance to present your solution to the public during a networking event with a poster or any other collateral that you see fit. You will receive further details from your regional committee.

No, the pitch presentation is only for the judging panel and going to take place behind closed doors. The winning teams after the award announcement is made will have a chance to present to the public audience if they choose to do so.

Depending on regional schedule, winning teams may be given the chance to present in front of a public audience and thus gain additional exposure. The teams do not have to take this opportunity if they choose so.

The regional award monies are to be used to conduct the field testing, related travels, further development of the solution, etc. We also would like to encourage you to look for additional sources of funding, we are happy to provide you with a support letter, just reach out to us at billionlives@ieee.org including your team name.

Teams that win any award (including the Grand Regional Award, Track Awards, or Best Student Team Bonus Award) can participate in the field testing.

We also would like to encourage you to look for additional sources of funding, we are happy to provide you with a support letter, just reach out to us at billionlives@ieee.org including your team name.

No, you don’t have to, you are free to pick any region to perform your field testing.

Have a question that's not listed here? Let us know at billionlives@ieee.org!

Join the competition

The registration for the 2018-2019 competition cycle has closed, the next cycle will open in 2020, looking forward to see you then!