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Kicking off Day 1 of the 2019 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit – Day 1 Recap

And we’re ON! The first day of the 2019 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is officially in the books. The Summit opened with welcome remarks from ARPA-E Acting Director Chanette Armstrong, who welcomed attendees, and introduced Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Science Lane Genatowski. Lane discussed ARPA-E’s impact on America’s energy landscape over the last decade, highlighting some of the agency’s awardees. Lane was followed by a welcome video from Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

On our mainstage, Day 1 kicked off with General Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who talked to attendees about the role energy innovation plays in America’s national security. The morning featured additional keynote addresses from Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, and LanzaTech CEO Dr. Jennifer Holmgren. The audience also had the opportunity to listen to a fireside chat on Next Generation Nuclear Energy with senior representatives from Idaho National Laboratory, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, and NuScale Power. The morning culminated in a discussion between Assistant Secretary for EERE Daniel Simmons and Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

Welcome Address from Chanette Armstrong, ARPA-E Acting Director, and Lane Genatowski, Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Science

Keynote Address from General Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Keynote Address from Commissioner Ryan Sitton, the Railroad Commission of Texas

Keynote Address from Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA

Keynote Address from Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech

Fireside Chat with Ben Fowke, CEO of Xcel Energy, and Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for EERE

Fireside Chat with Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton, systems Integration Manager, Idaho National Laboratory, Douglas Hunter, CEO and General Manager, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems and Dr. José Reyes, Co-Founder and CTO, NuScale Power

Over lunch, the Day 1 crowd participated in our Government Agency Networking Program, connecting with leadership and program directors from the nation’s top federal agencies, and a few state programs, that focus on energy innovation and R&D.

Government Agency Networking Program

The afternoon breakout session brought back one of the Summit’s most popular attractions, the Fast Pitches. Each Fast Pitch session features ARPA-E Program Directors and Fellows who give rapid-fire presentations the ARPA-E projects and technologies and previews of unconventional and “outside the box” ideas for the future of energy. The first set of fast pitch topics titles included:

  • Flex Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: How Flexible Carbon Capture Could Support Renewable-heavy Grids
  • Engineering an Anthropogenic Azolla Event
  • Carbon Sequestration Rocks
  • A Fork in the Road for Synthetic Meat

The second Fast Pitch session included:

  • What Would You, Could You, Do with Wood?
  • Energy and the New Mobility - How Disruptive Will AVs Be?
  • Analog Computing: Back to the Future?
  • Grid Management: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities
  • 10kV at 10km - Will it Fly?

The afternoon also gave attendees a number of breakout sessions and discussions to participate in, covering:

  • Incubators and Accelerators: How Can They Help You Prepare Your Energy Startup to be Market Ready?      
  • Transforming Grid Management

From Left to Right: Dr. John Birge, The Chicago University Booth School of Business, Bryan Hannegan, Holy Cross Energy, Jessica Harrison, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, and Dr. Alex Papalexopooulos, ECCO International, Inc.

  • Electrification of DoD Platforms 
  • Beyond Fossil Fuels: What Other Energy Resources Lie Beneath the Surface?

Day 1 wrapped up with the opening of the crown jewel of the ARPA-E Summit, the Technology Showcase. The Tech Showcase features nearly 300 ARPA-E Awardees who exhibit their groundbreaking technologies and give attendees a chance to interact and connect directly with the teams working to transform how the U.S. gets, uses, and stores energy.

The opening reception featured demonstrations from some of the most exciting and innovative of these projects, including:

Adaptive Apparel for Personalized Thermal Comfort – Otherlab

Otherlab received funding through ARPA-E’s DELTA program to develop thermally adaptive garment materials that can change their own thickness in response to environmental temperature changes. Their project team created an adaptive textile that physically changes shape in response to its surrounding temperature, passively changing the insulation value of the material without input from the wearer.

Engine Cylinder Optimization in Connected Vehicles – Ohio State University

Ohio State University’s NEXTCAR project combines vehicle connectivity and automated driving capabilities with transformational powertrain control technology to optimize the energy consumption of light-duty passenger vehicles. Their project combines advanced engine cylinder technology with real-time traffic condition projections and smart-communication with traffic lights to optimize vehicle efficiency and powertrain control.

Multi-Modal Plant Root Monitoring – Sandia National Laboratory

Under ARPA-E’s ROOTS program, Sandia National Laboratories is working to develop new field-deployable sensor technologies for monitoring soil, root, and plant systems. Sandia’s project incorporates minimally invasive microneedle technology and gas chromographs in the soil near plants to monitor potentially volatile organic compounds, allowing researchers to better monitor and characterize plant function in a variety of natural environments.

Stay tuned for the Day 2 recap tomorrow, and follow along for live updates on our twitter feed @ARPAE or let us know you’re here by tweeting #ARPAE19!