SCALEUP 2021 Program Virtual Webinar

ARPA-E hosted the SCALEUP 2021 Program virtual webinar on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022. The webinar provided a high-level overview of the program and its objectives, highlighted key changes from SCALEUP 2019 Program, and included Questions and Answers from attendees. All responses to questions provided during the webinar will be posted on ARPA-E’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage located here:  If we were unable to address your question during the webinar, please submit your question(s) regarding the SCALEUP 2021 Funding Opportunity Announcement to Below is a recording of the webinar.

Program Overview

The Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential 2021 (SCALEUP 2021) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) language will control if there are any inconsistencies between the content provided below and the FOA. All Applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully read the SCALEUP 2021 FOA posted on December 16, 2021. 

What is SCALEUP 2021?

The SCALEUP 2021 program builds from ARPA-E’s primary research and development (R&D) focus to support the scaling of high-risk and potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications. The ARPA-E SCALEUP 2021 FOA is a means to address promising energy technologies that require scale-up, pre-pilot, or pilot projects to enable a path to market and ultimately lead to realized commercial impact.

What types of projects will SCALEUP 2021 fund?

The desire is to fund successful ARPA-E awarded technologies for which the proof-of-concept R&D challenges have been addressed, and which can establish real-world impact through scaling. Finalists selected for the SCALEUP 2021 will demonstrate a path to market and be well positioned for investment from the private sector (venture, strategic, philanthropic, internal, etc.).

How will ARPA-E select awardees?

The ARPA-E SCALEUP 2021 FOA award selection process consists of three phases:

  1. 1. Concept Paper submissions, resulting in notifications to Encourage/Discourage Full Applications from Applicants;
  2. 2. Applicants who will be invited to submit Full Applications, resulting in selection of Finalists;
  3. 3. Finalists, who will be invited to provide Oral Presentations, leading to award selections.

ARPA-E SCALEUP 2021 Selection Process Graphic

What are the key dates?

Below is a useful diagram highlighting the application process and key dates.

SCALEUP 2021 Key Dates

Am I eligible for the SCALEUP 2021 program?

To be eligible for SCALEUP 2021 funds, projects must be based upon inventions that were conceived through a prior ARPA-E award (“subject inventions”) with the intent to advance the innovative results to practical application. This FOA is open to the following Applicants:

  • • Current and former ARPA-E awardees (except educational institutions and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)/DOE Laboratories) that own/control subject invention(s) arising from their ARPA-E award(s);
  • • Entities that are licensees of subject invention(s) arising from any ARPA-E award(s); or
  • • Consortia – that have title to or are licensees of subject invention(s) arising from an ARPA-E award;
    •      - Must include one or more U.S. for-profit businesses.

Consortia may include for‐profit entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits that are incorporated in the United States (U.S.), including U.S. territories, and FFRDCs/DOE Laboratories. Consortia must designate one member as the consortium representative. The consortium representative must be incorporated in the United Sates. Each consortium must have an internal governance structure and a written set of internal rules. Upon request, the consortium entity must provide a written description of its internal governance structure and internal rules to the Contracting Officer (

Is SCALEUP 2021 for me?

I’m a Startup, Small Business, or Large Business

Start-ups, small businesses, and large businesses leveraging subject inventions that have resulted from ARPA-E awards are eligible and encouraged to apply to the SCALEUP 2021 FOA.

I’m a Research Institution

Since the goal of the SCALEUP 2021 program is to enable real-world impact through scaling and the commercialization of energy technologies, educational institutions and National Laboratories are not eligible to directly submit applications. However, these research-focused entities still may participate as sub-recipients and/or members of consortia. Educational institutions and National Laboratories that are/were ARPA-E awardees can also participate by licensing their inventions to companies that apply to the FOA.

I’m an Investor

Investors, such as venture capitalists and those from industry, are encouraged to engage with SCALEUP 2021 Applicants. Given the commercialization focus of the program, the SCALEUP 2021 FOA includes both required and optional partnering with investors and industrial stakeholders. Additional information on the SCALEUP 2021 FOA partnering requirements is discussed below in “Are There Partnering Requirements?”

What are the cost share requirements?

Depending on the composition of each Project Team, the provided cost share requirement will be at least 33.3% of the Total Project Cost under this program.

Project teams may qualify for a reduced cost share of 20% if they qualify under one of the following specified applicant categories:

  • • Small businesses – or consortia of small businesses – will provide at least 20% of the Total Project Cost as cost share.
  • • Project teams where a small business is the lead organization and small businesses perform greater than or equal to 80%, but less than 100%, of the total work under the funding agreement (as measured by the Total Project Cost) are entitled to the same cost share reduction provided to standalone small businesses or consortia of small businesses.

The Prime Recipient is solely responsible for managing cost share contributions by the project team and enforcing cost share obligations assumed by project team members in subawards or related agreements.

Refer to SCALEUP 2021 FOA Section III.C for cost share information.

Are there partnering requirements?

Applicants to the SCALEUP 2021 FOA must propose at least one Commercialization Partner (at the Full Application phase). Commercialization Partners may include potential customers, end-users, suppliers, corporate investors, manufacturers, distributors, etc. It is preferable for Applicants to have at least one Commercialization Partner that represents the viewpoint and needs of the target customer to help ensure market adoption for the technology after the completion of the SCALEUP 2021 project. Refer to the FOA for additional information on partnering for SCALEUP 2021.

Which components of the full application are new/different from SCALEUP 2019?

To streamline the application process SCALEUP 2021 eliminated the Preliminary Application, the Small Business Grant, and the Workshop elements of the FOA.

A Concept Paper phase was introduced that reduces the amount of information requested from the Applicant.

In addition, there are some key changes to the Full Application. The Full Application has a revised format that reduces written narratives and provides discrete components tailored for each data request.

Below is a high-level overview of the key changes to the SCALEUP 2021 FOA.

SCALEUP 2021 Key Changes Chart

Helpful Resources

Please refer to the General FAQs Section of ARPA-E’s website for answers to many questions about ARPA-E and ARPA-E’s Funding Opportunity Announcements. Please review all existing general FAQs and FOA-specific questions before submitting new questions to ARPA-E.

For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the “ARPA-E eXCHANGE Applicant Guide”.

For a detailed guide for ARPA-E awardees on iEdison can be found on the ARPA-E website here:

For the full Department of Energy press release on SCALEUP, click here.

To learn more about ARPA-E’s SCALEUP program click here. To apply for funding, visit ARPA-E EXCHANGE.