Ambitious Energy Projects are Long-Term Bets

Published By : 13 Feb 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, the United States’ office that manages funding for research into energy and fuel projects, is one of the few unequivocally popular Obama initiatives with strong bipartisan support. The agency has committed more than US$1 billion to more than 400 projects since it was founded in 2009. However, the U.S. is still waiting for it to come up with a truly revolutionary innovation that can change the way we all lead our lives.

The agency was founded as part of President Obama’s stimulus package in 2009 and, in spite of regular opposition due to the aforementioned point, has managed to procure the necessary funding in every year since.

“I think the signs are there,” Cheryl Martin, Arpa-E’s deputy director, said.

“Technology takes time. Energy is not a fast-to-adopt sector.”

The Defense Advanced Projects Agency was the inspiration for the founding of the Arpa-E. Set up in 1958, the agency was influential in the development and spread of the Internet, among other minor innovations.

The Arpa-E was set up with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., energy import into the U.S., and helping the U.S. gain ground in the global race for technological supremacy.

However, the signs are not all bad, since more than 30 of the 400+ companies funded by the Arpa-E have gone on to become full-fledged companies, 34 have received additional private funding, and 37 were further funded by the government.

“We should never, ever, ever mistake important for sexy,” Ms. Martin said.

“Just because it doesn’t sound nuts, doesn’t mean it isn’t really important.”
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