The Future, Faster: Day 1 of the 2023 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit
The 2023 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is in full swing here in National Harbor, MD. The Summit began with opening remarks from ARPA-E Director Evelyn Wang. Director Wang shared her journey from being a four-time ARPA-E performer to current ARPA-E Director shaping the direction of the Agency. She reaffirmed her confidence in people’s capacity to transform the energy landscape “when there’s a unified focus on tackling real-world challenges quickly.”
ARPA-E Director Dr. Evelyn N. Wang
“Together, we can develop real, clean energy solutions that are scalable, deployable, and economically realistic,” said Director Wang regarding the energy community’s response to the global energy and climate crisis. Director Wang also highlighted some ARPA-E performers who sprouted from meetings and conversations had at previous ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summits and similar events, including REEgen, Brimstone Energy, and Ampaire. Following an energized start to the Summit from Director Wang, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm joined the Main Stage for a Keynote Address spotlighting ARPA-E’s role as the moonshot factory supporting hundreds of projects aiming to push the boundaries of what’s possible in energy technology. Secretary Granholm emphasized the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to making the United States the most attractive destination for investments in clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainability, and decarbonization technologies. The administration has put in place technology-neutral investment and production tax credits for the next 10 years, offering investors a rare degree of certainty to back big bets.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm
Secretary Granholm also sat down for a Fireside Chat with Dr. Shreya Dave, CEO of Via Separations, Dr. Leah Ellis, CEO of Sublime Systems, and Joe Zhou, CEO of Quidnet Energy, to discuss ARPA-E’s impact on getting their companies off the ground, how the outlook for their companies changed since passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, and deploying their companies at scale in the next 5 years.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Dr. Leah Ellis, Dr. Shreya Dave, and Joe Zhou
After her Keynote Address, Secretary Granholm toured the largest ever Technology Showcase, visiting the ARPA-E performers listed below to discuss their breakthrough energy technologies:
X-Energy – X-Energy’s digital twin project aims to reduce the fixed operation and management cost of its advanced nuclear reactor design to $2/MWh.
GE PLUTO - PipeLine Underground Trenchless Overhaul (PLUTO) is a long-distance, minimally invasive pipe repair system that provides structural rehabilitation of gas pipelines faster, more efficiently, and less expensively than traditional open-cut excavation replacement.
InventWood - InventWood will contribute to the decarbonization of buildings and enable them to store significantly greater amounts of carbon by scaling up a game-changing wood material, MettleWood, that is 60% stronger than construction grade steel but 80% lighter, much less expensive, and far more sustainable.
Imagen Energy - Imagen Energy will use software- and network-enabled smart charging solutions to scale up and pilot deployment of high-power density, efficient, cost-effective, and convenient U.S.-manufactured electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment.
Bridger Photonics - Bridger Photonics’ Gas Mapping LiDARTM (GML) methane detection technology is composed of LiDAR sensors and analytics that provides a new method of leak detection for oil and gas companies to address issues of cost efficiency, optimize the use of resources, and provide actionable data to use for actual methane reduction.
Georgia Tech - Georgia Tech is developing a novel hybrid direct current (DC) circuit breaker that could enable multi-terminal DC power systems.
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - The UC Berkeley) team has developed an innovative vehicle dynamics and powertrain (VD&PT) control architecture based on a predictive and data-driven approach.
X-Energy's Dr. Ian Davis and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm
In between Keynote Addresses from the past and present Secretaries of Energy, Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves held a Fireside chat discussing the changing energy landscape and the impact their respective departments have on its future.
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves and Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk
Following both Deputy Secretaries, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz took the Main Stage to emphasize the importance of firm power generation, clean fuels, and carbon capture.
Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz
The Honorable Arati Prabhakar, Director of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (WHOSTP), and Dr. David M. Hart, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University sat down together for a Fireside Chat.
WHOSTP Director Arati Prabhakar and Dr. David M. Hart
Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures took the Main Stage to give a Keynote Address highlighting the 12 most important areas in climate tech and encouraging new entrepreneurs to be bold.
At noon, attendees gathered at the Government Agency Networking Program, enjoying lunch while networking with representatives from federal, state, and international government agencies to discuss research interests, funding solicitations, grants, and other partnership opportunities.
Government Agency Networking Program
Program Director Dr. Halle Cheeseman, Program Director Dr. Peter de Bock, Fellow Dr. Julia Greenwald, Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard, and Program Director Dr. Laurent Pilon gave Fast Pitches on Batteries and Storage discussing the large amount of storage needed for renewable grid, how to store energy on heavy transport, and the circular battery economy, followed by a Q&A session.
ARPA-E Fast Pitches - Program Director Dr. Halle Cheeseman, Program Director Dr. Peter de Bock, Fellow Dr. Julia Greenwald, Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard, and Program Director Dr. Laurent Pilon
Afternoon Breakout Panels included:
“Lab to Impact: Maximizing Success with Technology Licensing Offices” with Dr. Christina Chang, Partner at Lowercarbon Capital, Dylan Adams, Patent Attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine, Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, Co-Founder at Form Energy, Sublime Systems, Desktop Metal, 24M Technologies and A123 Systems, and Deirdre Zammit, Associate Director of Licensing at MIT Technology Licensing Office.
ARPA-E Breakout Panel - Dr. Christina Chang, Dierdre Zammit, Dylan Adams, Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang
“Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy Given the Recent Achievement of Ignition at the National Ignition Facility” with Dr. Tammy Ma, Lead of the Inertial Fusion Energy Initiative at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dr. Kramer Akli, Program Manager at DOE Office of Science, Dr. Carly Anderson, Principal at Prelude Ventures, and Dr. Susana Reyes, VP of Chamber and Plant Design at Xcimer Energy.
ARPA-E Breakout Panel - Dr. Tammy Ma, Dr. Susana Reyes, and Dr. Kramer Akli
The afternoon Fast Pitches given by Fellow Dr. Katharine Greco, Fellow Dr. Jonathan Melville, Program Director Dr. James Seaba, Program Director Dr. Olga Spahn, and Program Director Dr. Douglas Wicks discussed Industrial Processes, including new reactor technologies, new fuels including geologic hydrogen and synthetic coal, and rethinking reactivity routes. They were also followed by a Q&A session.
ARPA-E Fast Pitches - Fellow Dr. Jonathan Melville, Program Director Dr. Douglas Wicks, Program Director Dr. Olga Spahn, Program Director Dr. James Seaba, and Fellow Dr. Katharine Greco
Evening Breakout Panels included:
Decarbonizing the “Bus Stop” of the Future: Innovations in Urban Transportation with Dr. Robert Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology at U.S. Department of Transportation, Benjamin de la Peña, Chief Executive Officer of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, Carolyn Gonot, General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and Gabe Klein, Executive Director of the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
ARPA-E Breakout Panel - Dr. Robert Hampshire, Gabe Klein, Carolyn Gonot, and Benjamin de la Peña
Beyond VC: Alternative Funding Sources for Startups with Hilary Flynn, Managing Director of Investments at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Jackie Logan, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Raise Green, Max Tuttman, Principal of The Ad Hoc Group, and Jonah Wagner, Chief Strategist of the Department of Energy Loan Program Office.
ARPA-E Breakout Panel - Max Tuttman, Jackie Logan, Jonah Wagner, and Hilary Flynn
Day 1 ended with the popular Technology Showcase – our largest ever with 400+ exhibitors. ARPA-E awardees and a select group of external organizations gathered on the Showcase floor to exhibit groundbreaking energy technologies. Attendees had the opportunity to interface directly with the teams working on these technologies and experiencing some of their work in real life.
Technology demonstrations held at the Technology Showcase included:
ARPA-E GEMINA performer X-Energy Nuclear demoed their advanced operation & maintenance techniques implemented in the Xe-100 plant digital twin
Tech Demo - X-Energy Nuclear
ARPA-E ROOTS performer Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demoed their low-cost non-destructive plant root phenotyping
Tech Demo - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
ARPA-E SCALEUP performer LongPath Technologies demoed their Basin-SCAN: a Basin Scale Continuous oil and gas emissions mitigAtion Network
Tech Demo - LongPath Technologies
ARPA-E SCALEUP awardee Niron Magnetics demoed their pilot production for commercial sampling of rare-earth-free iron nitride permanent magnets
Tech Demo - Niron Magnetics
The day ended with the Energy Commercialization Partners Networking Event where ARPA-E project teams, researchers, entrepreneurs, and others discussed their research interests, services, and financial resources.
Energy Commercialization Partners Networking Event
Follow @ARPAE on Twitter for live updates of Day 2 and join the conversation by using #ARPAE23.