Energy

Funding for High Risk, High Impact Energy Tech

TL;DR: ARPA-E intends to issue an OPEN FOA in January 2021 to address high risk, high impact energy technologies. An OPEN funding announcement looks at technology concepts that are beyond the scope of previous funding.

Do you have ideas about how to solve critical energy issues that this country faces? Ideas that involve technology which is so high-risk that it can’t get support, but so high-impact that it should? ARPA-E intends to issue an OPEN Funding Opportunity Announcement (OPEN FOA) in January, 2021 to address these unique questions/concepts. Since ARPA-E commenced operations in 2009, the agency has issued an OPEN funding announcement approximately every three years in order to investigate energy technology concepts that are outside of the scope of previous ARPA-E program funding.

On December 3, 2020, ARPA-E announced a Teaming Partner List for this planned FOA. The Teaming Partner List is an optional tool that potential applicants may choose to utilize to facilitate the formation of new project teams and identify potential collaborations. Teaming partners include organizations and individuals who can offer expertise, facilities, or other complementary resources toward a potential ARPA-E project.

ARPA-E will host a series of webinars to help potential applicants understand the selection and funding processes. Potential applicants must refer to the final FOA, expected to be issued in January 2021, for instructions on submitting an application and for the terms and conditions of funding.

What is ARPA-E?

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy funds high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E awardees are unique because they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy. ARPA-E projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and environmental wellbeing. We focus on transformational energy projects that can be meaningfully advanced with a small amount of funding over a defined period, typically two to four years. For more information on the ARPA-E funding process, watch this video.

How does OPEN work?

Most of the time, ARPA-E supports projects through focused programs, which fund a variety of projects in the same technology area. Focused program examples include ATLANTIS for deep water wind turbines, BREAKERS for medium voltage direct current circuit breakers, and GEMINA for next-generation nuclear reactors.

With OPEN, we welcome the innovation community to give us their ideas for the next big leap in energy technology. We do this for a few reasons, but most importantly, it ensures we get to evaluate the strongest, most creative concepts to help us fulfill our goal of keeping America secure, boosting competitiveness, and protecting the environment. To learn more about OPEN programs, click here.

What makes an OPEN project?

ARPA-E uses Open FOAs to identify high-potential projects that address the full range of energy-related technologies, including areas that are outside of the current portfolio. The objective of an ARPA-E OPEN FOA is to support the development of potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications. For more information on what makes an OPEN project, click here.

For examples of past OPEN projects, click here. To view a webinar explaining the ARPA-E funding process, the types of projects funded, and how to prepare a Concept Paper, click here.

What is a Teaming List?

ARPA-E is compiling a Teaming Partner List for a potential OPEN 2021 FOA to facilitate the formation of new project teams and encourage collaboration. Teaming partners include organizations and individuals who can offer expertise, facilities, or other complementary resources toward a potential ARPA-E project. The teaming list identifies partners’ capabilities as well as their areas of interest, understanding that expertise and experience in one field can often be applied successfully to a new field. This list is completely voluntarily to participate in and utilize. ARPA-E will not identify or facilitate connections through the teaming list, but encourages researchers to reach out to other potential partners themselves to explore teaming opportunities.

This post was originally published at https://arpa-e.energy.gov/open-2021