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ARPA-E chief details energy research opportunities in talk with SPIE

13 January 2010

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Arun Majumdar, Director of ARPA-E, reaffirmed the agency's sense of "fierce urgency" around identifying game-changing innovations for clean, efficient energy initiatives that serve U.S. R&D, in a meeting earlier this week in Washington, D.C., with SPIE President Ralph James and CEO Eugene Arthurs.

ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy) was created last year within the Department of Energy to act as a catalyst in transforming the nation's energy practices and resources, by developing more efficient energy usage, a clean domestic energy supply, and a smart energy infrastructure.

Majumdar told James and Arthurs on Monday that dialogue among industry, financiers, venture capitalists, and the technical community will be important in developing new business models to meet ARPA-E goals.

The agency is accepting concept papers through 15 January for advanced research projects in three areas, in its second round of funding opportunities. Research areas are Innovative Materials and Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies, Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation, and Electrofuels.

The agency is also seeking candidates for a DOE Fellows Program for ARPA-E projects. Fellows will combine business understanding with technical expertise to help the agency create a strategic direction for its transformational energy technology research and development, and will help develop programs as well as engage in independent research.

"The nation that successfully grows its economy with more efficient energy use, a clean domestic energy supply, and a smart energy infrastructure will lead the global economy of the 21st century," Majumdar said in a letter last month to the energy community. "ARPA-E was created to be a catalyst for such a transformation, and to do so with fierce urgency."

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world.

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