“It takes time for an innovation to grow in scale.”
These words come from Dr. Arun Majumdar, head of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, otherwise known as ARPA-E. This agency, which held this week its third annual Energy Innovation Summit in Washington D.C., sits at the intersection of cutting edge clean technology and the public/private partnership relationship. Designed “to bring a freshness, excitement, and sense of mission to energy research that will attract many of the U.S.’s best and brightest minds,” it is the primary government agency which aids in bridging “the gap between basic energy research and development/industrial innovation.”
Some would say clean energy innovation in the United States right now is at a bit of a crossroads, given that it is a presidential election year that has seen the current administration bloodied somewhat by issues around the Solyndra bankruptcy. Wandering the expo hall at the Energy Innovation Summit, however, you would see that a new wave of fresh college student, entrepreneur, public scientist and private sector believers don’t bat an eye as they tell you about why the new technology they are helping to develop could be one of the next big things in green technology.
“There is no silver bullet in energy.”
These words, again from Majumdar, define the scope of what was showcased in this summit. We walked the hall, talked with some of the innovators and present for you here a photo gallery of some of the more interesting ideas we came across. As you look over each of these interesting offerings, consider these words from Majumdar as well:
“Our bread and butter is the best science and technology innovation in the world.”