“This is our 3-day high.” (ARPA-E Summit Students Program)

Students from energy clubs all over the United States gathered Monday for a special huddle before the Summit. This selected group of 82 graduate students from 32 universities are the future energy leaders of tomorrow.

I thought Dr. Ilan Gur, Senior Advisor for Commercialization, summarized our sentiments best, “Out of the whole year, this is our 3-day high.” This is truly one of the biggest and most exciting energy conferences of the year!

We started with an intro to the ARPA-E Program. Here are a few takeaways:

ARPA-E, a “DARPA for Energy,” is an R&D funding agency for advanced, non-incremental energy technologies. They fund projects/ideas on:

  • energy efficiency
  • reduction on foreign dependence on energy
  • reduction in energy emissions

What makes ARPA-E different?

  • New scientific ideas form multiple fields and convert them into innovations that disrupt the energy industry.
  • Special hiring authority bring “go against the grain” people into the agency quickly; people are term-limited so the agency stays on the forefront of innovation
  • “Feels like a Silicon Valley startup,” says Dr. Ilan Gur, a two-time entrepreneur turned Senior Advisor for Commercialization at ARPA-E
  • Proof of relevance: what’s the impact, the value creation

ARPA-E Programs (By The Numbers)

  • Adept: Efficient Power Conversion ($34.5 million total investment)
  • Beest: EV Batteries ($36.3 M)
  • Beetit: Building Cooling & Air Conditioning ($30.3 M)
  • Electrofuels: Versatile Transportation Energy Solutions ($44.5 M)
  • First Open Solicitation: Transformational Energy Technologies ($158.4 M)
  • Geni: Grid Hardware & Software ($39.4 M)
  • Grids: Grid-Scale Renewable Energy Storage ($27.7 M)
  • Heats: Thermal Energy Storage ($37.3 M)
  • Impacct: Carbon Capture Technology ($33.7 M)
  • Petro: Higher Productivity Crops for Biofuels ($36.3 M)
  • React: Alternatives to Critical Markets in Magnets ($22.1 M)
  • Solar Adept: Efficient Solar Energy Systems ($14.7 M)

Get involved:

  • Submit an idea
  • Join one of the 132 projects across the US
  • Work for ARPA-E

ARPA-E Fellows function as an “internal think tank”

  • 2-year term
  • Currently fellows are all technical, open to non-technical
  • Informal process to apply, talk to the fellows, meritocratic organization
  • Our very own Shannon Yee was the first ARPA-E fellow!

Next up: Energy clubs from across the US

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