Competition Resources


Competition guide- Soon to be Released

Detailed description and judging rubrics for the competition.


Competition rules

Official rules of the competition.


Evaluation guide – Soon to be Released

Evaluation guideline used for the online round.


Competition tutorial

Tutorial will be uploaded soon.


Guide to Field Testing Plan – Soon to be released.

Guide to field testing plan.


Global Finalists – Final proposal requirements – soon to be released.

Guide to Global Final details.


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 in creating your solution.

Are there any grants available for teams?

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.

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 would like to 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 that is standard practice on IEEE conferences worldwide. Reviewers and judges will be assigned proposals that 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 on the 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 August 31st. Changing team members is still possible after the deadline.

Can student teams include faculty?

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.

How can I stay up to date on the competition?

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

What is the deadline for proposal submission?

August 31st midnight Pacific time.

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 of November 1,2021.

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 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.

Can we submit an incomplete proposal?

Proposals must fulfill all the formatting requirements laid out in the Appendix I of the competition guide.

Can we submit our proposal in presentation slide format?

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.

Can a team submit multiple proposals in separate tracks?

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

Can a company enter multiple teams?

Yes, as long as the team leader is different.

If a team qualifies the online round, will any funds be available to attend the regional round?

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

I received no confirmation email about my submission, is there something wrong?

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.

How much money will we have to do the field testing?

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 including your team name.

Who can participate in the field testing?

Teams that are invited to field-test following the approval of the team’s online proposal.

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.

Is some percentage cost share required for field testing?

No, cost share is not required.

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

Join the competition

To register a Team for the EBL II competition. The Team Leader is required to complete the registration form which requests an upload of a word document or pdf listing the name, email, and country of each team member. This registration form can be reaccessed for updates and eventually for a proposal submission.

Join The Competition

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