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Title: A Model for Innovation: ARPA-E Merits Full Funding
Industry sector: Education/Research
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
The Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)—the Department of Energy’s (DOE) breakthrough clean technology R&D program represents public-private innovation at its finest, both for what it does and how it does it. In its mere two two-year history, ARPA-E projects, worth approximately $360 million in public funding, have to date obtained $285 million in follow-on private investment and led to 17 patent filings. But the battle for adequate ARPA-E funding is far from over. The most recent House appropriations bill limits ARPA-E’s funding to just $100 million for FY 2012. While not a small sum, it is far below what experts have recommended. Limited resources will mean more limited recruitment of talented program managers, reduced institutional dynamism, and fewer game-changing breakthroughs. This report explains why funding ARPA-E at the recommended $300 million level makes sense to increasing America’s capacity for public-private energy innovation.