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At the recent Energy Innovation Summit of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), Deputy Director Cheryl Martin asserted that in the four years since the United Stated government agency started catalyzing energy breakthrough technologies, ARPA-E projects have achieved major technical successes and produced significant market engagement.

The projects fostered by ARPA-E are reflective of the progress made toward developing innovative technologies designed to transform the way Americans use and produce energy. So far, 17 projects have attracted more than $450 million in private sector funding invested after ARPA-E’s initial investment of approximately $70 million; 12 have leveraged their technologies to form new companies; and over ten have partnered with other government agencies for later stage investment.

Deputy Director Martin believes “ARPA-E is changing what’s possible for America’s energy future as demonstrated by our projects’ technical successes and market engagement. I am heartened by the strong partnerships and signs of technical progress in both the public and private sectors. ARPA-E and the energy innovation community have embarked on a journey to convene great minds, form new companies, spur private investment and foster public partnerships.”

During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama strongly promoted further American energy independence through innovation. To that end, ARPA-E reports “key thought leaders from academia, business, and government…discussed cutting-edge energy issues at ARPA-E’s fourth annual Energy Innovation Summit in National Harbor, Maryland.”

Deputy Director Martin singled out eight projects in her keynote address that emphasized ARPA-E’s catalytic role in convening energy technology communities, building federal partnerships, and catalyzing company formation. The projects include Palo Alto Research Center; Battelle; Ceramatec; Infinia; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Florida; CUNY Energy Institute; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Applied Materials.

Martin adds: “Just as past explorers charted their course and set off on their voyages, not knowing what lay ahead, ARPA-E takes bold chances, explores new ways of operating, discovers new partners, and creates communities focused on transformational change. While I’m sure there will be challenges on the horizon, I have no doubt that market-oriented exploration is the answer to securing a bright and prosperous future for America. All great civilizations have focused on exploration to address the challenges of their day and secure their future. We are no different.”

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