The ARPA-E Newsletter: November 2, 2016
ARPA-E Announces New Funding
Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) 

ARPA-E has announced up to $6.5 million in funding for a new program that seeks to greatly improve the performance and reliability of power electronics semiconductor devices by overcoming the limitations of current fabrication methods. 

ARPA-E’s Power Nitride Doping Innovation Offers Devices Enabling SWITCHES (PNDIODES) program seeks to address a major challenge experienced by ARPA-E SWITCHES project teams in the production of vertical gallium nitride (GaN) power electronic devices, specifically those based on bulk GaN substrates. The issue has been the lack of an effective process to selectively dope regions of GaN with sufficient quality to support vertical power electronic devices. Doping refers to the process of selectively inserting impurities into a specific region of a semiconductor to achieve specific electrical characteristics and is a key enabling process for all semiconductor technology. 

Improving GaN selective area doping methods could pave the way for high-performance, next-generation power switching devices for a wide range of applications, such as consumer electronics, power supplies, solar inverters, wind power, automotive applications, motor drives, ship propulsion, rail, and the grid. 

ARPA-E encourages outstanding scientists and engineers from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form new project teams for the PNDIODES program. ARPA-E believes that appropriate interdisciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations can best facilitate scientific and technological discoveries in this area.  

The deadline to submit a Full Application for PNDIODES is 5 p.m. ET on January 4, 2017. Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE

Grad Students: Apply for the
2017 Summit Student Program!

The ARPA-E Summit is now accepting applications to the 2017 Summit Student Program! The Student Program at the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is a unique opportunity for graduate students to network with organizations searching for new talent and learn about advanced energy technologies. The 100 graduate-level students selected may attend the Summit, participate in student-focused programming, and meet with corporate recruiters.
Accepted students will receive complimentary registration to the Summit. Each participant is responsible for arranging and paying for his or her own travel and hotel accommodations.
To apply, click here. Applications due by December 5, 2016.

 Apply to Exhibit Your Technology at the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit

The Technology Showcase at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit provides research organizations with an opportunity to display their innovative energy technologies to investors and researchers ready to collaborate. Companies, organizations, and other teams that are not current ARPA-E awardees have until December 16, 2016 to submit an application to exhibit in the Technology Showcase. There is no fee to apply and teams will be notified of their acceptance starting January 9, 2017. The 2017 Energy Innovation Summit will be held February 27 – March 1, 2017 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, DC. 

Learn more about the Showcase and submit your application. 

ARPA-E University: Charitable Investment for Energy Innovation 101

This recorded webinar explores a new, potential source of capital for energy technology innovation: charitable investments.  Although charitable investments in energy technology companies are still in their infancy, this webinar examines program-related investments (PRIs) and other charitable financing tools that could help support early-stage energy technology entrepreneurs. 

Watch Rebroadcast | Download Presentation PDF  

Upcoming ARPA-E Workshops 
Workshop: Lower Grade Waste Heat Recovery
Date: December 13-14, 2016
Location: San Francisco, CA
The workshop will convene leading experts in waste heat recovery, materials development, and novel solid-state materials technology (emerging compositions, materials synthesis/processing, combinatorial screening/optimization, robust module designs) to identify innovative research paths for the development of next-generation lower grade (<400°C) waste heat recovery systems. For more information, please visit the workshop page on the ARPA-E website.  
Workshop: Fuel Cell and Heat Engine Hybrid CHP Systems 
Date: January 26-27, 2017
Location: Washington, D.C.
This workshop will convene leading experts in fuel cells, heat engines, materials and advanced manufacturing technologies to identify related technological solutions that would help to enable the introduction of highly efficient (>70%) yet cost-effective (<$1800/kWe installed) commercial-scale combined heat and power systems. For more information, please visit the workshop page on the ARPA-E website.  

ARPA-E Announces 10 New Projects 

ARPA-E today announced $32 million in funding for 10 innovative projects as part of its newest program: Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR). With a goal of reducing individual vehicle energy usage by 20 percent, NEXTCAR projects will take advantage of the increasingly complex and connected systems in today’s—and tomorrow’s—cars and trucks to drastically improve their energy efficiency.

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology utilizes on-board or cloud-based sensors, data and computational capabilities to help a vehicle better process and react to its surrounding environment. This knowledge could include the location of stop signs and intersections, the actions of nearby vehicles, the location of congested areas, and much more. Currently, CAV technologies predominantly improve upon vehicle safety and add driving convenience. NEXTCAR projects will leverage these rapidly evolving technologies to greatly reduce vehicle energy use.

“Today cars and trucks are increasingly being outfitted with new technology that provides information about the vehicle’s environment, mostly to make them safer and to help drivers with basic tasks,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams. “As our vehicles become creators and consumers of more and more data, we have a transformative opportunity to put that new information to the additional use of saving energy in our road transportation system.”

Further details on the NEXTCAR program can be found HERE. Details on all 10 of the NEXTCAR projects may be found HERE, and the full press release can be found HERE.

ARPA-E Welcomes New Staff 

Dr. Yanzhi (Ann) Xu currently serves as the Senior Technical Advisor for Impact and Assessment at ARPA-E, where she implements strategic evaluations of ARPA-E projects and programs on their technological and economic impacts. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Xu was a Research Engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology: School of Civil & Environmental Engineering. 

Xu holds her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Statistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Peking University in Beijing, China.

Charles Conway currently serves as a Legal Analyst at ARPA-E. As Legal Analyst, Conway works with the Office of Chief Counsel to provide legal advice and counsel on a wide variety of legal and policy matters relevant to ARPA-E’s mission. 

Prior to joining ARPA-E, Conway worked as a paralegal at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC in Washington, D.C. while simultaneously attending law school. He previously worked as an intern in at the United States Steel Corporation in the General Counsel’s Office and at Wiley Rein LLP.

Conway graduated cum laude from American University Washington College of Law, where he served as the Publications Editor for the Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law. He holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. 

ARPA-E Releases RFI on Grid Optimization Competition Design 
ARPA-E has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on the design of a competition (carried out in multiple phases) to accelerate the development and comprehensive evaluation of new solution methods for grid optimization. Specifically, ARPA-E seeks to provide a platform for the identification of transformational and disruptive methods for solving power system optimization problems including Security Constrained Optimal Power Flow (OPF) and Security Constrained Unit Commitment (UC). 

With this RFI, ARPA-E is soliciting opinions regarding various details of the competition design—including the baseline problem specifications, competition rules, eligibility for participation, scoring metrics, criteria for winning, prize structure and online competition computational platform design details. ARPA-E is anticipating total prize money in this competition of $3,500,000, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. 

For more information and to view the full RFI on ARPA-E Exchange, click HERE. Information should be submitted no later than 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. This is a request for information only. This notice does not constitute a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or initiation of a competition. No FOA or competition exists at this time.

Congratulations to two ARPA-E awardees - AutoGrid and 24M - who were recognized earlier this year as 2016 New Energy Pioneers by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. 
The 2017 New Energy Pioneers nominations are now open through November 10, 2016.  Learn more here.


Additional information is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.