The Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently released three Requests for Information (RFIs) related to more than $100 million in anticipated future funding opportunities. The RFIs encourage input from private industry regarding ARPA-E's planned program objectives and expenditures for fiscal year 2012. ARPA-E's mission is to identify and fund research that transforms science into breakthrough energy technologies, and to fund ideas that are too risky for the private sector but that, if successfully developed, will create the foundation for entirely new industries.
On February 8, 2012, ARPA-E released its first two RFIs pertaining to (1) how the agency should generally allocate its efforts and funds (in light of its existing projects in the portfolio) and (2) what types of projects the agency should consider in the next iteration of its "Electrofuels" platform. On February 17, 2012, ARPA-E issued a third RFI specifically requesting feedback on technologies to support "smart batteries" or advanced management and controls for energy storage systems.
ARPA-E's general RFI provides an opportunity for industry to review and submit comments relevant to the agency's proposed broad funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This broad solicitation is expected to guide the agency's spending of approximately $100 million, and it includes a proposed list of clean energy topics that reflect the program's interests for the year. In anticipation of the release of the final FOA in early March, all comments to the general RFI must be submitted electronically by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.
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