Release Date:
Project Count:

Program Description:

In 2015, ARPA-E issued its third open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 2,000 concept papers for OPEN 2015, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 41 projects for its OPEN 2015 program, awarding them a total of $125 million in federal funding. OPEN 2015 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, industrial processes and waste heat, data management and communication, wind, solar, tidal and distributed generation, grid scale storage, power electronics, power grid system performance, vehicle efficiency, storage for electric vehicles, and alternative fuels and bio-energy.

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 2015 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

Accio Energy - New Option for Wind Energy
Achates Power - Efficient Engine Design
Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation - High-Efficiency Titanium Production
Case Western Reserve University - Virtual Building Energy Audits
Colorado State University (CSU) - Paintable Heat-Reflective Coatings for Low-Cost Energy Efficient Windows
Colorado State University (CSU) - Heat-Reflective Window Coating
Cummins Corporate Research & Technology - High-Efficiency Engines
Dioxide Materials - Alkaline Water Electrolyzer for Improved Power-To-Gas System
Gas Technology Institute (GTI) - Reactor Engine
General Electric (GE) Global Research - Silicon Carbide Superjunction
INFINIUM - Low-Energy Magnesium Recycling
Iowa State University (ISU) - Low-Cost, Robust Battery
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - High-Efficiency PV Cells
Newton Energy Group - Gas-Electric Co-Optimization
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - Robust Metal Alloys
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - Novel Proton-Selective Membranes For Energy Storage
Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) - Marine Hydrokinetic Turbine
Oregon State University (OSU) - Natural Gas to Fuels
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - Power-Grid Optimization
Pajarito Powder - High-Efficiency Hydrogen Production
Princeton Optronics - New Device Architecture For Faster Data Transfer
ProsumerGrid - Distribution Operator Simulation Studio
Proton Energy Systems - Energy Conversion and Storage System
RedWave Energy - Electricity from Waste-Heat Harvesting
Stanford University - High-Efficiency Energy Converters
Starfire Energy - Energy-Efficient and Economical Ammonia Production
Texas A&M Agrilife Research - Radar for Bioenergy Crop Imaging
The Mackinac Technology Company - Single Pane Window Retrofit System
Tibbar Technologies - Plasma-Based Electrical Transformers
University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) - High-Efficiency Data Transfer
University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) - Laser-Based Solid State Lighting
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Biomass Water Efficiency
University of Michigan - Enhanced Engine Improvements
University of New Mexico (UNM) - Efficient Ammonia Production
University of Tennessee (UT) - Advanced Bioengineering for Biofuels
University of Tennessee (UT) - Smart and Flexible Microgrid
University of Virginia (UVA) - Ultra-Large Wind Turbine
Vanderbilt University - Software for Smarter Grids
Zakuro - Transitioning Advanced Ceramic Electrolytes into Manufacturable Solid-State EV Batteries