U.S. Department of Energy Announces $10 Million to Provide Flexible, Rapid Support for Transformational Energy Research

New ARPA-E Effort Aims to Quickly Identify Disruptive Energy Concepts Representing a Leap Beyond Today’s Technology

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $10 million in funding to support innovative energy concepts that challenge the status quo and promote groundbreaking clean energy solutions. This new effort—managed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)—would support concepts that, if successful, would represent a new paradigm in energy technology with the potential to make a significant impact toward reducing energy-related emissions, increasing energy independence, and enhancing the economic and energy security of the United States. Today’s announcement reinforces President Biden’s commitments to advance next-generation technologies that empower the United States to innovate and lead the world in addressing the climate crisis.

ARPA-E Spurring Projects to Advance energy Research and Knowledge Swiftly (SPARKS) awards are intended to be conducted over a period of 18 months or less to promptly transform and disrupt energy technology. An innovative concept alone is not enough; the idea must also have the potential to be impactful.

“We know it’s going to take all of us working together to achieve President Biden’s net-zero goals. ARPA-E is committed to looking at a wide range of ways we can support innovative energy R&D, which is why we’re unveiling a new tool to quickly support transformative ideas that fall outside our current focused programs,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “If you’re an inventor, researcher, engineer, or just someone with a novel energy idea you’ve been working on—we want to hear from you! This is your opportunity to be a part of changing what’s possible with energy technology.”

Awardee projects under this program may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provides the agency with information useful for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. Alternatively, awards may support proof-of-concept research for a particular new technology, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program. 

Applicants will identify a primary technical category for their proposed technology from the categories below:

  • Grid
  • Transportation
  • Buildings and Construction
  • Electricity Generation and Storage
  • Carbon Capture, Sequestration, and Utilization
  • Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization
  • Other Energy Technologies

You can access more information on ARPA-E eXCHANGE.