Open Funding Solicitation

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

Release Date:
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.
Press and General Inquiries Email:

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 - NOVEL RF PLASMA HEATING FOR LOW-RADIOACTIVITY COMPACT FUSION DEVICES(Informally AKA "Next Generation PFRC"- Princeton Field Reversed Configuration)
• 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