Updated March 26 at 12:25pm

Brown lands $750K from ARPA for energy research


WASHINGTON – Brown University has been awarded $750,000 from the U.S. Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency through its Open 2012 program.

Brown’s grant, which will fund research on marine hydrokinetic energy harvesting using cyber-physical systems, was part of a total of $130 million given out across the United States.

Using the funds, Brown will develop an oscillating underwater wing designed to capture energy from flowing water in rivers and tidal basins. According to a release, the wing will be coupled with “adaptive control software” to maximize power production.

“Brown’s design could reduce the cost of producing electricity from flowing water,” said the ARPA release.

The program seeks out “transformational, breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment.” The $130 million given out under the Open 2012 program encompasses 11 technology areas in 24 states.

“With ARPA-E and all of the Department of Energy’s research and development efforts, we are determined to attract the best and brightest minds at our country’s top universities, labs and businesses to help solve the energy challenges of this generation,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in prepared remarks.

“The 66 projects selected today represent the true mission of ARPA-E: swinging for the fences and trying to hit home runs to support development of the most innovative technologies and change what’s possible for America’s energy future,” added Chu.

Projects were selected through a merit-based process from thousands of concept papers and hundreds of full applications, according to a release. Of the 66 chosen projects, 47 percent of the projects are led by universities, 29 percent are led by small businesses, 15 percent by large businesses, 7.5 percent by national labs and 1.5 percent by nonprofits.


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