Open Funding Solicitation

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

Release Date:
Project Count:

Program Description:

In 2021, ARPA-E issued its fifth open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received thousands of concept papers for OPEN 2021, which hundreds of scientists and engineers reviewed over the course of several months. ARPA-E selected 68 projects for its OPEN 2021 program, awarding them $175 million in federal funding. OPEN 2021 projects cut across the technology areas of building efficiency, distributed energy resources, electrical efficiency, generation, grid, manufacturing efficiency, resource efficiency, storage, transportation energy conversion, transportation fuels, transportation network, transportation storage, 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 2021 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.


Developing new and sustainable energy 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

• Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) - Non-neutron Transmutation of Used Nuclear Fuel
• Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) - Advanced Facility Design and AI/ML Enabled Safeguards to Establish Secure, Economical Recycling of Fast Reactor Fuels
• Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) - A Zero-Emission Process for Direct Reduction of Iron by Hydrogen Plasma in a Rotary Kiln Reactor
• California Institute of Technology (CalTech) - A Hybrid Electrochemical and Catalytic Compression System for Direct Generation of High-Pressure Hydrogen at 700 Bar
• Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) - Ionomer-Free Electrodes for Ultrahigh Power Density Fuel Cells
• Columbia University - Lithium Ion Bobbin Cells for Grid Scale Energy Storage
• Columbia University - High Capacity Electrolyzers Based on Ultrathin Proton-Conducting Oxide Membranes
• Copernic Catalysts - In-Silico Heterogeneous Catalyst Design for GHG Reduction via Bulk Chemicals
• Cornell University - Field-Focused Load-Leveled Dynamic Wireless Charging System for Electric Vehicles
• Cornell University - Advancing a Low Carbon Built Environment With Inherent Utilization of Waste Concrete and CO2 via Integrated Electrochemical, Chemical and Biological Routes (ADVENT)
• Dimensional Energy - 3D-Printed 1000°C Silicon-Carbide Thermocatalytic CO2 Reactor with High Carbon Conversion and Energy Efficiencies
• Eden GeoPower - Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
• Fervo Energy - FervoFlex: Long duration in-reservoir energy storage and load-following, dispatchable geothermal generation
• Foro Energy - Eliminating Methane Emissions From Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells
• General Electric (GE) Global Research - Manufacturing High-Yield Investment Castings with Minimal-Energy
• General Electric (GE) Global Research - Lifted-Flame Combustion for High-Hydrogen Reheat Gas Turbines
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) - Surfactant-Free Multiphase Forming of Fiber Composite Products for Significant Reduction in Energy and CO2 Emission
• HighT-Tech - Scalable Manufacturing of High-Entropy Alloy Catalysts for Ammonia Oxidation
• Hinetics - Cryogen-Free Ultra-High Field Superconducting Electric Motor
• HRL Laboratories - Surface Laser Architected Magnets (SLAM)
• Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) - Direct Conversion of Flue Gas to Value-Added Chemicals Using a Carbon -Nuetral Process
• Makai Ocean Engineering - Remotely Installed Anchorages for Floating Offshore Wind and Other Offshore Renewables Cost Reduction
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - 8" GaN-on-Si Super Junction Devices for Next Generation Power Electronics
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Nitrogen Fertilizer: New Strategies for Low-energy, Low-emission Production and Use
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Liquid Immersion Blanket: Robust Accountancy (LIBRA)
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - ReSOURCE: The Carbon Negative Biorefinery of the Future
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Repurposing Infrastructure for Gravity Storage using Underground Potential energy (RIGS UP)
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Incorporating Record-Breaking Catalysts in Electrospun Bipolar Membranes for Low-Cost Carbon Capture via Salt Splitting
• North Carolina State University (NC State) - Intensified Alkenyl Benzenes Production via Modular Redox Dehydrogenation
• North Carolina State University (NC State) - Microgrid Control/Coordination Co-Design (MicroC3)
• Northeastern University - High-Performance and Miniature Greenhouse Gas Sensor for Drone-based Remote Sensing
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - Precipitation Strengthened Ni-Based Alloys for Liquid Salt Containment and Transport in Energy Systems
• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - Advanced Manufacturing of High-Entropy Alloys as Cost-Effective Plasma Facing Components for Fusion Power Generation
• Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) - CACTUS: CO2 Aerogel Capture Towards Utilization and Sequestration
• Parallel Systems - Transformative Rail Architecture to Decarbonize Freight
• Perlumi Chemicals - Novel Biological Carbon Fixation Pathway to Increase Plant Yield
• Polymath Research - Longer Wavelength Lasers for Inertial Fusion Energy with Laser-Plasma Instability Control: Machine Learning Optimum Spike Trains of Uneven Duration and Delay (STUD Pulses)
• Pratt & Whitney - Hydrogen Steam and Inter-Cooled Turbine Engine (HySITE)
• Precision Combustion (PCI) - Additively-Manufactured Electrochemical-Chip Based Scalable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
• Princeton University - Economical Proton-Boron11 Fusion
• Rio Tinto Services - Assessment of the CO2 Mineralization Potential of Tamarack’s Ultramafic Bowl-Shaped Intrusion
• Siemens - PICo-Design: Protection-Inverter Co-Design for 100% Renewable Power Systems
• SixPoint Materials - Vertical GaN Photoconductive Semiconductor Switch for HVDC Breakers
• Stanford University - Additive Manufacturing of Amorphous Metal Soft Magnetic Composites
• Sublime Systems - Electrochemical Upcycling for Low-CO2 Materials Production
• Synteris - Breaking the Board: Bringing 3 Dimensional Packaging and Thermal Management to Power Electronics
• Texas Tech University - Semiconductor Fast Neutron Detectors
• The Ohio State University - Vehicle Traction Electric Machines Enabled by Novel Composite Magnetic Powder Material and Electrophoretic Deposition Insulation Material
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Mesh Network of Soil Sensors for Greenhouse Gas Monitoring of Biofuel Agriculture
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Integrated System for Electromicrobial Production of Butanol from Air-Captured CO2
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Ultra Light-weight Bidirectional DC-DC Converters for Electric Aircrafts
• University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - AMENDER: Seawater Mediated Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Removal
• University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) - Quantifying the Potential and Risks of Large-scale Macroalgae Cultivation and Purposeful Sequestration as a Viable CO2 Reduction (CDR) Strategy
• University of Delaware (UD) - Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Lightweight Composite Architected Structures for Transporation Vehicles
• University of Houston - Lithium- and Transition Metal-Free High-Energy Fast-Charging Batteries
• University of Houston - Mini-PulPS: Miniaturized Pulsed Power Systems for Mission Critical Applications
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Ultra-Efficient and Ultra-Rapid Electro-Thermal Pulse Deicing, Defrosting, and Desnowing for Renewable Energy and Electrified Aircraft Systems
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Green Light Emitting Diodes for the Ultimate Solid-State Lighting
• University of Maryland (UMD) - Fast Charging, Solid-State, Roll-to-Roll Processed Li Metal Batteries Enabled by Intercalated Ions in Cellulose Molecular Channels
• University of Michigan - Battery Separator for Completely Stopping Dendrite
• University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) - Microfluidic Alpha Spectrometer for Materials Accountancy and Control in Liquid-Fueled Molten Salt Reactors
• University of Washington (UW) - Harvesting Infrared Light to Improve Photosynthetic Biomass Production
• VEIR - High Current 10kV DC Superconducting Transmission Lines and Grid Architecture
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - Substation in a Cable for Adaptable, Low-cost Electrical Distribution (SCALED)