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Mad Science Lab

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Is this the agency you folks were posting about? They have interesting projects, described as mad science lab. Should be very creative.

 

Chu Places His Energy Bet on ARPA-E

Although his request for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) represents only $300 million in a departmental budget of $28.4 billion, Energy Secretary Steven Chu clearly believes that the fledgling agency is his scientific ace in the hole.

 

ARPA-E was created by H.R. 364 within the United States Department of Energy in 2007.The objective of ARPA-E is cross-disciplinary research on energy challenges. Like DARPA does for military technology, ARPA-E is intended to fund high-risk, high-reward research that might not otherwise be pursued because there is a relatively high risk of failure.

 

Like DARPA, it is intended to fund projects involving government labs, private industry, and universities. A crucial element in achieving this objective is through investigator-initiated energy R&D. Arun Majumdar, former deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was appointed the first director of ARPA-E in September 2009, over six months after the organization was first funded.

 

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/10/arpae-20091026.html

 

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20091109/arpa-e-bets-disruptive-technology-synthesizing-fuel-bacteria

 

I did notice department of energy is spending money on nuclear and coal. Both will be the heavy weights for a long time. Nuclear tagged by science as the future.

 

ARPA-E reminds me of the what NASA tried to accomplish. Spin off basic or should I say sell to private sector successful research. It worked well. Private sector investors afraid of failing and government wastes easy money fearlessly. So, a good match. Kinda bad for taxpayers but they will get a better economy?

 

They have lots of projects for electric cars. May the momentum have faded for ethanol? States like California just not interested in E-85 infrastructure, saving up for charging stations? That would be foolish thinking on their part. A bird in hand is better than one in the bush. Best to keep what you know is successful moving along as who knows the future? Or how long to develop at what expense. 

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