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…


Turning Ideas Into Reality - Projects In Progress X

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, we introduced a new series to highlight the transformational technology our project teams are developing across the energy portfolio. One area of interest is the electricity grid. Advanced grid control…


Waste Into X and the MIDAS Touch

by Nicholas Rodricks, ARPA-E Summer Scholar Trash has a way of going unnoticed. Whether an apple core, a bag of chips, or an old microwave, we give little thought to throwing away everyday items. In reality, our trash’s journey is only just beginning when we throw it in the garbage. The quantity of our garbage is staggering, and with concerns around pollution and storage, the U.S. still struggles to answer the question “where should it all go?” U.S recycling rates are still relatively low, so it is important that we create ways to derive value while also reducing our waste stream. ARPA-…


Prevention and Abatement of Methane Emissions

Update: ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Jack Lewnard held a webinar on reducing methane emissions on November 10, 2020. Presentation slides from the webinar are available here. A video recording of the presentation can be seen below: Traditional 100-year metrics for measuring greenhouse gas emissions show that methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential (GWP) 28-36 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2)[A]. While this may be the case on a 100-year scale, many researchers actually recommend using a 20-year metric because methane has a relatively short life…