Opportunity number
Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Department of Energy (DOE)
Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (ARPA-E)
Due date
April 27, 2022
Project funding
$2M - $20M
Program funding
Funding size
$2M to $5M

Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy Technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP)

RFP Summary provided by the agency

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.[1] 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 technologies. 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”.

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What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Science and Technology and other Research and Development

How do you submit to this opportunity?

See next section.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Only organizations leveraging subject inventions that were created during an ARPA-E award and reported in the iEdison system are eligible for funding under this program. SCALEUP Applicants are not required to have participated within the original ARPA-E award – alternatively, Applicants may be licensed or have purchased rights in such subject inventions, and thereby become eligible for the SCALEUP FOA


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