Late last week, APRA-E issued a new Open Funding Opportunity Announcement for $120 million in early-stage research projects leading to “breakthrough energy technologies.” ARPA-E says it anticipates making approximately 60-80 awards under this FOA, with individual awards between $250,000 and $10 million.

According to the FOA document (pdf) the funding agreements can cover periods that range from 12-36 months, starting Jan. 1, 2013. This FOA is for new applicants only and excludes applicants seeking renewal or supplemental ARPA-E awards.

DOE officials have set up two broad funding categories: “Proof-of-Concept Seedling Projects” and “Technology Development Projects.”

The Proof-of-Concept Seedling Project awards ($250,000-$1 million) “focus on early-stage, proof-of-concept level R&D efforts.” ARPA-E says it may issue 20-30 awards in this category, with an average award amount of $500,000.

The Technology Development Project awards ($1 million-$10 million) “focus on early-stage prototypes of various technology concepts for which some kind of initial proof-of-concept component demonstration already exists.” ARPA-E projects that 40-50 awards will be given, with an average award amount of $3 million.

The agency isn’t guaranteeing full-length funding for awarded projects. ARPA-E managers are reserving the right to set “more than one budget period for each award and fund only the initial budget period(s).”

Looking at the FOA document, it appears that ARPA-E has left the door open to just about any type of transformational energy proposal, including these five broad categories:

  • Renewable power (nonbioenergy)
  • Bioenergy
  • Transportation
  • Conventional genration (nonrenewable)
  • Grid

Each category has many subcategories, and is inclusive of just about any approach to energy one can think of and generally seems reflective of the DOE’s promised “all of the above” energy strategy.

As always, ARPA-E wants to move fast. The deadlines are:

– Letter of intent submission: 3/30/2012 5:00 PM ET
– Concept paper submission: 4/12/2012 5:00 PM ET
– Full application submission: TBD