Committee on Science and Technology
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Press Releases :: March 2, 2010

Successful Summit is Further Proof that ARPA-E is Exceeding Expectations, Chairman Says

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) spoke at the first ARPA-E Innovation Summit, which aimed to bring together award winners and finalists with potential investors from the private sector. 

“As ARPA-E got off the ground it became clear that there are many more good ideas than there is federal funding to support them,” said Chairman Gordon.  “When Secretary Chu and Director Majumdar and I were talking about the possibility of holding a forum to bring together award winners and promising applicants with potential investors, I told Director Majumdar that his lawyers would give him a hundred reasons why we couldn’t do the summit, and I challenged him to ask them for one reason why we could.  To his credit, he did just that.  And, as with everything else in ARPA-E, he did it in record time.  This summit was put together in two months.  And, instead of a few hundred attendees we had hoped for, we are now looking at over 1700. CT-SI and the DOE and ARPA-E staff are to be commended for this achievement.” 
“From the unprecedented response to the first funding opportunity announcement, to the fact that the first round of grants attracted more private sector matching funds than was required or expected, to the overwhelming response to this summit, ARPA-E is exceeding expectations from the beginning.  I see this as proof that we are tapping into a pent-up hunger for this type of transformational energy technology development program,” said Gordon.  “I have every confidence that the work being done through the agency and with our private sector partners will quickly yield surprising results, and we will all be very proud that we were involved in this exciting agency, at this exciting time.”
At the Summit Secretary Chu announced the third round of ARPA-E funding of $100 million will be made available to accelerate innovation in three new areas for ARPA-E:
  1. Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS). ARPA-E seeks to develop new technologies to enable the widespread deployment of cost-effective grid-scale energy storage.
  2. Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (ADEPT). ARPA-E seeks to invest in materials for fundamental advances in soft magnetics, high voltage switches, and reliable, high-density charge storage. 
  3. Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices (BEET-IT).  ARPA-E seeks to develop energy efficient cooling technologies and air conditioners (AC) for buildings to save energy and reduce GHG emissions from: (a) primary energy consumption due to space cooling and (b) refrigerants used in vapor compression systems.  
The Committee held its first oversight hearing on ARPA-E in January and is working towards a reauthorization of ARPA-E as part of the America COMPETES Act. 
For more information on the Committee’s work on ARPA-E, including the full text of Chairman Gordon’s speech, please visit our website.


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