(Washington, DC) – Today, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the first round of funding awards for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E. ARPA-E is a new agency at DOE tasked with developing transformational energy technologies. It was part of the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and a focus of the Committee’s agenda in the 110th Congress. It received its first funding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) made the following statement:
“I am excited to see ARPA-E get off the ground. Our country desperately needs big breakthroughs—not just incremental change—in energy technologies if we are going to meet our growing need for affordable energy, lower our carbon emissions, and grow new sectors of the economy. ARPA-E is bringing together the best and the brightest from across the nation to work on solving these challenges. These partnerships help speed the pace of innovation and ensure that these new technologies get to the market quickly and do not wither in the ‘valley of death’ between basic research and commercialization.”
“Although, in some respects, it feels like this has been a long time in coming, since the law has been on the books for over two years, I’ve been pleased with the speed that DOE has managed to get the agency up and running, get the first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) out the door, review the huge number of responses, and make the awards decisions, all since the first funding came through late last winter. The first FOA received over 3,700 white papers, which far exceeded anyone’s expectations. I take that as a testament to a pent-up hunger for these types of opportunities to do transformational energy technology development. I look forward to more fully reviewing what types of research they’re funding, to seeing how they apply any lessons learned in the first round to upcoming awards application processes, and to working with the newly-confirmed director.”
"I'm encouraged by the president's decision to put Dr. Majumdar at the helm. By all accounts he has what it takes to put ARPA-E on a course to accomplish great things."
For more information on the Committee’s work on ARPA-E, please see our website.