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Project Count:

Program Description:

In 2018, ARPA-E issued its fourth open funding opportunity, designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received thousands of concept papers for OPEN 2018, which hundreds of scientists and engineers reviewed over the course of several months. ARPA-E selected 45 projects for its OPEN 2018 program, awarding them $112 million in federal funding. OPEN 2018 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, distributed generation, electrical efficiency, grid, grid storage, manufacturing efficiency, resource efficiency, transportation fuels, transportation energy conversion, and transportation vehicles.

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 announces OPEN funding opportunities periodically and evaluates submissions based on their compatibility with the agency’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 the Department of Energy or private sector.

Potential Impact:

Game-changing advancements from OPEN 2018 would help ARPA-E achieve its mission and ensure the U.S. maintains a lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.


Increased access to, and use of, domestically produced sources of energy would help increase U.S. energy independence and energy security.


Developing new and sustainable energy sources sources reduces U.S. reliance on fossil fuels that create harmful greenhouse gas emissions.


Inexpensive energy sources would help reduce costs to millions of American consumers and small business owners.


Program Director:
Multiple Program Directors manage this program. For specific PD information please refer to the project slick sheet.
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Project Listing

3M - Passive Radiative Cooling Film
ABB - Economical Data-fused Grid Edge Processor (EDGEPRO) for Future Distribution Grid Control Applications
Achates Power - Highly-Efficient Opposed Piston Engine For Hybrid Vehicles (“HOPE-Hybrid”)
Advanced Magnet Lab - Homopolar Machines Enabled With Electron Current Transfer Technology
AltaRock Energy - Millimeter-Wave Technology Demonstration for Geothermal Direct Energy Drilling
Aquanis - Active Aerodynamic Load Control for Wind Turbines
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sensor Enabled Modeling of Future Distribution Systems with Distributed Energy Resources
Arizona State University (ASU) - Mining Air for Fuels and Fine Chemicals
Brayton Energy - Low-Cost Dispatchable CSP Engine For Residential Power
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) - Additive Manufacturing of Spacer Grids for Nuclear Reactors
Colorado School of Mines - Efficient Hydrogen and Ammonia Production via Process Intensification and Integration
Creare - Closed-Loop 5-kWe Brayton-Cycle Microturbine with 38% Efficiency: Advanced Generator Technology Designed for Inexpensive Mass-Production
CTFusion - HIT-TD: Plasma Driver Technology Demonstration for Economical Fusion Power Plants
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center - Augmented Reality GUI for Bioenergy Crop Phenotyping and Precision Agriculture
Ecolectro - Modular UltraStable Alkaline Exchange Ionomers to Enable High Performing Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Systems
Foro Energy - High Power Laser Decommissioning Tool
Geegah - Integrated Gigahertz Ultrasonic Imager for Soil: Towards Targeted Water and Pesticide Delivery for Biomass Production
General Electric (GE) Global Research - Advanced Medium Voltage SiC-SJ FETs with Ultra-Low On-resistance
Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Resilient, Cyber Secure Centralized Substation Protection
Georgia Tech Research Corporation - High Power Density Compact Drive Integrated Motor for Electric Transportation
GridBright - Secure Grid Data Exchange Using Cryptography, Peer-to-Peer Networks, and Blockchain Ledgers
Harvard University - GaN NMR Spectrometer Integrated Circuits Towards Broadly Distributed On-line Monitoring and Management of Subsurface Oil/Gas Reservoirs and Downstream
Hewlett Packard Labs - Ultra-Energy-Efficient Integrated DWDM Optical Interconnect
Ionic Materials - Novel Polymer-Enabled Rechargeable Aluminum-Alkaline Battery Technology
Johns Hopkins University - Carbon Dioxide-Free Hydrogen and Solid Carbon from Natural Gas via Metal Salt Intermediates
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) - MEMS RF Accelerators For Nuclear Energy and Advanced Manufacturing
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) - Metal-Supported SOFCs for Ethanol-Fueled Vehicles
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) - Stable Diacid Coordinated Quaternary Ammonium Polymers for 80-150°C Fuel Cells
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) - Advanced Manufacturing of Embedded Heat Pipe Nuclear Hybrid Reactor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Multimetallic Layered Composites (MMLCs) for Rapid, Economical Advanced Reactor Deployment
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Thermal Energy Grid Storage (TEGS) Using Multi-Junction Photovoltaics (MPV)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - CarbonHouse
NanoComp - High Value Energy Saving Carbon Products and Clean Hydrogen Gas from Methane
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - RePED 250: A Revolutionary, High-Drilling Rate, High-T Geothermal Drilling System and Companion (250 - 350°C) Power Electronics
Neuvokas - Energy Efficient, Incrementally Scalable, Continuous Basalt Fiber Manufacturing Process
Northeastern University - Zero-Power Wireless Infrared Digitizing Sensors for Large Scale Energy-Smart Farm
Ocean Era - KRuMBS: Kyphosid Ruminant Microbial Biodigestion of Seaweeds
Oregon State University (OSU) - Freshwater Recovery System for Hydraulic Fracturing (FRESH-Frac) using a Thermally-Actuated Nozzle-Demister
Otherlab - Hydraulically Actuated Near-Isothermal Compressor
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - High Performance Adaptive Deep-Reinforcement-Learning-based Real-time Emergency Control (HADREC) to Enhance Power Grid Resilience in Stochastic Environment
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) - Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis with a Nitride Ion Conducting Electrolyte
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) - High-throughput Methane Pyrolysis for Low-cost, Emissions-free Hydrogen
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Integration of Sensors Through Additive Manufacturing Leading to Increased Efficiencies of Gas Turbines for Power Generation and Propulsion
PingThings - A National Infrastructure for Artificial Intelligence on the Grid
Pinnacle Engines - Design and Demonstration of an Electrification-Enabled Full-Featured Opposed Piston 4-Stroke Engine for Use in Hybrid and Range-Extender Applications
Princeton Fusion Systems - Next-Generation PFRC
Qromis - P-Type Gallium Nitride Doping by Controlled Magnesium Diffusion
Rice University - From Hydrocarbon Feedstock to Recyclable Carbon-Based Automotive Bodies with Positive Hydrogen Output
Rutgers University - Microbial Curing of Cement for Energy Applications
Sandia National Laboratories - Transformers for a Modernized Grid
Sandia National Laboratories - 20 kV Gallium Nitride pn Diode Electro-Magnetic Pulse Arrestor for Grid Reliability
Siemens - ReNew100 - Reliable Power System Operation with 100% Renewable Generation
Sila Nanotechnologies - Drop-in Replacement Materials from Abundant Resources to Double Energy in EV Batteries
Sonrisa Research - A New Class of SiC Power MOSFETs with Record-Low Resistance
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) - Grid-Scale Electricity Storage at Lowest Possible Cost Enabled by Pumped Heat Electricity Storage
Stanford University - Exploring the Limits of Cooling for Extreme Heat Flux Applications: Data Centers and Power Electronics
Supercool Metals - Thermoplastic Forming of Bulk Metallic Glasses for Energy Efficiency in Transportation
Syzygy Plasmonics - Photocatalytic Steam Methane Reforming for Hydrogen Production
The Ohio State University - GaN MOCVD Growth on Native Substrates for High Voltage (15-20 KV) Vertical Power Devices
The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Polytechnic) - SMART SiC Power ICs (Scalable, Manufacturable, and Robust Technology for SiC Power Integrated Circuits)
United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - Systematic Communication Objectives and Teleportation Technology Investigations and Evaluations (SCOTTIE)
University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) - Low-cost, Easy-to-integrate, and Reliable Grid Energy Storage System with 2nd Life Lithium Batteries
University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) - FRESCO: FREquency Stabilized Coherent Optical Low-Energy WDM DC Interconnects
University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) - Precision Agriculture using Networks of Degradable Analytical Sensors (PANDAS)
University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) - Nanomanufacturing of Nanophononic Devices: Ultra-High ZT Thermoelectrics for Efficient Conversion of Waste Heat
University of Delaware (UD) - Advanced Alkaline Membrane H2/Air Fuel Cell System with Novel Technique for Air CO2
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Megawatt-scale Power-Electronic-Integrated Generator with Controlled Dc Output
University of Maryland (UMD) - Superstrong, Low-Cost Wood for Lightweight Vehicles
University of Michigan - Overcoming the Technical Challenges of Coordinating Distributed Load Resources at Scale
University of Minnesota (UMN) - Rapidly Viable and Sustained Grid
University of Oklahoma - An Innovative Zero-Liquid Discharge Intermediate-Cold-Liquid Eutectic-Freeze Desalination System
University of Utah - Ultra-Low Power Sensor Network
University of Virginia (UVA) - Reinventing CEMENT: Carbonation-Enabled Mineralization to Engender Novel Technology
University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) - Accelerated Materials Design for Molten Salt Technologies Using Innovative High-Throughput Methods
University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) - A Persistence Meter for Nimble Alarming Using Ambient Synchrophasor Data
Vanderbilt University - Bipolar Membranes with an Electrospun 3D Junction
Via Separations - Scalable Graphene Oxide Membranes for Energy-Efficient Chemical Separations
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - 20-kV GaN Switch Technology Demonstrated in High-Efficiency Medium-Voltage Building Block
Zap Energy - Electrode Technology Development for the Sheared-Flow Z-Pinch Fusion Reactor