Funding Agency:
Department of Energy


ARPA-E aims to support the development of timely, commercially viable fusion energy.[1] Based on numerous studies examining the cost challenges facing advanced nuclear energy,[2] which shares some attributes with fusion such as unit size, capital cost, and power-generation characteristics, ARPA-E believes that a commercial fusion power plant should target an overnight capital cost (OCC) of <US$2B and <$5/W.[3] If a grid-ready fusion demonstration can be realized within approximately twenty years while satisfying these cost metrics, then, as a firm low-carbon energy source, fusion can contribute to meeting global, growing low-carbon energy demand and cost-effective deep decarbonization[4] in the latter half of the century.

This program addresses the need to lower the costs of development and eventual deployment of commercial fusion energy by supporting R&D to increase the performance and number of credible, lower-cost fusion concepts. Full Applications are invited in the three research categories[5] described in Section I.D of the FOA. Criteria and metrics are described in Section I.E of the FOA. The technology-to-market (T2M) component of this program, via a number of planned activities at the project and program levels, aims to build and smooth the path to fusion commercialization to include public, private, and philanthropic partnerships.

Deadline: Jan. 14, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Applicants must select one of three technical research categories:

A. Concept Development ($150k–$10M/project, not including cost share): each project in this category will develop a specific, lower-cost fusion concept as measured against the performance-based milestones in Table 1 of Section I.E of the FOA.

B. Component Technology Development (up to $4M/project, not including cost share): projects will conduct component-technology development, up to prototype demonstration of the component technology, that can significantly reduce the capital cost of a specific, more-mature, higher-cost fusion concept, such as but not limited to the tokamak, stellarator, reversed-field pinch (RFP), or inertial confinement fusion (ICF).

C. Capability Teams (up to $2.5M/project, not including cost share): projects will improve/adapt and apply an existing capability to support multiple teams in Category A to lower the overall costs of the program. 

Eligibility Requirements

This FOA is open to U.S. universities, national laboratories, industry, and individuals.

ARPA-E is not limiting the number of submissions from Applicants. Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA, provided that each application is scientifically distinct. 



Amount Description

Individual awards may vary between $150,000 and $10 million, not including cost share.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

January 14, 2020