Earth Day (Literally) Rocks!

Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day; promoting environmental enthusiasm and efforts to protect our planet’s precious natural resources. As part of ARPA-E’s authorizing authority that established the agency within the Department of Energy, we’re tasked to overcome long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of transformative science and technology solutions to address the energy and environmental missions of the Department. Because of this, our projects and programs focus on developing technologies that have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic…


Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose!

At ARPA-E, we develop energy technologies that can enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through 5 core goals: 1. reducing imports of energy from foreign sources 2. reducing energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases 3. improving the energy efficiency of all economic sectors 4. providing transformative solutions to improve the management, clean-up, and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel; and 5. improving the resilience, reliability, and security of infrastructure to produce, deliver, and store energy By working towards these 5…


Cruisin' for Nonconventional Fusion with ARPA-E

At ARPA-E, we’re constantly thinking about what new white spaces we can explore in our mission to change how Americans get, use, and store energy. One key tool that we use to help design exciting focused programs is to issue periodic Requests for Information, or RFIs, which ask the research community to submit to us their best ideas for how we can have maximum impact on a specific technical space. RFIs help our Program Directors’ (PDs) build out their ideas.  A robust conversation in response to an RFI better enables PDs to flesh out and expand on how they’re thinking of addressing a…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 3

On February 18, regional air travel company Surf Air Mobility announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire hybrid-electric aviation startup Ampaire Inc., incorporating Ampaire’s unique electric powertrain technology into their plans to make electric air travel more widely available, sustainable, and affordable. The deal, reportedly worth roughly $100 million, would see Surf Air take on complete ownership of Ampaire, including hiring their existing employees, and operating it under a new division of the company called AMP [1]. In the acquisition announcement, Surf…


Turning Ideas Into Reality – Projects in Progress XII

ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way people access, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided over $2.6 billion to support more than 1,000 energy technology projects. In 2020, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. This month we are featuring Otherlab and Achates Power. The Otherlab…


An Unconventional Summer of Fusion

by Daniel Slesinski How can one facilitate the commercialization of a new energy technology when it is still years or potentially even decades away from viability? This is a question that ARPA-E has set out to answer regarding the future of so many transformational energy sources, but perhaps none more so than fusion energy. As it turns out, one of the best ways to work towards accomplishing this is to research and determine optimal early markets for this technology, so that successful fusion developers are able to find early customers. In many ways, fusion may be the ideal energy…


Turning Ideas Into Reality - Projects in Progress XI

ARPA-E focuses on next-generation energy innovation to create a sustainable energy future. The agency provides R&D support to businesses, universities, and national labs to develop technologies that could fundamentally change the way we access, use, and store energy. Since 2009, ARPA-E has provided over $2 billion in support to more than 950 energy technology projects. In January 2020, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. This month we are featuring two OPEN 2009 awardees, Soraa Inc. and…


FY20 Recap with ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski

Whether you look at our agency’s new technical programs, contracting operations, project follow-on-funding or our new hires, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 was another historic year for ARPA-E.  So on behalf of the Agency we would like to thank the President, Congress, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary and their staffs, as well as our external partners for their exceptional support in such a challenging year. Focused Programs The reason for our existence is breakthrough scientific research. In FY 2020 ARPA-E launched eleven Focused Programs with up to $342.5 million in total funding. Our…


Making Energy Storage and Electric Aviation "Cool"

ARPA-E’s mission to change the way we get, use, and store energy isn’t just something reflected in our broad technology R&D portfolio. It is ingrained in the very fabric of our agency’s structure. Since our programs tackle challenges across the energy technology spectrum, we’re constantly bringing in new staff with fresh perspectives and ideas to develop the energy technologies of tomorrow. Our Program Directors (PD) are our main source of these fresh perspectives and ideas. They come up with the ideas for our programs and lead program development and management for new technology…


ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 2

On August 12, 2020, Chevron Corporation announced their involvement in fusion-energy startup Zap Energy’s Series A fundraising round, through Chevron’s venture capital fund Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV). The investment was CTV’s 10th since its launch in 2018 and placed the total amount of Zap’s Series A fundraising round at $6.5M.[1] In the announcement, CTV highlighted their part in Zap’s Series A as an “…opportunity to enhance the company’s focus on a diverse portfolio of low-carbon energy resources with the capacity to provide communities across the globe access to affordable, reliable…