Funding Opportunity ID: 323144
Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-0002166
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 81.135
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: See Section III.A. of the FOA.
Agency Code: DOE-ARPAE
Agency Name: Department of Energy
Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy
Posted Date: Dec 17, 2019
Close Date: Jul 20, 2020 Submission deadline for Preliminary Application and optional small business grant: February 14, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Submission deadline for Full Applications is July 20, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Last Updated Date: Dec 17, 2019
Award Ceiling: $20,000,000
Award Floor: $2,000,000
Estimated Total Program Funding: $52,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 8
Description: SEEDING CRITICAL ADVANCES FOR LEADING ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES WITH UNTAPPED POTENTIAL 2019 (SCALEUP) Agency Overview: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358): “(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in— (i) reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and (iii) improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under the programmatic authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C. § 16538. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R. Part 200 as amended by 2 C.F.R. Part 910. ARPA-E funds research on the development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology. In addition, the agency is launching new funding opportunities for public-private collaborations supporting the further refinement, scaling, and pre-piloting of successful ARPA-E technologies. Success of these scale-up projects will establish the path forward to continued private sector development and deployment of these transformational technologies. For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see: ARPA-E funds transformational research. Existing energy technologies generally progress on established “learning curves” where refinements to a technology and the economies of scale that accrue as manufacturing and distribution develop drive down the cost/performance metric in a gradual fashion. This continual improvement of a technology is important to its increased commercial deployment. It is appropriately the focus of the private sector and can be spurred by early-stage R&D supported by the applied energy offices in DOE. By contrast, ARPA-E supports high-risk, potentially transformative research that has the potential to create fundamentally new learning curves. ARPA-E R&D projects typically start with cost/performance estimates for the proposed technology that are well above the level of the competitive incumbent technology. Given the high risk inherent in these projects, many will fail to progress, but some may succeed in generating a new learning curve with a projected cost/performance metric that is significantly lower than that of the incumbent technology. ARPA-E funds technology with the potential to be disruptive in the marketplace. The mere creation of a new learning curve does not ensure market penetration. Rather, the ultimate value of a technology is determined by the marketplace, and impactful technologies ultimately become disruptive – that is, they are widely adopted and displace existing technologies from the marketplace or create entirely new markets. ARPA-E understands that definitive proof-of-market disruption takes time, particularly for energy technologies. Therefore, ARPA-E funds the development of technologies that, if technically successful, have clear disruptive potential, e.g., by demonstrating capability for manufacturing at competitive cost and deployment at scale. ARPA-E funds applied research and development. The Office of Management and Budget defines “applied research” as an “original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge…directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective” and defines “development” as “creative and systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience, which is directed at producing new products of processes or improving existing products or processes.” Applicants interested in receiving financial assistance for basic research should contact the DOE’s Office of Science ( Office of Science national scientific user facilities ( are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E applicants and awardees. These facilities provide advanced tools of modern science including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nanoworld, the environment, and the atmosphere. Projects focused on early-stage R&D for the improvement of technology along defined roadmaps may be more appropriate for support through the DOE applied energy offices including: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (, the Office of Fossil Energy (, the Office of Nuclear Energy (, and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability ( Program Background: The Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) solicitation provides a vital mechanism for the support of innovative energy R&D that complements ARPA-E’s primary R&D focus on early-stage transformational energy technologies that still require proof-of-concept. ARPA-E’s mission is to develop transformational energy technologies in support of U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. ARPA-E funds the R&D of technologies to build and maintain U.S. technological leadership in highly competitive global energy markets, thus supporting American jobs and economic growth. ARPA-E’s authorizing statute directs the Agency to develop linkages between its sponsored applied research and the marketplace. These linkages are central to realizing the public’s return on technology investments. An enduring challenge to ARPA-E’s mission is that even technologies that achieve substantial technical advancement under ARPA-E support are at risk of being stranded in their development path once ARPA-E funding ends (averaging $2.5M over three years). ARPA-E-funded technologies typically face significant remaining technical risks upon completion of an award’s funding period. Experience across ARPA-E’s diverse energy portfolios, and with a wide range of investors, indicates that pre-commercial “scaling” projects are critical to establishing that performance and cost parameters can be met in practice for these very early stage technologies. These pre-commercial scaling projects aim to translate the performance achieved at bench scale to commercially scalable versions of the technology, integrate the technology with broader systems, provide extended performance data, and validate the manufacturability and reliability of new energy technologies. (These projects are often termed “pre-pilot” development in different industries.) Success in these scaling projects would enable industry, investors, and partners to justify substantial commitments of financial resources, personnel, production facilities, and materials to develop promising ARPA-E technologies into early commercial products. The SCALEUP FOA builds upon ARPA-E-funded technologies by scaling the most promising. Stranding promising ARPA-E-funded technologies in their development pathways leaves substantial intellectual property developed with American taxpayer dollars vulnerable to adoption by foreign competitors, who can and do capture it for continued development – and economic benefit – overseas. This harms national competitiveness, as U.S. industries often lose the lead on the development, scaling, and manufacturing of technologies necessary to compete in rapidly evolving global energy markets. These scaling energy technology projects will meet ARPA-E’s statutory direction to achieve the above goals by “ accelerating transformational technological advances in areas that industry by itself is not likely to undertake because of technical and financial uncertainty”. To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) please go to the ARPA-E website at ARPA-E will not review or consider submissions submitted through means other than ARPA-E eXCHANGE. For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guider at
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