Many interesting technologies were exhibited at ARPA-E including agriculture robots and drones, kelp farms for biofuels, lasers to detect methane leaks, wind mills that flex like palm trees, and more.

Many interesting technologies were exhibited at ARPA-E including agriculture robots and drones, kelp farms for biofuels, lasers to detect methane leaks, wind mills that flex like palm trees, and more.


photo of Beth Hartman

March 20, 2018
Posted by Beth Hartman, Electric Power Research Institute

Last week at the 2018 ARPA-E Innovation Summit, groups including accelerators, incubators, entrepreneurs, researchers, universities and government stakeholders came together to support the energy innovation that is helping drive the transformation to a more sustainable economy. With keynotes from Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado, the CEO of Power Generation Services at Siemens, and others, the event highlighted collaboration between industry and government as an important element of supporting energy innovation.

At the ARPA-E innovation expo, we were pleased to host many members of the Incubatenergy Network at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) booth, and also collaborate with several organizations in the group on panel discussions and networking events. Sessions on commercialization partners were especially popular, along with panel discussions on topics like electric vehicles, batteries, machine learning, and secure grid management. There were also many interesting technologies on the exposition floor such as agriculture drones and robots, lasers for detecting methane leaks, kelp farms for biofuel, windmills that flex like palm trees, and much more.

Following the main ARPA-E conference, the Incubatenergy Network met to discuss a commitment from EPRI to continue supporting the group going forward, following the conclusion of the funding period with the US Department of Energy. As EPRI utility members have seen great value in connecting with innovators supported by Incubatenergy Network organizations, there is strong support from these utilities to continue collaborating in future.

During the last three years of the project, over 20 companies supported by Incubatenergy Network members have proceeded to further collaboration with utilities and other industry partners, including funding, pilot projects, and more. Overall, the members of the Incubatenergy Network have accelerated more than 500 companies that have raised over $1.6 billion in funding, generate more than $440 million in revenue, and support over 3300 jobs.

After discussing continued support from EPRI at the Incubatenergy meeting we also reviewed trending topics such as Blockchain and increased collaboration with international organizations. The InnoEnergy group from Europe presented on opportunities to enable companies to enter new markets, and the California Clean Energy Fund discussed ideas for continuing to collaborate with groups in Asia and other regions on events such as the Accelerate Energy Summit in Shanghai and the upcoming Electrification 2018 conference (www.electrification2018.com) in Los Angeles.

Finally, the group heard from BP Ventures on a new effort to work more closely with several members of the Incubatenergy Network, as the company expands a focus on investing in more innovations driving the transition to a low-emission, sustainable economy. We look forward to working with additional partners in the future, and seeing everyone again at upcoming events such as Earth Day Texas, the NREL Growth Forum, and Electrification 2018!