Competition Resources


Competition Guidelines

Detailed description and judging rubrics for the 2023 Competition are linked below. These Guidelines will change for 2025, yet they are still informative to the structure of the EBL competition.


Competition rules

Official rules of the competition.


The Recording of the 24 June 2022 Webinar on the Full Proposal is posted here. There will be a new Webinar prior to the deadline (28 February 2025) for the current competition, though this webinar can still be informative.


Template for the 3-Page Concept paper due November 1, 2024.


Listing of Reviewers


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 ​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of solutions are best suited for this competition?

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.

We’re a group of students with a technical solution, can we compete?

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.

I have a really cool idea, but I’m not an engineer, how can I compete?

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 create your solution.

If we wanted to join another team, how could we find out who else is registered?

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

How do judges avoid conflict of interest in the judging process?

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

Does the IEEE or the competition claim any IP rights?

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.

Will judges sign an NDA with me?

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.

Can I volunteer to help organize this competition?

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

When is the registration deadline?

The last day to register your team is 28 February 2025. Changing team members is still possible after the deadline.

Can student teams include faculty?

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

How can I stay up to date on the competition?

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

What is the deadline for proposal submission?

The 3-page concept paper is due 1 November 2024, the full proposal is due 28 February 2025.  The benefit of submitting a concept paper is that you will receive expert feedback from reviewers before submitting your full proposal.

Can I submit my proposal multiple times on the online round?

Yes, you can resubmit if you have an update to your proposal before the deadline.

Why should I make a short video?

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 reading the rest of your proposal. This video is not required to be a professional video, or animation, a simple recording using a smartphone works well for the online round.

Can we submit an incomplete proposal?

Proposals must fulfill all the formatting requirements laid out in Appendix I of the competition guide. The initial proposal is just a three-page concept paper.

Can we submit our proposal in presentation slide format?

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

Can a team submit multiple proposals in separate tracks?

Yes, as long as the proposals are different.  You might also find that your proposal fits multiple tracks. You can indicate this in the proposal. Keep in mind that the judges have the final say in assigning tracks where there are questions of fit, or multiple tracks. The same proposal cannot be submitted in different tracks.

Can a company enter multiple teams?

Yes, as long as the team leader is different.

Who can participate in the field testing?

Teams that are invited to field-test following the approval of the team’s full proposal (post-concept paper).

Can we look for additional funding to do the field test?

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 including your team name.

Have a question that’s not listed here? Let us know at!

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To register a Team for the EBL 2025 competition. The Team Leader is required to complete the registration form.

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