Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/3/2024

SPURRING PROJECTS TO ADVANCE ENERGY RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE SWIFTLY (SPARKS)

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides a continuing opportunity for the rapid support of early-stage applied research to explore innovative new concepts with the potential for transformational and disruptive changes in energy technology. Spurring Projects to Advance Energy Research and Knowledge Swiftly (SPARKS) awards are intended to be flexible and may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provides the agency with useful information for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. SPARKS awards may also support proof-of-concept research to develop a unique technology concept, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program. Applications must propose concepts that are not covered by open ARPA-E focused FOAs and that do not represent incremental improvements over existing technology.

SPARKS awards are defined as single-phase efforts of durations of 18 months or less with a total project cost of $500,000 or less and will be issued through Grants. ARPA-E expects to make approximately $10 million per fiscal year available for new awards, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Applicants will submit Concept Papers (4 pages maximum), and selected Applicants will then be invited to submit Full Applications.

This FOA will remain open until closed or replaced by a modified FOA (which is anticipated to occur on an annual basis, subject to the availability of appropriated funds). Applications will be accepted any time while this FOA remains open.

Closing Date: Sep. 30, 2029

Areas of Interest

The broad objective of this FOA is to identify disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies that challenge the status quo and represent a leap beyond today’s technology. An innovative concept alone is not enough; the idea must also have the potential to be impactful. This FOA seeks concepts that, if successful, would represent a fundamentally new paradigm in energy technology with the potential to make a significant impact on ARPA-E’s statutory goals (see Section I.A). Concepts of particular interest have the potential to (1) achieve percentage-level reductions in U.S. energy consumption, energy-related imports, or greenhouse gas emissions; (2) improve the resilience, reliability, and security of energy infrastructure; and/or (3) improve the management, clean-up, and disposal of nuclear byproducts.

Awards under this program may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provide the agency with information useful for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. Alternatively, awards may support proof-of-concept research for a particular new technology, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program.

TECHNICAL CATEGORIES

CATEGORY 1: GRID
Technologies for (1) the planning, construction, and/or operation of electricity transmission and/or distribution systems, including both AC and DC systems and (2) improving the resilience, reliability, and security of the grid.

CATEGORY 2: TRANSPORTATION
Technologies for (1) improved propulsion and energy storage systems (e.g., electric motors, electrical distribution, power electronics, batteries, fuel cells, and engines) specifically for air, ground, and/or marine transportation applications, (2) yielding energy and/or emissions reductions in the above, and (3) lower-emission fuels that are substitutes for traditionally fossil-derived fuels (e.g., kerosene, diesel, gasoline).

CATEGORY 3: BUILDINGS & CONSTRUCTION
Technologies that reduce the net energy usage and/or emissions associated with the construction and/or operation of buildings or other human-made structures.

CATEGORY 4: ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND STORAGE
Technologies that facilitate (1) the high-efficiency, low-emission, and low-cost generation of electricity (e.g., wind, geothermal, hydro, solar, fission, fusion, biofuels, reduced fossil fuel usage) and/or (2) the storage of intermittent renewable energy.

CATEGORY 5: CARBON CAPTURE, SEQUESTRATION, AND UTILIZATION
Technologies for (1) carbon capture from the ocean and/or atmosphere, (2) utilization of captured carbon, and/or (3) storage of carbon, including agricultural carbon management.

CATEGORY 6: INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY & DECARBONIZATION
Technologies that improve the energy efficiency of or reduce emissions from production of industrial materials (e.g., glass, paper, iron, steel, plastics, aluminum, cement)

CATEGORY 7: OTHER ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
Technologies that are supportive of ARPA-E's mission described in Section I.A of the FOA that do not fit into one of the other categories.

Eligibility Requirements

U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply for funding in their individual capacity as a Standalone Applicant,10 as the lead for a Project Team,11 or as a member of a Project Team. However, ARPA-E will only award funding to an entity formed by the Applicant.

For-profit entities12, educational institutions13, and nonprofits14 that are incorporated in the United States, including U.S. territories, are eligible to apply for funding as a Standalone Applicant, as the lead organization for a Project Team, or as a member of a Project Team.

ARPA-E is not limiting the number of Concept Papers that may be submitted by Applicants. Applicants may submit more than one Concept Paper in response to this FOA, provided that each is scientifically distinct.

Amount
$500,000
Funding Type
Eligibility
Posted
4/3/2024
Deadline
Sponsor: