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ARPA-E announces $100M for third iteration of SCALEUP funding

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued its third funding opportunity for the SCALEUP (Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential) program. (Earlier post.)

The objective of the $100-million ARPA-E SCALEUP 2023 FOA (DE-FOA-0003100) is to support the scaling of high-risk and potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications. This FOA focuses only on scale-up and pre-pilot projects of promising technologies that ARPA-E has previously funded and for which the scale-up award would substantially build upon innovations achieved under the original ARPA-E award.

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 2023 applicants are not required to have participated within the original ARPA-E award; applicants may have licensed or purchased the relevant intellectual property rights to such subject inventions, and thereby become eligible under the SCALEUP 2023 FOA.

Because of the breadth of energy technologies solicited under the SCALEUP 2023 FOA, specific technical and project targets are not specified. Therefore, ARPA-E asks each applicant to address how its proposed SCALEUP project will sufficiently advance the technology to enable a viable path to market and ultimately lead to successful commercialization and the anticipated impact.

In 2019, ARPA-E issued its first SCALEUP funding opportunity, which paved the way for advancing technologies aimed at improving the electric grid’s reliability and resiliency; changing the way methane emissions are discovered and mitigated; creating next generation battery technology; and accelerating grid storage and electric vehicle adoption.

One of the project teams from the initial SCALEUP—Sila, a next-generation battery materials company—was later selected for $100 million in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to support the build-out of a facility in Moses Lake, Washington.

Early ARPA-E funding and SCALEUP support were instrumental in the company’s success.

In 2021, ARPA-E issued the second iteration of SCALEUP, which supported work in hybrid electric aircraft; high-power density magnetic components; efficient, cost-effective and compact US-manufactured electric vehicle charging equipment; wood as strong as steel; and geomechanical pumped storage.


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