The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L.
110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L.
“(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in— (i) reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and (iii) improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under the programmatic authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C.
§ 1653 8. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R.
Part 200 as amended by 2 C.F.R.
Part 91 0. ARPA-E funds research on and the development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.
The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology.
For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see:
This FOA marks the fourth OPEN solicitation in the history of ARPA-E.
The previous OPEN solicitations were conducted at the inception of the agency in 2009 and again in 2012 and 201 5. OPEN 2018 therefore continues the three-year periodic cycle for ARPA-E OPEN solicitations.
An OPEN solicitation provides a vitally important mechanism for the support of innovative energy R&D that complements the other primary mechanism, which is through the solicitation of research projects in focused technology programs.
ARPA-E’s focused programs target specific areas of technology that the agency has identified, through extensive interaction with the appropriate external stakeholders, as having significant potential impact on one or more of the Mission Areas described in Section I.A of the FOA.
Awards made in response to the solicitation for focused programs support the aggressive technical targets established in that solicitation.
Taken in total, ARPA-E’s focused technology programs cover a significant portion of the spectrum of energy technologies and applications.
ARPA-E’s OPEN FOAs ensure that the agency does not miss opportunities to support innovative energy R&D that falls outside of the topics of the focused technology programs or that develop after focused solicitations have closed.
OPEN FOAs provide the agency with a remarkable sampling of new and emerging opportunities across the complete spectrum of energy applications and allow the agency to “take the pulse” of the energy R&D community.
OPEN FOAs have been and will continue to be the perfect complement to the agency’s focused technology programs – a unique combination of approaches for supporting the most innovative and current energy technology R&D.
Indeed, one third of the sixty projects featured in the first two volumes describing ARPA-E impacts stem from OPEN solicitations (https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=site-page/arpa-e-impact).
Potential applicants to this FOA are strongly encouraged to examine the OPEN projects in these two volumes and all of the projects supported in the previous three OPEN solicitations (https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=site-page/open) for examples of the creative and innovative R&D ARPA-E seeks in its OPEN solicitations.
The objective of an ARPA-E OPEN FOA is simple, yet comprehensive:
to support high-risk R&D leading to the development of potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications.
ARPA-E seeks to support early-stage, but potentially transformational research in all areas of energy R&D, covering transportation and stationary applications.
Areas of research responsive to this FOA include (but are not limited to) electricity generation by both conventional and renewable means; electricity transmission, storage, and distribution; energy efficiency for buildings, manufacturing and commerce, and personal use; and all aspects of transportation, including the production and distribution of both renewable and non-renewable fuels, electrification, and energy efficiency in transportation.
Because of the enormous breadth of energy technologies solicited under an OPEN FOA, it is impossible to provide the well-defined technical targets contained in an ARPA-E FOA for a focused technology program.
Rather, ARPA-E asks applicants to address the potential impact of the proposed technology on the agency’s Mission Areas:
reducing imported energy, reducing energy-related emissions, and improving energy efficiency.
The critical question for applicants to consider in assessing potential impact is:
“If it works, will it matter?” In a FOA for a focused technology program, this question has already been answered by ARPA-E.
If an applicant can demonstrate that the proposed technology can achieve the technical targets specified in the FOA for a focused program, the agency believes that the technology can have significant impact on the agency’s missions.
In an OPEN FOA, the burden of demonstrating potential impact lies solely upon the applicant, who must make the strongest possible case for why the proposed technology will matter – that it has the potential to change our energy future.
To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), please go the ARPA-E website at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov.