Important Note: The Energy Endeavour Foundation (EEF, governing body of the Solar Decathlon Europe, or SDE) and the SDE23 Host City Executives (EFdeN) have made a joint decision to close the Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 edition in Bucharest, Romania. Further information is available in the article here: https://solardecathlon.eu/sde23_bucharest_closure
The SDE23 Call for Teams was published on June 21, 2021, with a corresponding reference version of the SDE23 Rules. Any queries about the Call should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be answered and published on this page within (in principle) five working days.
Questions can be sent until October 29, 2021 _ 17h00 CET.
Please note: The preliminary version of the Rules is meant to provide an impression, for reference only, indicating the scope and kinds of items that are generally addressed in a SDE Competition. A distinct version of the Rules is currently under development to reflect the specificity of the SDE23 edition.
1. Is there an age restriction for the participants? Teams are formed by a variety of members: enrolled students, recent graduates, faculty members, or other persons affiliated with one of the participating universities. All members are integrally involved with a Team’s project activities; as such, Decathletes, Faculty Advisors, and involved staff from participating universities are all considered Team members. There is no age restriction for participants. In the exceptional case that a student (Decathlete) is under the age of eighteen, specific documentation (parental / guardian) will likely be required, especially for site-construction activities. More info on participation can be found in the Rules document, Rule 3_ Participation, page 13.
2. Is there more information regarding the way I can sign up with a Team? More information about the registration procedure and the full application can be found in the SDE23 Call for Teams document. Please access it through the solardecathlon.eu website.
3. How is the intellectual property protected during this Competition? Do we need to apply for patents for certain innovations before the Competition, to make sure they are protected? Regarding the Call for Teams application, the only document that can be used for public consumption is the Summary for Public Release (Call for Teams – page 22). This document must not include any proprietary or sensitive business information as the EEF and Asociatia Solar Decatlon Bucuresti (EFdeN) may make it available to the public after Team selections are made.
As it is stated in Rule 3.5 Use of Likeness, Content & Images: “If a Team submits content or images that it would like to be kept confidential, it should make that request, with an explanation, in writing to the recipient of the content or images. Every effort will be made to honour requests for confidentiality. All confidentiality requests expire at the date of the end of the SDE23 Competition.”
Regarding the specificity of patents, please note that the final technical projects of the Teams will be available online, in an open-source format, therefore any patents should be obtained before the public viewing of the Competition results.
4. What constitutes the universities’ Team support? An informal support, or do the Team supporters need to contractually assume some responsibilities? After submitting a proposal to participate in the public Call for Teams for the Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 Competition, and upon selection as a Participating Team, a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) will be signed between the University and the SDE23 Host City Executives (SDE23 Host City).
5. How many Teams from the same country can participate, and what are the selection criteria to pick the participating Teams? There are no specific criteria regarding the number of Participating Teams from the same country. Please find information regarding the official evaluation criteria in section eight (8) of the Call for Teams document.
6. When there will be an official guide published? The official SDE23 Call for Teams was published on June 21, 2021.
7. What other preliminary steps do we need to take, and important information should we have in order to prepare for the Call? The registration period started on June 21, 2021. Teams are encouraged to register and to send their letter of intent before October 27, 2021 _ 17h00 CET; the final submission must be sent before November 12, 2021 _ 17h00 CET.
8. Are the Romanian Universities (Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest and Ion Mincu University of Architecture) allowed to participate in the SDE23, given that they are involved in the organisation too? The mentioned universities, Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest and Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning are allowed to participate as long as the persons involved within the SDE23 Team applicant are not part of the SDE23 Organisation.
9. Can we have a sponsor in our Team that is the competitor of the SDE23 sponsor? Every SDE23 Team applicant chooses its sponsors independently of external factors. Thus, your Team has the liberty to choose sponsors accordingly. More info on this subject can be found in the Rules document, section 11.3, page 26.
10. When will you distribute the funds (100.000 EUR) to the Teams, prior or post-Competition? The answer to your question can be found in the SDE23 Call for Teams doc. section four (4), page 17.
11. How can I join a Team and how should I register for the SDE23 Competition? The Solar Decathlon Europe is a university-level student Competition. Teams are generally formed through a collective decision by professors and students in university faculties encompassing enrolled students, recent graduates, faculty members, or other persons affiliated with one of the participating universities. All members are integrally involved with a Team’s project activities; as such, Decathletes, Faculty Advisors, and involved staff from participating universities are all considered Team members. Teams must register by sending an email to: email@example.com. More on this subject can be found in the Call for Teams doc. section five (5) page 18.
12. Is the Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 addressing European Teams only, or are Teams worldwide eligible as well? The Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 is addressing Teams from all over the globe. The SDE23 Organisation encourages Teams to participate in the Competition regardless of their city or country of origin. Please refer to the eligibility requirements in section six (6), page 20, in the Call for Teams document, and note that “Teams must be led by a post-secondary educational institution.”
13. For the registration / application process, does the email address need to be associated with the leading applicant institution? Or can it be associated to a personal email address? There is no need to use an institutional email address at this stage of the project. Nonetheless, please ensure that your Team has the support of a post-secondary educational institution.
14. Will Teams receive funds for transportation of materials and equipment, accommodation, and other expenses? The SDE23 Host City Executives will offer support of approximately €100 000.00 for each selected Team. This support will be awarded to Teams that are selected to participate via this Call, based on the Team’s full participation in the Competition. As it is stated in the Call for Teams document, section 8.2 criterion 2: Sponsorship Engagement & Team Support: The proposal demonstrates a clear understanding of the costs associated with the project and the need for obtaining sufficient sponsorship or other funds to support all phases of the two-year project; industry engagement has been considered. Therefore, each participating Team is responsible for raising the necessary funds to cover all expenses for their participation, such as (among others) transportation of materials, equipment and accommodation.
15. The private companies that are eager to support our Team should provide us with a letter of commitment (section 184.108.40.206) or a letter of intent (section 220.127.116.11)? Please refer to section 7.1.6. page 26 from the SDE23 Call for Teams doc: “Applicants will need a letter of commitment from the leadership (head, president, or rector of universities) of all partner institutions that make up the applicant Team consortium (if applicable).” Over and beyond these required letters of commitment (from the partner institutions that make up the applicant Team consortium), we do indeed encourage you to include letters of support from any private companies that are eager to support your Team.