News of the WeekARPA-E Funding

U.S. Energy Agency Stumbles Out of the Blocks

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Science  21 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5943, pp. 926
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_926

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The new U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) is supposed to "disrupt the status quo" by funding "transformational" ideas that will help end the country's dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and move the economy toward sustainable energy sources. So far, however, the agency has caused more disruption among scientists than transformation of the U.S. energy sector. Researchers are grumbling about the way ARPA-E, which is part of the Department of Energy, is handling its first round of grant proposals.