Submarine Hydrokinetic and Riverine Kilo-Megawatt Systems (SHARKS) SBIR/STTR Agency Overview 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

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by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L.

111-358) to:
“(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:

ARPA-E funds transformational research.

Existing energy technologies generally progress on established “learning curves” where refinements to a technology and the economies of scale that accrue as manufacturing and distribution to develop drive down the cost/performance metric in a gradual fashion.

This continual improvement of a technology is important to its increased commercial deployment and is appropriately the focus of the private sector or the applied technology offices within DOE.

By contrast, ARPA-E supports transformative research that has the potential to create fundamentally new learning curves.

ARPA-E technology projects typically start with cost/performance estimates well above the level of an incumbent technology.

Given the high risk inherent in these projects, many will fail to progress, but some may succeed in generating a new learning curve with a projected cost/performance metric that is significantly lower than that of the incumbent technology.

ARPA-E funds technology with the potential to be disruptive in the marketplace.

The mere creation of a new learning curve does not ensure market penetration.

Rather, the ultimate value of a technology is determined by the marketplace, and impactful technologies ultimately become disruptive – that is, they are widely adopted and displace existing technologies from the marketplace or create entirely new markets.

ARPA-E understands that definitive proof of market disruption takes time, particularly for energy technologies.

Therefore, ARPA-E funds the development of technologies that, if technically successful, have the clear disruptive potential, e.g., by demonstrating capability for manufacturing at competitive cost and deployment at scale.

ARPA-E funds applied research and development.

The Office of Management and Budget defines “applied research” as an “original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge…directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective” and defines “experimental development” as “creative and systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience, which is directed at producing new products or processes or improving existing products or processes.” Applicants interested in receiving financial assistance for basic research should contact the DOE’s Office of Science (

Office of Science national scientific user facilities ( are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E Applicants and awardees.

These facilities provide advanced tools of modern science including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nanoworld, the environment, and the atmosphere.

Projects focused on early-stage R&D for the improvement of technology along defined roadmaps may be more appropriate for support through the DOE applied energy offices including:
the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (, the Office of Fossil Energy (, the Office of Nuclear Energy (, and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (

SBIR/STTR Program Overview The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are Government-wide programs authorized under Section 9 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C.

§ 638).

The objectives of the SBIR program are to (1) stimulate technological innovation in the private sector, (2) strengthen the role of Small Business Concerns in meeting Federal R&D needs, (3) increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R&D activities, (4) foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned Small Business Concerns, and (5) improve the return on investment from Federally funded research and economic benefits to the Nation.

The objective of the STTR program is to stimulate cooperative partnerships of ideas and technologies between Small Business Concerns and partnering Research Institutions through Federally funded R&D activities.

ARPA-E administers a joint SBIR/STTR program in accordance with the Small Business Act and the SBIR and STTR Policy Directive issued by the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

ARPA-E provides SBIR/STTR funding in three phases (Phase I, Phase II, and Phase IIS).

Program Overview The SHARKS Program seeks to develop new designs for economically attractive Hydrokinetic Turbines (HKT) for tidal and riverine currents.

Tidal and riverine energy resources are renewable, have the advantage of being highly reliable and predictable, and are often co-located with demand centers, while HKT devices can be designed with low visual profiles and minimal environmental impact.

These energy-producing devices are also uniquely suited for micro-grid applications, supplying energy to remote communities and other “blue economy” or utility-scale applications.

This Program is aimed at applying Control Co-Design (CCD), Co-Design (CD) and Designing-for-OpEx (DFO) methodologies to HKT design.

These three design methodologies require the concurrent (rather than sequential) application of a wide range of disciplines, starting at the conceptual design stage.

The technical challenges that inhibit the development of highly efficient HKT designs are mutually dependent, and require expertise from a range of scientific and engineering fields for optimization.

These codependent technical challenges make HKT design a perfect candidate for CCD, CD and DFO, and will necessitate the formation of multi-disciplinary teams to resolve their inherently coupled design considerations.

This Program seeks to fund the development of new HKT designs that include, but are not limited to, hydrodynamics, mechanical structures, materials, hydro-structural interactions, electrical energy conversion systems, control systems, numerical simulations and experimental validations.

Simultaneous consideration of the full problem can result in operational designs that are optimal, and suitable for deployment in a wide variety of tidal and riverine energy environments.

The SHARKS Program seeks new HKT designs that are optimized within a Metric Space that quantifies the swept rotor area per unit of equivalent mass and the water-to-electron power generation efficiency, while navigating across LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) contours of constant value or isolines.

Projects in this Program will develop radically new HKT designs that offer a significant reduction in LCOE (~60%) compared to the current state-of-the-art –see Table 9. These designs will need to reduce the LCOE through a multi-faceted approach that includes increasing generation efficiency, increasing rotor area per unit of equivalent system mass, lowering operating and maintenance costs, and minimizing potential negative impacts on the surrounding environment, among other considerations.

It is expected that projects will include physical testing of the critical systems and sub-systems in the water to prove the assumptions underlying the device’s design.

To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) please go to the ARPA-E website at

ARPA-E will not review or consider applications submitted through other means.

For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guide (
Agency: Department of Energy

Office: Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy

Estimated Funding: $38,000,000

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