The ARPA Model for Breakthrough Clean Energy Research

Abstract:  Public funding for research and development in energy technology has often taken the form of hands-off grantmaking for either basic or applied research. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) model for research funding agencies, on the other hand, features program staff with significant autonomy to make larger and riskier investments in research teams that span both basic and applied research. Over the past 10 years, the US federal agency ARPA-E has implemented this model in pursuit of breakthrough energy technologies. I will review the conclusions of recent empirical studies in which we shed light on the effectiveness of ARPA-E; I will also share work in progress on the outcomes of ARPA-E's early investments in cleantech startups, compared to rejected applicants and the universe of other US cleantech startups. 

 Bio:  Anna Goldstein is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research area is science and technology policy applied to clean energy innovation and climate change mitigation. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Science and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Science, Technology & Public Policy program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. Anna received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Nanoscale Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she investigated nanomaterials for use in energy harvesting and storage applications. 


Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 4:00pm
Gunness Student Center Conference Room, Marcus Hall