ARPA-E funding project modeled after successful Defense program
The Department of Energy today announced major funding for 37 "transformational" energy research projects — projects that focus on a range of topics from an ultrahigh efficiency engine for plug-in hybrids, to advanced algal biofuels and smart grid research.
The $151 million in funding is being awarded through the Department's recently-formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The 37 recipients were culled from a highly-competitive program that saw 3,600 initial concept papers received. Of those, approximately 300 full applications were requested and put through a rigorous review process.
"ARPA-E is a crucial part of the new effort by the U.S. to spur the next Industrial Revolution in clean energy technologies, creating thousands of new jobs and helping cut carbon pollution," said Energy Secretary Stephen Chu today in announcing the selections.
Included in the list of funding recipients were several smart-grid research projects, pleasing industry groups. “Having the President championing smart grid sends a critical message to consumers and companies that the U.S. is serious about investments in our energy future,” said Katherine Hamilton, President of the Gridwise Alliance, a a consortium of over 100 public and private organizations working to transform the nation's electric grid.
Today's announcement marks the first round of projects funded under ARPA-E, which is receiving total of $400 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, putting "an exclamation point on the Administration’s work to date advancing smart grid,” said Hamilton.
The 37 project grants grants will go to research being conducted in 17 states. Of the lead recipients, 43% are small businesses, 35% are educational institutions, and 19% are large corporations.
President Obama announced $400 million in initial funding for ARPA-E through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in April, as part of the largest federal commitment to science in American history.
Created to support high risk, high reward energy research that can provide transformative new solutions for climate change and energy security, ARPA-E was established under the America Competes Act of 2007, and inspired by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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