PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the space race. We’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.
Okay, here we go. A big one. Off the ground – (inaudible).
Just as the old DARPA funded ARPANET, which later became the basis of the Internet and the development of the global position satellite system. Those were truly game-changers in the way information is generated throughout the world. We need to do the same for energy.
ARUN MAJUMDAR: My name is Arun Majumdar. I’m the director of Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E, of the Department of Energy.
We have to realize that we are in a global competition. All the technologies that are required for global, sustainable economic growth do not exist today. There are many economies that are growing faster than us and they’re all looking to do it in a sustainable way.
Because the program managers and the people in the ARPA-E program are so good – top scientists and engineers in their own right – they can sort through and identify really new ideas.
There are many reports of how fast we have gone, and that is extremely important because if you are asking our PIs and proposers and our tech community, entrepreneurs, to increase their pace, they should ask the government to be fast.
MR. : Technically, it’s a new clean-energy revolution, both in the way we use energy much more efficiently but also the way we generate energy. We are the technological leaders and we will prosper.
MR. : We have just found out that the amount of investment that we made in the first round, which is $150 million – the private sector has seen the de-risking and the progress that these technologies have made. Okay, not all of them, but a few of them and the amount of private-sector dollars that have come in has actually exceeded $150 million.
MR. : This is the biggest business opportunity that the United States has. If we develop these technologies, make them locally, sell them globally, that is the answer for our economic prosperity as well as our national security.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world. (Applause.)