By: Regina Ramazzini

Deadline: Feb 14, 2017

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358) to: “(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in— (i) reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and (iii) improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under the programmatic authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C. § 16538. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R. Part 200 as amended by 2 C.F.R. Part 910. ARPA-E funds research on and the development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology. For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see: The United States has the world’s largest marine Exclusive Economic Zone, an area of ocean along the nation’s coast lines which is equivalent to the total land area of all 50 states. The nation has the potential to utilize this resource to build and grow a thriving marine biomass industry for the production of fuels, chemicals, feed, and food. Growing macroalgal biomass in the oceans offers a unique opportunity to sidestep many of the challenges associated with terrestrial biomass production systems, particularly the growing competition for land and freshwater resources, which are likely to result from the 50 to 100% increase in demand for food expected for 2050. The overall goal of this program is to develop the critical tools that will allow the nascent macroalgae industry in the United States to leverage this tremendous resource and grow into a world leader in the production of marine biomass. The program will focus on developing advanced cultivation technologies that enable the cost and energy efficient production of macroalgal biomass in the ocean at a scale suitable as feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals. The challenge is to dramatically reduce capital and operating cost of macroalgae cultivation, while significantly increasing the range of deployment by expanding into more exposed, off-shore environments. Specifically, this program is interested in new designs and approaches to macroalgae cultivation, with harvesting and transport being an integral part of such systems. These new systems may leverage new material and engineering solutions, and autonomous and robotic operations, as well as advanced sensing and monitoring capabilities. To further accelerate the development and deployment of such systems, the program will also focus on the development of computational modeling tools and ocean- deployable sensor platforms, as well as advanced macroalgal breeding tools. ARPA-E expects that the MARINER program will support development of technologies that will accelerate the deployment of advanced ocean farming systems capable of delivering renewable biomass feedstock at a cost competitive with terrestrial biomass feedstocks.

Link to Additional Information:

Grantor Contact Information:
ARPA-E Contracting Officer