$150 Million Earmarked For Innovative Energy Projects

Scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers with quirky, dare we say, risky ideas that could lead to transformational changes in the way the United States generates its energy - listen up. The White House wants you. That’s right, The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), has issued a $150 million funding opportunity (FOA) to solve the nation’s most pressing energy challenges.

The open funding call supports the Obama administration’s approach to finding solutions to a wide range of energy problems in the United States. This is the second such invitation that provides federal funding for  breakthrough technologies that are often considered to risky for private sector investment. The first call for funding was issued in 2009. Individual awards under the latest Open FOA will range between $250,000 and $10 million.

image via U.S. Department of Energy

“Today we are calling on our nation’s best and brightest to catalyze energy breakthroughs in all areas imaginable through this Open Funding Opportunity Announcement, which illustrates the true purpose of ARPA-E,” ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar said in a statement.  “Innovation is our nation’s sweet spot, and it is critically important that we look at every possible energy solution in order to ensure America’s future prosperity and security.”

This announcement comes on the heals of another recently issued FOA to find Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE). That initiative will make $30 million available to find ways to harness domestic natural gas for vehicles.

To date, ARPA-E has funded a total of more than 180 projects, for $521.7 million in awards across 12 program areas.  Last year, the agency announced eleven of its projects that received $40 million from ARPA-E for innovative research were able to use this funding to demonstrate results which allowed these teams to secure more than $200 million in outside private capital investment.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.