Like Darpa on the military side, the new agency for stoking energy innovation awards $151 million to big ideas
Darpa's addiction to out-of-this world schemes has rubbed off in the best way on the government's more peaceful push for an energy revolution. Liquid metal batteries, bacteria that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into gasoline, and artificial enzymes for carbon capture represent just a few of the 37 projects that have received $151 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's new ARPA-E agency.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) takes its inspiration from the Department of Defense's mad science lab Darpa, and has $400 million in initial funding to help seed a number of cutting-edge projects over the next two years. Among the first round projects, 43 percent are small businesses, 35 percent are educational institutions, and 19 percent are large corporations.