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ARPA-E needs more time, say National Academies

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is making good progress towards its goals, but it is too soon to expect it to have met them, according to a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

ARPA-E has made “significant contributions to energy R&D” that likely would not have taken place without the agency, said Pradeep Khosla, chairman of the committee that wrote the report. “We hope our report’s recommendations will benefit the agency and the nation as ARPA-E continues to evolve and improve its operations,” he said.

The report said that while it would take many years for some of ARPA-E’s high-risk projects to bear fruit, there were early signs of success. Around a quarter of projects have received follow-on funding, and 13 per cent have been awarded patents. There is also no indication that the agency is failing in its goals, or in need of reform, it says.

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