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 - A One-Step, Gas-to-Liquid Chemical Converter
Ceramatec - Mid-Temperature Fuel Cells for Vehicles
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 - Power Generation Using Solar-Heated Ground Air
Georgia Tech Research Corporation - High-Efficiency Solar Fuel Reactor
Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Graphene-Based Supercapacitors
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 (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