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ARPA-E: Changing What’s Possible

ARPA-EHave you ever wondered how new ways to generate, store and use energy are developed? The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), a subset of the US Department of Energy, advances high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private sector investment. The awardees of ARPA-E grants are unique because they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store and use energy.

ARPA-E was established in 2007 as part of the America COMPETES Act, and in 2009, $400 million was allocated to allow for the funding of ARPA-E’s first projects. The aim of these projects is to improve the US economy, national security and the environment. The focus is on new and innovative technologies and projects that can be advanced with minimal investments over a defined period of time. ARPA-E works with the awardee to streamline the proposal, negotiation and award process which allows the research to begin as quickly as possible, often 90 days after receipt of notice that the university is the successful bidder.

ARPA-E’s commitment to a streamlined award process is a part of a growing trend in government agencies. This is beneficial for the awardee as it not only shortens the proposal and award negotiation phases, but it allows the PI to begin their research sooner. To facilitate this process, ARPA-E provides a website with “who, what, when, how, and why” information on the entire “cradle to grave” award negotiation process.

ARPA-E’s goal is to empower America’s energy researchers with funding, technical assistance and market readiness. UT and our partners at ORNL are among the many organizations that have received ARPA-E funding this year. We are one of many organizations that, with the help of ARPA-E are leading the way in the development of new, innovative and cost-saving methods to use energy.

For more information on ARPA-E and working with this agency, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at osp@utk.edu or 865-974-3466.

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