It's hard to believe the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is just two years old: already we have seen the potential of high-risk, high-reward research to both our energy and economic future. The Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report highlights the creation of ARPA-E, how the agency's investments are supporting transformational technologies in energy, and a synopsis of the projects it has funded to date.
Recruiting some of the best minds in science and technology, as well as tapping the market expertise of business communities, ARPA-E has funded 121 projects in amounts ranging from roughly $400,000 to $9 million, with an average award value of $3 million. These clean energy technologies have the potential to transform our Nation's energy future. For example, ARPA-E-funded efforts are enabling batteries for transportation -- beyond lithium-ion -- that could make electric cars cheaper and go much farther distances than today’s batteries.
The FY2010 Annual Report details its portfolio of projects in the following areas:
- Open Funding Opportunity Announcement and Other Projects
- Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (ADEPT)
- Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation (BEEST)
- Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices (BEETIT)
- Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS)
- Innovative Materials and Processes for Carbon Capture Technologies (IMPACCT)
While, by nature, high-risk, high-reward investment doesn't necessarily reap success, many of ARPA-E's current projects have already indicated commercial potential. In just over a year, six projects that received a total of $23.6 million in seed funding from ARPA-E have generated more than $100 million in outside private capital investment. ARPA-E recently received news that another of its performers, Primus Power, has generated $11 million in follow-on funding for its grid-scale storage technology -- five times more than ARPA-E’s $2 million investment last year. In addition to signaling commercial potential, these private investments help projects accelerate technical development, create jobs, and acquire capital equipment and facilities.
"With the best research and development infrastructure in the world and a thriving innovation ecosystem in business and entrepreneurship, America has the ingredients necessary for success," ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar said in the report's opening message.
ARPA-E funded projects that are successful in reaching the marketplace could create new industries and jobs, provide more cost-effective energy technologies, and help achieve the Nation’s energy goals.
To find out more and read the full report, please visit the ARPA-E website.