House Science Committee Votes to Advance ARPA-E Reauthorization Bill

Oct 28, 2019

by ASME.org

The House Science Committee voted with bipartisan support to advance H.R. 4091, the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) Reauthorization Act of 2019. The ARPA-E reauthorization bill moved forward with bipartisan support after the Committee agreed to fund the agency at $750 million over five years—$250 million less than Committee Democrats proposed, but $384 million more than current levels.
 
To move the bill forward the Committee voted to approve two amendments. The first requires that “ARPA-E does not provide funding for a project unless the prospective grantee demonstrates sufficient attempts to secure private financing or indicates that the project is not independently commercially viable,” and furthermore mandates that projects “do not duplicate the efforts of…other relevant research agencies.” The second amendment that was adopted establishes a Chief Evaluation Officer to assess the impact of projects and prepare reports and roadmaps.
 
ARPA-E was established in 2007 by the America COMPETES Act and received its first appropriations of $400 million in 2009 as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program is currently funded at $366 million.
 
ASME will continue to monitor funding levels for ARPA-E and report out on any forward movement of the reauthorization bill.

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