Open Funding Solicitation

Building Efficiency
Distributed Energy Resources
Electrical Efficiency
Manufacturing Efficiency
Resource Efficiency
Transportation Energy Conversion
Transportation Fuels
Transportation Storage
Transportation Vehicles

Release Date:
Project Count:

Program Description:

In 2012, ARPA-E issued its second open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 4,000 concept papers for OPEN 2012, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 66 projects for its OPEN 2012 program, awarding them a total of $130 million in federal funding. OPEN 2012 projects cut across 11 technology areas: advanced fuels, advanced vehicle design and materials, building efficiency, carbon capture, grid modernization, renewable power, stationary power generation, water, as well as stationary, thermal, and transportation energy storage.

Innovation Need:

Much of ARPA-E’s funding is awarded to projects in specific energy-related technology areas, but ARPA-E also provides open funding opportunities for high-potential projects that address the full range of energy-related technologies and concepts. ARPA-E’s “OPEN” funding opportunities are announced periodically and evaluated based on their compatibility with ARPA-E’s mission, the novelty of their approach to energy innovation, and the extent to which they meet technical needs currently underserved by other parts of Department of Energy (DOE) or the private sector.

Potential Impact:

If successful, the game-changing projects from OPEN 2012 would help ARPA-E achieve its mission and ensure the U.S. maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.


Increased access to and use of domestically produced sources of energy would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increase our nation’s energy security.


Developing new and renewable sources of energy would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels that create harmful greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global warming.


Inexpensive sources of energy would help the millions of American consumers and small business owners who can’t afford the energy they need to live and work.


Program Director:
Multiple Program Directors manage this program. For specific PD information please refer to the project slick sheet.
Press and General Inquiries Email:

Project Listing

• Adaptive Surface Technologies - Slippery Coatings to Promote Energy Conversion
• Alveo Energy - Prussian Blue Dye Batteries
• Applied Materials - Low-Cost Silicon Wafers for Solar Modules
• Arizona State University (ASU) - Electrochemical Carbon Capture
• Bio2Electric - Electrogenerative Gas-to-Liquid Reactor
• Brown University - Customized Tidal Power Conversion Devices
• California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Improving Solar Generation Efficiency with Solar Modules
• Case Western Reserve University - All-Iron Flow Battery
• Ceramatec - Mid-Temperature Fuel Cells for Vehicles
• Ceramatec - A One-Step, Gas-to-Liquid Chemical Converter
• Colorado State University (CSU) - More Options for Bioenergy Crops
• Cornell University - Efficient Photobioreactor for Algae-Based Fuel
• Dioxide Materials - Converting CO2 into Fuel and Chemicals
• Electron Energy Corporation (EEC) - New Processing Technology for Permanent Magnets
• eNova - Waste Heat-Powered Gas Compressor
• Evolva - High Performance Aviation Fuels from Terpenes
• Gas Technology Institute (GTI) - Efficient Natural Gas-to-Methanol Conversion
• General Electric (GE) Global Research - High-Power Gas Tube Switches
• General Electric (GE) Power & Water - Fabric-Based Wind Turbine Blades
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - High-Efficiency Solar Fuel Reactor
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Graphene-Based Supercapacitors
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Power Generation Using Solar-Heated Ground Air
• Glint Photonics - Self-Tracking Concentrator Photovoltaics
• Grid Logic - High-Power Superconductors
• Harvard University - Organic Flow Battery for Energy Storage
• HexaTech - Semiconductors that Improve Electricity Flow
• Integral Consulting - Measuring Real-Time Wave Data with Ocean Wave Buoy
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Scalable, Low-Power Water Treatment System
• MicroLink Devices - High-Efficiency Solar Cells
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Efficient Plastic Solar Cells
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Solar Thermoelectric Generator
• Otherlab - Small Mirrors for Solar Power Tower Plants
• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - Real-Time Transmission Optimization
• Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) - Innovative Manufacturing Process for Li-Ion Batteries
• Plant Sensory Systems (PSS) - Better Biofuel Feedstock from Beets
• PolyPlus Battery Company - Low-Cost, High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
• Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) - Efficient Conversion of Natural Gas
• Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) - Continuous Detonation Engine Combustors
• RamGoss - High-Performance Transistors
• Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) - High-Power Transistor Switch
• Research Triangle Institute (RTI) - Compact Inexpensive Reformers for Natural Gas
• Sharp Laboratories of America - Sodium-Based Energy Storage
• Silicon Power - Optical Switches for High-Power Systems
• Stanford University - Radiative Coolers for Rooftops and Cars
• Tai-Yang Research Company (TYRC) - High-Power, Low-Cost Superconducting Cable
• Teledyne Scientific & Imaging - High Energy Density Potassium-Based Flow Battery
• Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) - Electricity from Low-Temperature Waste Heat
• United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - Additive Manufacturing for Electric Vehicle Motors
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Measuring Phase Angle Change in Power Lines
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Rapid Building Energy Modeler - RAPMOD
• University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) - Boosted Capacitors
• University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) - Efficient Collection of Concentrated Solar
• University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) - Small-Scale Reactors for Natural Gas Conversion
• University of Delaware (UD) - High-Storage Double-Membrane Flow Battery
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Power Grid Security
• University of Minnesota (UMN) - Ultra-Thin Membranes for Biofuels Production
• University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) - Fire-Resistant Solid Electrolytes
• University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (UND-EERC) - Water-Efficient Power Generation
• University of Pittsburgh - CO2 Thickeners for Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery
• University of Southern California (USC) - Inexpensive, Metal-free, Organic Flow Battery
• University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) - High Throughput Bioengineering of Switchgrass
• University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) - Smart Window Coatings
• University of Washington (UW) - Microbe-Based Methane to Diesel Conversion
• University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) - Turning Sunlight, CO2, and Water into Fuel
• Vorbeck Materials - High-Performance, Low-Cost Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
• Yale University - Closed-Loop System Using Waste Heat for Electricity