WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has announced the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a sweeping announcement about federal investment in research and development and science education. ARPA-E is a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) organization modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the defense agency involved in developing the Internet, the global positioning system (GPS), and other technological breakthroughs. ARPA-E was recommended by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and was authorized by Congress in 2007, but it received its first funding of $400 million via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

ARPA-E will fund energy technology projects that translate scientific discoveries and cutting-edge inventions into technological innovations, and it will also accelerate technological advances in high-risk areas that industry is not likely to pursue independently. It will not fund improvements to existing technologies; this research will continue to be supported through existing DOE programs, such as those of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ARPA-E’s mission will be to develop new energy technologies that offer significant promise toward reducing imported oil; reducing energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and improving energy efficiency.

Publication date:06/01/2009