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Reflecting on Day 2 at the 2019 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit – Day 2 Recap

 We really kept the ball rolling at Day 2 of the ARPA-E Summit, kicking off the day bright and early with a new part of this year’s program, “Coffee with ARPA-E.” This gave attendees a chance to connect with ARPA-E leadership and Program Directors directly, to discuss the future of energy and innovation in a personal, 1-on-1 format.

Tuesday also featured an ARPA-E 10-year Retrospective panel, with past ARPA-E leaders Dr. Arun Majumdar, Dr. Cheryl Martin, Dr. Eric Toone, and Dr. Ellen Williams looking back on the last 10 years of ARPA-E making ideas into reality. The panel was moderated by the Honorable Barton “Bart” Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates and former Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology. Panelists covered the agency’s innovative history, and examined the lessons learned to help ARPA-E move into its next decade of energy innovation.

From Right to Left: Moderator Hon. Barton Gordon, Panelists Dr. Arun Majumdar, Dr. Eric Toone, Dr. Cheryl Martin, and Dr. Ellen Williams

Dr. Jennifer Gerbi, ARPA-E’s Associate Director for Technology and Program Director opened Tuesday’s General Session that included a speaker slate that featured Dean Kamen, Founder and President of DEKA R&D Corporation, Wayne T. Smith, Chairman and CEO of BASF Corporation, and a special video comment from U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.

 

Keynote Address from Dean Kamen, Founder and President of DEKA R&D Corporation

Keynote Address from Wayne T. Smith, Chairman and CEO of BASF Corporation

The morning’s fireside chat included Janet Reiser, Executive Director of the Cooperative Leadership Network and Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute for a “Downscale Grid” conversation. Gene Berdichevsky, Co-Founder and CEO of Sila Nanotechnologies, William Bonvillian, Lecturer and Senior Director of the MIT Office of Open Learning, David Crompton, President and CEO of Achates Power, and Leila Madrone, Founder and CTO of Sunfolding joined a panel discussion on “Deploying Energy Technologies in the U.S.”

From Right to Left: Janet Reiser, Executive Director of the Cooperative Leadership Network, and Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

From Left to Right: Gene Berdichevsky, Co-Founder and CEO of Sila Nanotechnologies, William Bonvillian, Lecturer and Senior Director of the MIT Office of Open Learning, Leila Madrone, Founder and CTO of Sunfolding and David Crompton, President and CEO of Achates Power

Tuesday saw the return of our popular “Focus on the Workforce: Increasing Diversity in Recruitment and Retention” luncheon in partnership with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS’ Dr. Rochelle Williams led the discussion on barriers to recruiting and retaining diverse talent in the energy and technology space.

The afternoon at the Tech Showcase featured Tech Demonstrations from a number of ARPA-E Awardees, including:

Biofouling-Free, Non-Stick, Slippery Coatings Enabling Energy-Efficient Future – Adaptive Surface Technologies

Spun out from an OPEN 2012 project at Harvard University, Adaptive Surface Technology’s innovative multi-purpose liquid-based coating that helps improve efficiency in various energy-related processes. Contamination, buildup of microorganisms, and corrosion of untreated surfaces can lead to inefficiencies and difficulties across a variety of technical applications, and Adaptive Surface Technology’s coating forms a completely smooth self-repairing surface that can withstand a broad range of contaminants while also reducing friction and drag on a surface.

Rethinking Marine Transport and Its Applications in Seaweed Farming – C.A. Goudey & Associates

C.A. Goudey & Associates’ MARINER project developed an autonomous marine tow vessel to enable the efficient deployment of large-scale seaweed farming systems. Their technology seeks to remove costs associated with current marine vessel challenges by designing a vessel specifically for use in seaweed farming systems, as well as lowering costs by removing the manned-requirement and using slow-moving autonomous towed vessels. This new approach will help to mitigate existing challenges created by manned operations schedules, as well as misapplication of high-speed boats to towing activities.

Multiple-Electron Aqueous Battery for Vehicles – University of Maryland

Part of ARPA-E’s RANGE program, the University of Maryland’s Multiple-Electron Aqueous Battery project uses a water-based magnesium and hydrogen battery chemistry to improve the energy density and lower the cost in electric battery manufacturing, while maximizing stored energy relative to the weight of electric vehicles In addition to working to improve the energy storage capabilities. UMD’s water-based approach is inherently safer and more resilient than other traditional lithium-ion batteries, and their use of inexpensive materials could reduce the cost of battery management, reliability, and allow for operation across a wider range of temperatures than traditional approaches.

ARPA-E’s Program Directors and Fellows took to the mainstage again in the afternoon for more “Fast Pitch” sessions, talking the future of energy with topics:

  • BECCS to the Future
  • Lunar Energy (and solar, seriously!!)
  • Angling for Amperage - Deep Sea Mining for Critical Minerals
  • What a Waste

Tuesday at the Tech Showcase wrapped up with two more demonstrations:

Ocean Reports: Geospatial Information Tools and Resources Assessment – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

ARPA-E recently partnered with the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop and deploy a “National AquaMapper” to enable the mapping of ocean resources for cultivation and production of various aquaculture species including macroalgae marine biomass resources. Originally conceived as a supplement to ARPA-E’s MARINER program, NOAA’s National AquaMapper is a publicly web-accessible Geographic Information System, providing users with a tool to identify the most suitable regions for siting microalgae cultivation areas in state and federal waters.

Advancing Insulation Retrofits with Beer Waste for Single-Pane Windows – University of Colorado, Boulder

The University of Colorado, Boulder’s SHIELD team set out to address the challenge of decreasing the amount of heat lost through single-pane residential and commercial windows in cold weather environments. CU-Boulder’s project is unique because they developed a transparent flexible window film made of nanostructured cellulose created through the repurposing of food and beer brewing waste using a bacteria-driven process.

Two days down and one to go for the 2019 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit! Keep following along here and on twitter @ARPAE for more about our final day. And, let us know how things are going by tweeting #ARPAE19!